Sunday, July 13, 2014

Great Polish Composers: Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski

Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski was a Polish composer, conductor and pianist and a contemporary of Frederic Chopin, both classmates under the tutelage of the famous Jozef Elsner in Warsaw.

Ignacy's potential was evident at a very young age, and his musical ability blossomed under the guidance of his father, Ignacy Sr. (a violinist, composer and conductor in his own right.)  
In 1825 Ignacy initially took private lessons with Jozef Elsner and after a year was enrolled in the Main School of Music for another two years.

Ignacy lived in Warsaw for most of his life, where he composed his great works, as well as teaching and organizing musical groups.  In 1835 he won second prize at the Vienna competition for composing for his Symphony no. 2 in C-minor, Op.15.   The composition was praised among his peers and audiences alike.  Leipzig later performed various selections from Ignacy's  Symphony in Warsaw, with Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy conducting.  In 1862, the piece was published by Sennewald albeit in a version for two pianos.  It was dubbed, Symfonia charakterystyczna w duchu muzyki polskiej (Symphony in the Characteristic Spirit of Polish Music.)

In March 1845 Dobrzyński  traveled extensively  around Europe performing  his compositions in Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Munich, Bonn, Frankfurt and Vienna.  He resided in Berlin for awhile,  working as a music teacher.   

He was forbidden to return to Poland because of the political tone of some of the patriotic songs he wrote.  One was titled, "Do matki Polki" ( To a Polish Mother), based on a poem written by the famous Polish poet, Adam Mickiewicz.  The lyrics encapsulated the enduring spirit of the Polish people in the face of brutal repressions by the Russian regime.  It wasn't until September 1847, that Ignacy finally returned to Warsaw.

Five years later, Dobrzyński was appointed opera manager at the Teatr Wielki, though his office was short-lived. Nevertheless he continued to work as symphonic conductor for the opera house in the ensuing years. In 1857, he established the Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski Polish Orchestra, comprising of many distinguished musicians from Teatr Wielki.

Dobrzyński  was a member of the Lvov Music Society, as well as a committee member of the Institute of Music.  But by 1860 his health began to fade, limiting his participation in the Warsaw music scene.  Despite the limitations, he devoted himself completely to composition.  He wrote his first opera, Monbar dzyli Flibustierowie/Monbar (or the Filibusters, Op.30) which premiered in Warsaw at the Teatr Wielki in 1863. Pieces of his work were played in concert halls throughout Warsaw, Poznan, Berlin and Dresden.

He died October 9th, 1867, in Warsaw.

Major compositions:
Polonez A-dur / Polonaise in A major for piano (1823)
Overture de concert À grande orchestre op. 1 (1824)
Concerto pour le Piano op. 2 (1824)
Introduction et Variations sur un thème original à la russe op. 4 for piano (ca. 1824)
Mazurek / Mazurka for piano (1825-26)
Nowy polonez z tematów opery "Sroka złodziej" G. Rossiniego / New polonaise on the themes of Gioacchino Rossini's opera "The Thieving Magpie" for piano (ca. 1826)
Deux polonaises for piano (ca. 1826)
Rondo alla polacca op. 6 for piano and orchestra (ca. 1827)
I Kwartet smyczkowy e-moll / String Quartet no. 1 in E minor op. 7 (ca. 1828)
II Kwartet smyczkowy d-moll / String Quartet no. 2 in D minor op. 8 (1829)
Introduction et Variations sur un thème original op. 9 for violin and piano (ca. 1829)
Fantaisie quasi Fugue sur un Masurek favori op. 10 for piano (ca. 1828)
I Grande Symphonie op. 11 (1829)
Pożegnanie / Farewell, a melancholic polonaise for piano (1829)
Variations de concert sur une mazure favorite op. 12 for piano and orchestra (ca. 1830)
III Kwartet smyczkowy E-dur / String Quartet no. 3 in E major op. 13 (1830)
Fantaisie et Variations dans le style facile et brillant sur la Masure (Kujawianka) op. 14 for piano (ca. 1830)
Marsz ulubiony ks. Józefa Poniatowskiego / Prince Józef Poniatowski's Favourtie March for orchestra (1830)
Marsz Gwardii Narodowej / The National Guard March for orchestra (1830)
Kantata na cześć walecznych obrońców Ojczyzny / Cantata in Honour of the Valiant Defenders of the Country for 4 solo voices, mixed choir and orchestra (1830)
Trois mazurkas op. 16 for piano (ca. 1831)
Marche triomphale for orchestra (1831)
II Symfonia charakterystyczna w duchu muzyki polskiej c-moll / Symphony no. 2 in the Characteristic Spirit of Polish Music op. 15 (1831)
Grand trio op. 17 for violin, cello and piano (ca. 1831)
Introduction et Variations non difficiles sur une masure favorite op. 18 for flute and piano (1831)
I Kwintet smyczkowy F-dur / String Quintet no. 1 in F major op. 20 (1831)

Marsz za Bug / Crossing the Bug River March for mixed choir and piano or organ (1831)
Trois nocturnes op. 21 for piano (ca. 1833)
Theme original varie op. 22 for piano (ca. 1833)
Souvenir. Deux mazurkas op. 25 for piano (ca. 1834)
Trzy mazurki / Three mazurkas op. 27 for piano (ca. 1834)
Fantaisie sur un thème original op. 28 for bassoon and orchestra (ca. 1834)
Kantata na imieniny hr Henryka Łubieńskiego / Cantata for Henryk Count Lubienski's Nameday for mixed choir and orchestra (1834)
Monbar czyli Flibustierowie / Monbar or the Freebooters[aka "Filibusters"] op. 30, opera in 3 acts (1836-38)
Deux polonaises concertantes À grand orchestre op. 31 (ca. 1839)
Fantaisie op. 32 for violin and orchestra (ca. 1839)
Kantata na uroczystość obchodzoną w Resursie Kupieckiej / Kantata for a Function at the Merchant's Hall op. 34 na 3 sopranos, female choir and orchestra (ca.1839)
Fantaisie pour la trompette À piston avec orchestre op. 35 (ca. 1839)
Deux mazurkas op. 37 for piano (ca. 1840)
Marche funebre op. 38 for orchestra (ca. 1840)
Grande fantaisie sur des motifs de l'opéra "Les Flibustiers" for violin and orchestra (ca. 1840)
Sekstet smyczkowy Es-dur / String sextet in E flat major op. 39 (ca. 1841)
II Kwintet smyczkowy a-moll / String quintet no. 2 in A minor op. 40 (ca. 1842)
Romanza for oboe, string quintet and double bass (ca. 1842)
Les larmes op. 41 for violin or cello and piano (1843)
Andante et Rondo alla polacca op. 42 for flute and orchestra (ca. 1843)
Theme varié op. 42 for cello and piano (ca. 1843)
Elégie op. 43 for cello and orchestra (ca. 1843)
Kantata / Cantata op. 44 for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra (1843)
Introduction et Variations sur theme original pour le trombone avec orchestre op. 45 (ca. 1845)
Nocturne op. 46 for cello and piano (ca. 1845)
Souvenir de Dresde op. 47 for oboe, cello and piano (1846)
Résignation op. 48 for piano (ca. 1846)
Ricordanza op. 49 for piano (ca. 1846)
Gage d'amitié. Nocturne suivi d'une mélodie polonaise op. 52 for piano (1846)
Umoresca capriciosa sur un theme italien op. 53 for orchestra (1847)
Impromptu op. 54 for piano (ca. 1846)
La Primavera. Morceau brillant op. 55 for piano (ca. 1846)
Scherzo op. 56 for orchestra (ca. 1849)
Śpiewka o ponczu / Song about Punch for 2 solo voices, male choir and piano (1849)
Sen chrześcijanina / A Christian's Dream op. 57, religious fantasia for 10 instruments (ca. 1850)
Fantaisie sur des thèmes de l'opéra "Don Giovanni" de W.A. Mozart op. 59 for piano (ca. 1846)
Mouvement et repos. Grande étude op. 60 for piano (ca. 1847)
Tarantella op. 61 for piano (przed 1850)
Grande étude chromatique op. 62 for piano (before 1850)
Six harmonies sur le célèbre thème "God save the King" for string quartet (ca. 1850)
Święty Boże / O Holy God op. 61, supplications for 4 solo voices, choir and orchestra or organ (before 1851)
Lamentacja nad grobem Chrystusa Pana / Lamentation at the Grave of Christ the Lord op. 62 for choir and orchestra (1851)
Retablissement. Grande valse brillante op. 63 for piano (before 1852)
Myśl ulotna / A Fleeting Thought for piano (before 1852)
Marsz na złote wesele J. Elsnera / March on the Occasion of Jozef Elsner's Golden Wedding Anniversary for orchestra (1852)
Pieśń do Najświętszej Marii Panny / Song to Our Lady op. 58 for soprano, mixed choir and organ (before 1853)
Danse napolitaine op. 65 for piano (ca. 1853)
Marsz żałobny na śmierć J. Elsnera / Funeral March for Jozef Elsner for brass wind orchestra (1854)
Tableau musical for orchestra (1856)
Marsz żałobny na śmierć Fryderyka Chopina / Funeral March for Fryderyk Chopin op. 66 for mixed choir and orchestra (1857)
Veni Creator op. 67 (68) for male choir and wind instruments (ca. 1857)
Polonez na dzień dojścia do pełnoletności carewicza Mikołaja Aleksandrowicza / Polonaise on the Occasion of Prince Nicholas Alexandrovich Coming of Age for orchestra (1859)
Konrad Wallenrod op. 69, music to a dramatic adaptation of the poem, in three acts [unfinished] (1859-64)
Burgrafowie / The Burgrafs op. 70, music to a drama, in three acts (1860)
Sztuka i handel / Art and Trade, music to a comedy in three acts with a prologue (1861)
Mazur for male choir and orchestra (1865)
Studium na temat oryginalny w dubeltowym kontrapunkcie w 8 postaciach / Study on an original theme in double counterpoint in 8 forms op. 62 for string quartet (1867)

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