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HENRYK SZTOMPKA
Polish pianist (1901 - 1964)



Henryk Sztompka studied the piano with Antoni Sygietyński and with Józef Turczyński in Warsaw.  After graduating with honors from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1926, he made his debut with the Warsaw Philharmonic in Rachmaninoff's second concerto.  He received the prize for the best interpretation of Chopin's mazurkas at the first International Chopin Piano Competition in 1927.  And in 1928, by which advanced age so many young virtuosi have already seen their lights extinguished, he went to Paris to study with Paderewski.

It is not clear to me how long Henryk Sztompka studied with Paderewski, but he did not make his Paris debut until 1932 (in his teacher's Polish Fantasy) under Gabriel Pierné and the Colonne Orchestra.  Later that same year a successful recital consisting of the works of Beethoven, Chopin and Schumann seemed to have launched his concert career until it was interrupted by the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939.

After the war, Henryk Sztompka resumed concertizing all over Europe.  He was considered to be one of the greatest interpreters of the works of Chopin and in 1957 he was invited to record the Nocturnes and Mazurkas of Chopin which can be heard below.  It is reported that he also recorded other of Chopin's works including Preludes and a Polonaise, the Paderewski Fantasy, and the Rachmaninoff C minor concerto.  I can't find these, but i would love to hear them, especially the Rachmaninoff which seems to be the only non-Polish works he ever recorded.

Henryk Sztompka was active in teaching from 1936 until the end of his life.  Among his students were Regina Smendzianka, Joachim Gudel, Andrzej Kurylewicz, Karol Tarnowski, Maria Korecka and Tania Achot-Haroutounian (the 3rd prize winner in the 6th International Chopin Piano Competition in 1960).  He also served on the juries of such major competitions as the Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1949, 1955, 1960), Marguerite Long and Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris (1953, 1955, 1959, 1961);  the José Vianna da Motta Competition  in Lisbon (1957),  and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1958 and 1962).



Chopin  Nocturnes

recorded in 1957


1 in B minor, Op 9~1



2 in E minor, Op 9~2



3 in B major, Op 9~3




7 in C minor, Op 27~1




8 in D major, Op 27~2



9 in B major, Op 32~1




Chopin  Mazurkas

recorded in 1957


Op 6
1 in F minor



2 in C minor



3 in E major



4 in E minor




Op 7
1 in B major
02:21 2 in A minor
05:48 3 in F minor
08:24 4 in A minor
09:42 5 in C major




Op 17
1 in B major
02:16 2 in E minor
04:09 3 in A major
06:02 4 in A minor




Op 24
1 in G minor



2 in C major



3 in A major



4 in B minor




Op 30
1 in C minor



2 in B minor



3 in D major



4 in C minor




Op 33
1 in G minor



2 in D major



3 in C major



4 in B minor




Op 41
1 in C minor



2 in E minor



3 in B major



4 in A major




50 in A minor,  2 "Notre temps" from Six Morceaux de salon (1841)




Op 50
1 in G major
02:41 2 in A major
06:14
3 in C minor




Op 56
1 in B major



2 in C major



3 in C minor




Op 59
1 in A minor
03:53 2 in A major
06:25 3 in F minor




Op 63
1 in B major



2 in F minor



3 in C♯ minor




Op 67
1 in G major
01:11 2 in G minor
02:57 3 in C major
04:28 4 in A minor

Op 68
07:06 1 in C major
08:45 2 in A minor
11:31 3 in F major
13:10 4 in F minor










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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