MARCIN TADEUSZ ŁUKASZEWSKI (b.1972): The Four Seasons - 4 Transcendental Etudes, 12 Concert Studies, 3 Academic Studies.
Catalogue Number: 07V064
Description: Pawel‚'s brother, Wojciech's other son, is a true pianist-composer, and like many such he has been drawn to the etude in his compositional life. The Concert Studiess are, like similar works by Chopin, Scriabin, Szymanowski, Bacewicz and many others, real concert pieces that happen to explore a particular pianistic technique (or a combination thereof). There are virtuosic pieces in octaves, rapid figuration or chordal sequences, studies in touch and sonority, leaps and various intervals. An interesting feature of the set is a progression from full Romantic tonality toward a more modern idiom that by the end approaches atonality (though not in a particularly forbidding way, consisting more of bitonal clashes with non-tonal results). The twelve pieces are arranged in groups of three, each group forming a self-contained unit with its own dramatic contour. The 'Academic' studies were written with some pedagogical intent, and are less stylistically wide-ranging or harmonically adventurous, but are still perfectly good concert pieces. In the Four Seasons the composer applies many of the techniques explored in the Concert Studies (which were written concurrently) in four larger works of far more internally diverse character which present to the listener as piano poems of a virtuosic character and structured dramaturgy, rather than technical etudes per se; think of the Java Suite, Passacaglia or Sonata alongside the Studies after Chopin in Godowsky's output. These fine and attractive pieces are consistently tonal, varied and satisfying demonstrations of the ongoing appeal of the 'grand piano' style. Radosław Sobczak (piano).