Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great Polish Composers: Juliusz Zarebski

Juliusz Zarebski was born on March 3, 1954 in Zytomierz, (now Ukraine) and received his musical instruction from his mother, who was his first piano teacher.   He was as exceptional a scholar as he was a musician, and graduated with honours from the gymnasium.

Zarebski moved to Vienna to enrol at the Conservatorio de la Sociedad de Amigos de la Musica. There he studied composition under the tutelage of Franz Krenn, and piano with Joseph Dachs.   Two years later, Zarebski graduated with two gold medals.  A year later he moved to St. Petersburg and studied for three more years, and then to Rome were studied piano with his friend and mentor, Liszt.  The Hungarian composer went to great lengths to promote Zarebski and his work,  by appearing with him at his concerts, and appealing to his personal contacts for their moral support.

Zarebski composed songs based on the poems of Adam Mickiewicz and Wlodzimierz Wolski and often referred to Liszt and Chopin in his works.

In the spring of 1874, Zarebski began his career in earnest, performing in Odessa and Kiev followed by more performances in Rome, Naples, Constantinople, Warsaw, Paris, London and many other European cities to great acclaim!

Juliusz became interested in the two piano keyboard, a novel invention of Edouard Mangeot, and with practice, was able to master it within two months. So enthralled he was with this unique instrument that he composed a repertoire especially for it, and performed these work at the 1878 Paris Exhibition.  Audiences and critics alike praised his genius!  

Zarebski moved to Brussels to accept a teaching position at the Royal Conservatory. He dedicated himself to teaching piano master classes. During this time he composed many works such as the five movements of Les roses et les epines, culminating with his 1885 cyclical Piano Quintet in G minor.  His career had come to an end when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.  He died on  September 15, 1885.

"The Quintet for Piano and Strings in g minor was composed in the year of his death. It is a work on a grand scale. Zarebski knew that he was dying and almost certainly felt that this quintet would be an important part his musical testament. The opening Allegro is at once brooding, lyrical and powerful. The music is an interesting blend, showing the influence of Brahms as well as that of Cesar Franck. The integration of the piano with the strings—always a concern, especially when the composer is a piano virtuoso—leaves nothing to be desired. The piano fits in seamlessly and does not dominate the strings. The following Adagio seems to break all bounds of time and space. Tonally interesting, the strings speak amongst themselves in subdued and leisurely voices. The second theme is derived from the first movement. Perhaps the most striking movement is the Scherzo with its driving main theme and two trios. The use of pizzicato and harmonics is particularly effective. In the last movement, marked Finale, there are echoes of Faure as well as Brahms. Liszt, to whom the Quintet was dedicated, judged it perfect. Certainly, it is a work of great originality and deserves to join the foremost rank of piano quintets and be heard in concert." 
(Review of Zarebski's Piano Quintet, by editor of The Chamber Music Journal)
source:  http://www.editionsilvertrust.com/zarebski-piano-quintet.htm


Andante ma non troppo, (BN)
Romance sans paroles, in F minor, ca. 1870, (BN)
Adieu, in F minor, ca. 1870, (BN)
Maria, Piano 4-hands, 1871, (BN)
March, pf 4 hands, 1875
Grande fantaisie, 1876
Menuet, Op. 1, 3 danses galiciennes, piano 4-hands, Op. 2 (Berlin 1880)
Concert étude, in G major, Op. 3 (Berlin 1879)
4 Mazurkas, pf 4 hands, Op. 4 (Berlin 1880)
2 morceaux en forme de mazurka, piano 4-hands, Op. 5 (Berlin 1881)
Grande polonaise, in F# major, Op. 6 (Berlin 1881)
3 études de concert, Op. 7 (Mainz 1881)
Concert-mazurka, in C minor, Op. 8 (Mainz 1882)
Fantaisie polonaise, Op. 9, ca. 1877 (Mainz 1882)
Polonaise mélancolique, Op. 10 (Mainz 1882)
Polonaise triomphale, Piano 4-hands, Op. 11 (Mainz 1882)
Divertissement à la polonaise, Piano 4-hands, Op. 12 (Mainz 1883)
Les roses et les épines, Op. 13 (Mainz 1883)
Impromptu-caprice, Op. 14 (Leipzig 1883)
Mazurka de concert, No.2, G minor, Op. 15 (Leipzig 1883)
Suite polonaise, Op. 16 (Leipzig 1883)
Valse sentimentale, Op. 17 (Leipzig 1884)
Ballade, in G minor, Op. 18 (Wrocław 1884)
Novellette-caprice, Op. 19 (Wrocław 1884)
Sérénade burlesque, Op. 20 (Wrocław 1884)
Berceuse, Op. 22 (Leipzig 1884)
A travers Pologne, Piano 4-hands, Op. 23 (Wrocław 1884)
Valse-caprice, Op. 24 (Leipzig 1884)
Tarantelle, Op. 25 (Leipzig 1885?)
Sérénade espagnole, Op. 26 (Leipzig 1883)
Etrennes, Op. 27 (Wrocław 1885)
Polonaise, Op. 28 (Leipzig 1885)
Gavotte, Op. 29 (Leipzig 1885)
Valse, Op. 30 (Leipzig 1885)
Barcarolle, Op. 31 (Leipzig 1885)
Menuet, Op. 32 (Mainz 1885)

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