en hommage Joachim Mendelsohn
With the homage to Joachim Mendelson, eda records continues its survey of Poland’s rich musical heritage of the first half of the twentieth century, a heritage that – as a result of the devastating consequences of the expulsion and extermination of the European Jews after 1933, the destruction of Polish musical life following the occupation of Poland in September 1939, and the policy of suppression during the communist era – was obliterated from music-historical consciousness.
The monographic series en hommage appears as a supplement to eda records’ meanwhile six-part Poland Abroad series with first recordings of works by important Polish composers who almost all shared the fate of persecution and exile.
Joachim Mendelson was born in Warsaw in 1892, and studied composition in his hometown and in Berlin. Like nearly all Polish composers of his generation, he went to Paris in the 1920s, where he joined the Association des Jeunes Musiciens Polonais, in which Poland’s entire musical elite gradually came together and, under the patronage of Karol Szymanowski, Arthur Rubinstein, Serge Koussevitzky, Maurice Ravel, and Nadia Boulanger, enriched the musical life of the metropolis on the Seine with extremely interesting colours. In the middle of the 1930s, Mendelson accepted a professorship at the Warsaw College of Music. After Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, he was interned in the Warsaw ghetto, where he was murdered in 1943. Merely five compositions from Mendelson’s pen have been preserved in editions issued by the Parisian music publisher Max Eschig. In the works of the late 1930s recorded here for the first time, Mendelson finds his way to a classicism of synthesis that can integrate the refinement of French “impressionism” as well as Mahler’s Weltschmerz and Strauss’s emphatic style, the austere, rhythmically pointed inflection of the “New Objectivity” as well as the dance-like soulfulness of Slavic provenance. Mendelson’s String Quartet, his earliest preserved work, was already recorded for eda records by the Silesian String Quartet (EDA 35). Musicians from the three countries that marked the axis of Mendelson’s life – Poland, Germany, France – perform together on this CD, which was coproduced by Radio Berlin Brandenburg and Polish Radio.
Quintet for oboe, violin, viola, cello and piano (1939)
Sonata for violin and piano (1937)
Chamber Symphony (1938)
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