Click Here for a portion of the Study in Contrast radio program discussing the piano concerto with David Owen Norris, Radu Lupu, and John Schofield.



Reduction for Two Pianos


Introduction


Passacaglia


Capriccio


Finale


1st Page Original Manuscript



Radu Lupu (1972)
(1st performance)


Radu Lupu (1975) with Elizabeth Wilson (L) and Judy Arnold (R)



André making corrections (1975)
(2nd, 3rd, 4th Performances)



Copenhagen Concert Poster


Norma Fisher (1986)
(5th Performance)


Uri Segal (Conductor)
Copenhagen, Denmark



Kalisz Concert Poster


Bialystok Concert Poster


Maciej Grzybowski (2008, 2013)
(6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th
Performances)


Adam Klocek (Conductor)
Kalisz, Poland


Nikolai Dyadiura (Conductor)
Bialystok, Poland


Piotr Wajrak (Conductor)
Lublin, Poland



(right to left) Maciej Grzybowski, Dave Ferré, Halinka Janowska, Aleksander Laskowski, and Joanna Fidos.
Bialystok, Poland



Kalisz, Poland, Program


Kalisz, Poland, Ticket


Kalisz, Poland, Concert Hall



Bialystok, Poland, Program


Bialystok, Poland, Ticket


Marcin Nalecz-Niesiolowski
Artistic Director


Bialystok, Poland, Concert Hall



Warsaw Philharmonic Hall


August 17, 2008 Program


Maciej Grzybowski - Pianist
August 17, 2008 Concert


Maciej Grzybowski - Pianist
August 17, 2008 Concert


Maciej Grzybowski - Pianist
August 17, 2008 Concert



Poster Artwork for July 22, 2013 Performance


Maciej Grzybowski - Pianist
July 22, 2013 Concert


Maciej Grzybowski - Pianist (rehearsal)
July 22, 2013 Concert


Paul Daniel -
Conductor
July 22, 2013 Concert


Program Pages from July 22, 2013 Concert



Dorota Szwarcman
Music Critic for Polityka
(Polish newsmagazine)

Piano Concerto (1966-1971) - Opus 4
This webpage provides information about the André Tchaikowsky Piano Concerto - Opus 4. First are music links and then text that lists all known details regarding this composition, including performances to date, plus text about the concerto from the book, The Other Tchaikowsky - A Biographical Sketch of André Tchaikowsky.

(2017) Piano Concerto, Opus 4 / Lublin Philharmonic
As part of their regular concert season, the Lublin (Poland) Philharmonic included the Andrzej Czajkowski Piano Concerto Opus 4, which was performed on September 29, 2017 with performers Maciej Grzybowski, piano, and Piotr Wajrak, conductor. This performance was recorded and appears on YouTube and Vimeo. There is also an audio-only recording (see below).

Study in Contrast (Audio Program)
From a radio program, a Study in Contrast, hear pianists David Owen Norris and Radu Lupu, plus John Schofield of Josef Weinberger Music Publishers, discuss the André Tchaikowsky Piano Concerto Opus 4. Use the following mp3 link: study_in_contrasts_opus_4.mp3 or the player below.

For the entire Study in Contrast program, see the Miscellaneous button.

Second CD Recording of Opus 4 (2014)
Sinfonia Varsovia has just released a triple-CD anthology of Polish contemporary music from 1939-1945. The release notes describe the intent: "A triple album of Polish music associated with World War II is the first anthology of its kind in Poland. The core of the material on these 3 CDs consists of five works composed in Poland under the German occupation, while two were written by Polish composers abroad." Click Here to read more in English; Click Here to read more in Polish. Note that is is not a commercial release.

The Piano Concerto (1966-1971) Opus 4 appears on CD disc 3. This performance is on this webpage (Click Here) and features the Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk, with pianist Majiej Grzybowski. Images from the CD disc 3 appear below. For a PDF from the CD booklet related to Opus 4, Click Here (in English). Click Here for an online version of the booklet (English and Polish). For a newspaper review, Click Here (in Polish).

First CD Recording of Opus 4 (2013)
Toccata Classics released CD TOCC0204 on November 1, 2013, the first commercial recording dedicated entirely to the compositions of André Tchaikowsky. Included are the Sonata for Piano (1958), featuring pianist Nico de Villiers, the Inventions Opus 2 (1961–62), played by pianist Jakob Fichert, and the Piano Concerto Opus 4 played by pianist Maciej Grzybowski with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Daniel.

CD Cover features a
photograph of André
Tchaikowsky from c. 1966
(André Tchaikowsky Estate)

Performers and contributors (left to right) Jakob Fichert, Anastasia Belina-Johnson, Nico de Villiers, and Mark Rogers (recording engineer for the Toccata Classics CD).

Links related to the Toccata Classics CD TOCC0204:

The 2013 Bregenz Festival
The centerpiece of the 2013 Bregenz Festival was the world premiere of André's opera, The Merchant of Venice. Coupled with the opera performances (there were three), there were "Music and Poetry" concerts featuring The Inventions Opus 2, Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare, String Quartet No. 2, Arioso e Fuga per Clarinetto Solo, Trio Notturno Op. 6, and Tango and Mazurka (from Six Dances for Piano). Finally, a symphonic concert featuring the Piano Concerto Opus 4, played brilliantly by Maciej Grzybowski.

Reviews
Link
Kulture Online Internet Link - Click Here (German)
PDF File - Click Here (German)
E-teatr (Polish)
"Inny Czajkowski"
Internet Link - Click Here
As PDF File - Click Here
E-teatr (English)
"The Other Tchaikowsky"
As PDF File - Click Here

Music/MP3
While only one professional recording is available for the Piano Concerto Opus 4, concert recordings have been made of performances by Radu Lupu (1975), André Tchaikowsky (1978), Norma Fisher (1986), and Maciej Grzybowski (2008) (2013), which are listed below as *.mp3 files. Since the concerto is played without pause between movements, the complete *.mp3 may offer the best presentation.


Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
London, England
28 October 1975
Radu Lupu - Piano
Uri Segal - Conducting

00_r_lupu_opus_4_complete.mp3
01_r_lupu_opus_4_introduction_1st_mvmt.mp3
02_r_lupu_opus_4_passacaglia_1st_mvmt.mp3
03_r_lupu_opus_4_capriccio_2nd_mvmt.mp3
04_r_lupu_opus_4_finale_3rd_mvmt.mp3


Irish National Orchestra
Dublin, Ireland
1 October 1978
André Tchaikowsky - Piano
Albert Rosen - Conducting

00_a_czajkowski_opus_4_complete.mp3
01_a_czajkowski_opus_4_introduction_1st_mvmt.mp3
02_a_czajkowski_opus_4_passacaglia_1st_mvmt.mp3
03_a_czajkowski_opus_4_capriccio_2nd_mvmt.mp3
04_a_czajkowski_opus_4_finale_3rd_mvmt.mp3


Tivoli Summer Orchestra
Copenhagen, Denmark
12 September 1986
Norma Fisher - Piano
Uri Segal - Conducting

00_n_fisher_opus_4_complete.mp3
01_n_fisher_opus_4_introduction_1st_mvmt.mp3
02_n_fisher_opus_4_passacaglia_1st_mvmt.mp3
03_n_fisher_opus_4_capriccio_2nd_mvmt.mp3
04_n_fisher_opus_4_finale_3rd_mvmt.mp3

This performance is on YouTube. Click Here (opens new window)



Sinfonia Varsovia
Warsaw, Poland
17 August 2008
Maciej Grzybowski – Piano
Jacek Kaspszyk - Conducting

00_m_grzybowski_opus_4_complete.mp3
01_m_grzybowski_opus_4_introduction_1st_mvmt.mp3
02_m_grzybowski_opus_4_passacaglia_1st_mvmt.mp3
03_m_grzybowski_opus_4_capriccio_2nd_mvmt.mp3
04_m_grzybowski_opus_4_finale_3rd_mvmt.mp3


 

Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Bregenz, Austria
22 July 2013
Maciej Grzybowski – Piano
Paul Daniel - Conducting

00_m_grzybowski_opus_4_complete2.mp3
01_m_grzybowski_opus_4_introduction_1st_mvmt2.mp3
02_m_grzybowski_opus_4_passacaglia_1st_mvmt2.mp3
03_m_grzybowski_opus_4_capriccio_2nd_mvmt2.mp3
04_m_grzybowski_opus_4_finale_3rd_mvmt2.mp3


Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra
Lublin, Poland
29 September, 2017
Maciej Grzybowski – Piano
Piotr Wajrak - Conducting

lublin_opus_4_complete.mp3
lublin_opus_4_introduction_1st_mvmt.mp3
lublin_opus_4_passacaglia_1st_mvmt.mp3
lublin_opus_4_capriccio_2nd_mvmt.mp3
lublin_opus_4_finale_3rd_mvmt.mp3

This performance is on YouTube. Click Here (opens new window)

Performances
The following is a list of the performances of the Piano Concerto - Opus 4:

1.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
London, England
28 October 1975
Radu Lupu - Piano
Uri Segal - Conducting

2.
Irish National Orchestra
Dublin, Ireland
1 October 1978
André Tchaikowsky - Piano
Albert Rosen - Conducting

3.
Irish National Orchestra
Cork, Ireland
2 October 1978
André Tchaikowsky - Piano
Albert Rosen - Conducting

4.
Hagen Symphony Orchestra
Hagen, Germany
17 November 1981
André Tchaikowsky - Piano
Yoram David - Conducting

5.
Tivoli Summer Orchestra
Copenhagen, Denmark
12 September 1986
Norma Fisher - Piano
Uri Segal - Conducting

6.
Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Kaliskiej
Kalisz, Poland
8 February 2008
Maciej Grzybowski – Piano
Adam Klocek – Conducting

7.
Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic
Bialystok, Poland
15 February 2008
Maciej Grzybowski – Piano
Nikolai Dyadiura - Conducting

8.
Sinfonia Varsovia
Warsaw, Poland
17 August 2008
Maciej Grzybowski – Piano
Jacek Kaspszyk - Conducting

9.
Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Bregenz, Austria
22 July 2013
Maciej Grzybowski – Piano
Paul Daniel - Conducting

10. Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra
Lublin, Poland
29 September 2017
Maciej Grzybowski – Piano
Piotr Wajrak -Conductor

Music Publisher
This work is published by Josef Weinberger and appears in their catalog of André Tchaikowsky published works. Click Here for a PDF copy of the André Tchaikowsky Weinberger catalog.

From the biography The Other Tchaikowsky
On August 24, 1971, André was scheduled to play the Goldberg Variations at Albert Hall Promenade concert. The music critic for the Arts Guardian, Gerald Larner, asked André for an interview. André thought Larner one of the better music critics and granted the interview. On the day of the concert, the interview was published:

Tchaikowsky Mark Two

I came across André Tchaikowsky in the street, humming to himself, his head bobbing in time not with his feet but with the imagined music, his fingers drumming on the imagined keyboard. So I asked him what he was playing. "Oh, I'm writing a piano concerto. One movement is not finished yet." When it is ready he will play it, of course, but he would rather not give the first performance: "I would get so nervous."

He gets very nervous, anyway, about playing in public. "Sometimes I wish I could drop dead before a concert." But he would never give it up. If composition is, as he said, "what makes me tick," playing the piano is what makes him tock. Even if he could earn a living as a full-time composer, he would still play the piano: "I couldn't live without it." Not that he does make money out of writing music. "I have not made a penny out of it, and I don't think I ever will."

"Who plays it?" I asked. "Practically nobody", he said. But Gervase de Peyer has played his Clarinet Sonata (published by Weinberger), the Lindsay Quartet will perform his String Quartet, and Margaret Cable has sung his cycle of Seven Shakespeare Sonnets. He has also written a violin concerto and Novello is about to publish some piano pieces called The Inventions.

Most young soloists could not find time for composition even if they had the inclination. "Writing is a pretty obsessive occupation. I don't do it when I am on tour. It is too demanding." So, in order to tick, he takes a few months off every year, usually June and July. A couple of years ago it was three winter months in the mid-season, which is professionally unheard of. In order to make sure that he is tocking properly, he also takes time off to visit "an old lady in the Lake District" who apparently has a "fantastic ear." She listens to his playing and, without concerning herself with interpretation, picks holes in his technique. "She treats me as if I were six. She's very bad for my self-confidence."

Obviously, André Tchaikowsky is no ordinary career pianist. His reputation of being "difficult" still lingers on. This has only partly to do with his musical principles - that he won't play works he is not "crazy about," like Grieg, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff concertos, which are "corny." He has doubts even about the "Emperor" and Bartok's Third, though Bartok has been one of the major influences on his own music. Bartok's Second is "just too difficult. My arms would drop off." But he plays the Schumann and Beethoven's Third and Fourth, which are his favourites outside of Mozart. "Mozart comes first every time. Most people would agree that humanity and perfection are mutually exclusive, but the exception is Mozart."

Nor is his reputation for being difficult due to the occasional awkward encounter with conductors. "I don't get on with grand old people," he admits, and prefers to work with young ones. "Old conductors are much bossier and less flexible," particularly some senior German ones who apparently like to maintain a military discipline and expect him to salute and "Jawohl" rather than discuss the interpretation. His fingers drummed on the keyboard again, and the baldish head bobbed in time.

Eventually, before he came to settle in this country, "everyone was sick to the teeth with me. They thought I played the piano rather well but they found me insufferable.” But he finds that it is only a "false situation" which brings out the worst in him. Even in England, which he regards as a "supremely civilised country -- the first in which a central-European refugee like me could feel really safe," he had a difficult time at first. He had so little work between 1960 and 1962 (having got on the wrong side of his manager) that he had to borrow money from his teacher, Stefan Askenase.

Now, however, he seems quite happy. Certainly, I found him very polite and unusually modest, with a cheerful sense of humour. The more he feels at home, the better the sense of humour works. New Zealand, for example, he regards as "Arcadia, so innocent, so unspoilt, no snobs, no rat race." And it was in New Zealand, on a recent tour with Christopher Seaman, that, for an encore, Tchaikowsky conducted the orchestra and Seaman played the piano. The orchestra was as surprised as the audience: "For heaven's sake", André told the orchestra, "don't pay any attention to me."

Another place where he is happy, and popular as a teacher, is the summer school at Dartington. "Where else can you play to an audience two-thirds of which you are sexually attracted to?" I said I didn't know. He said that once when he could not be at Dartington he sent a postcard saying simply, "I love you. Will you marry me?" They pinned it to the notice board. He was there again this summer.

Most of June, July, September, October, and December of 1971 was kept free of concerts. André was bearing down on completing a composition started in 1966.

After many starts and stops, writings and rewritings, the Piano Concerto (1966-1971) was completed in December 1971. There were occasional references to the concerto in correspondence during the years, but things really didn't start to sound conclusive until 1970. In a letter to Halina Wahlmann-Janowska on November 4, 1970, André wrote:

Dear Halinka,

The famous piano concerto is not ready yet. I should call it, "The Eternal Song," but I think it's turning out quite well. So far, four people have seen it: Stefan Askenase, Stephen Bishop [Kovacevich], Hans Keller, and George Lyward (the psychologist that I've told you so much about). Everyone was very impressed. I was most happy with Lyward's reactions because he's not a professional musician and he reacts instinctively. It appears that my music can influence someone who doesn't go into the particulars of musicological analysis, that normal human sensitivity is quite enough.

Yours, André

On occasion, André would visit the Harrison/Parrott office in London. One reason for his visits was to use their photocopy machine to make copies of his compositions. On one visit in 1970, with a great pile of papers tucked under his arm, André ran into another Harrison/Parrott artist, pianist Radu Lupu. Lupu, a man of few words, remembers his brief conversation with André:

Lupu: What are these papers?
André: My piano concerto.
Lupu: Oh, I will play it.
André: You do not know it.
Lupu: Tell me then.
André: It has a slow introduction...
Lupu: I adore slow introductions.

André couldn't believe his good fortune. He admired Lupu's piano playing and his willingness to play the concerto would practically guarantee a performance. However, it wasn't quite that easy. After more than a year of trying, Terry Harrison found no orchestra interested in this new work, partly because it was very difficult and would require extra rehearsals. In July 1973, Terry Harrison wrote to Hans Keller at the BBC asking if they might arrange a first performance. Hans sent Terry to the planner at Royal Festival Hall, and, by November 1974, a date had been set. The concerto would be played in the Royal Festival Hall by the Royal Philharmonic, conducted by Uri Segal, and the pianist, of course, would be Radu Lupu. The date was October 28, 1975.

What Radu Lupu didn't know was that the concerto was terribly difficult and would take him nearly six months to learn. Radu Lupu:

"André came to my house about two weeks before the performance. He practically moved in with me and we played day in and day out. It was wonderful help. He was the orchestra on one piano, and I was soloist on the other piano. André was so patient with me, so incredibly patient and nice to me. The concerto was his child, and he was like a father to the child. I'm not sorry now, but it was a lot of work and I swore more than a few times. Uri came by to listen and to 'conduct.' André and Uri knew each other and were already good acquaintances, but it took a while for them to warm up to each other. I was very nervous before the performance. I was green with nervousness. The concerto is very difficult, so hard to play. I used the music at the concert, but I had it memorized and only looked at it maybe a few times. I never argued with André. I knew there were some people you didn't want to be on the wrong side of, and André was one of them."

To Halina Wahlmann-Janowska, André wrote on October 14, 1975, less than two weeks before the premiere performance:

My darling, crazy, and luckily incurable genius,

On the 28th of October the first performance of my piano concerto is taking place in London. Radu Lupu is playing and Uri Segal is conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The trouble is that they only have time for one rehearsal, the day before the concert, and the music is incredibly complex. On the day of the concert, they're going to have a run-through and that's it. To make things easier for Uri, I've spent about 100 hours correcting orchestral parts, which were full of mistakes. But the concerto is so difficult that it may simply turn out to be unplayable. What am I going to do if the day before the concert the orchestra announces that it simply cannot be played? Everybody is nervous: Radu, who plays the piano part brilliantly, Uri, the orchestra, my agent, my publisher of the music score, and me.

Yours, André

The concerto was dedicated to George A. Lyward in the original manuscript, but to pianist Radu Lupu in the published version. The change of dedication may have something to so with the enormous amount of work required of Radu to learn the concerto.

The concert itself was a spectacular event in the world of pianism. Here was one of their own, who had written a concerto, and it was to receive a first performance by someone they regarded as one of the world's leading pianists. Virtually every pianist in Europe who could make the concert was there. Someone said that if Royal Festival Hall had collapsed that night, half of the world's greatest pianists would have perished.

All the London newspapers reviewed the concert. The reviewers were unaware of André's earlier piano concerto (1956-1957), hence, they called this his concerto No.1, or his first concerto. Joan Chissell of The Times reported:

RPO / Segal

In the nineteenth century, and even the early twentieth, too, there would have been nothing unusual about going to hear a new piano concerto composed by a well-known concert pianist. In fact, it would have been far more strange to encounter a performer of note not given to spare-time composing. In our highly specialised world of today, things are different. So last night's premiere of the piano concerto No.1, written by the eminent Polish-born pianist André Tchaikowsky, was an event. Perhaps because he was anxious to stress the growing ascendancy of the composer in himself over the pianist, Mr. Tchaikowsky did not play it. The soloist with the RPO under Uri Segal was Radu Lupu.

The work is in three continuous, interlinked movements lasting for about 27 minutes. No one but a virtuoso of the first order could tackle the solo part. Yet not a note is there for mere display. Piano and orchestra are as closely integrated in a disciplined, purposeful argument as in the concertos of Brahms. Although, in his introductory note, the composer let us into formal secrets (a passacaglia to begin with, followed by a scherzo-like Capriccio and a Finale combining fugue and sonata), there was little about underlying 'programme.' Yet the work is dramatic and intense enough, in an often strangely ominous, disquieting way, to suggest very strong extra-musical motivation. There are moments of melancholy just as deep and tortured as in Berg opus 1 [piano sonata]. Not for nothing is the glinting central Capriccio headed "vivace con malizia": it is a 'danse macabre' ending in catastrophic climax. Even the Finale, at first suggesting emotional order won by mental discipline, eventually explodes in vehemence before the sad, retrospective cadenza (picking up threads from the opening Passacaglia) and the hammered homecoming.

If nearer in spirit to composers of the Berg-Bartok era than the avant-garde, Tchaikowsky still speaks urgently enough in this work to make his idiom sound personal. Much of it is also strikingly conceived as sound, with telling contrasts of splintered glass and glassy calm in the keyboard part. The Capriccio is a spine-chilling tour de force for the orchestra too. In view of fantastic difficulties, the performance held together remarkably well, with Radu Lupu surpassing himself in virtuosity and commitment.

Joan Chissell's review (above) was highly influenced by Judy Arnold, André's former Personal Representative. Judy remembers:

As far as Joan Chissell's review in The Times is concerned, I have to have a laugh. Joan was a close friend. She utterly hated having to give in her copy immediately following a performance. She was much happier as a writer having her own time and space in which to develop her ideas. She was utterly not acquainted with any modern music, and didn't at all like the idea that she had been given the assignment of a new piece of music to review, and she phoned me up and asked me what she should say about the concerto before attending the performance. I, of course, didn't know anything about it, as I hadn't heard it, but I knew André's style of writing, which, at the time (and still) seemed most decidedly not-modern (if I can put it like that). There is of course nothing wrong in that. Thus, Joan's views on the concerto have got quite a lot of me in them.

Max Loppert wrote for the Financial Times:

André Tchaikowsky's Concerto

The long and glorious tradition of piano concertos written by renowned virtuosi was continued last night -- honourably, if not remarkably -- in the first performance of André Tchaikowsky's first essay in the form. Mr. Tchaikowsky, who might have been expected to produce for his own use one of those whizz-bang thunderers guaranteed to win a certain kind of immediate success, has instead composed for Radu Lupu a concerto that honestly attempts to set out a disciplined and rigorously conceived musical argument, in which all extraneous piano fireworks have been sternly abjured.

It was, from the outset, rather impressive to encounter music of this kind concerned with "strict construction" (the composer's phrase), made with clean-cut neo-classical materials purposeful and determined (the possibly unhelpful contrast with the bombast of David Morgan's new piece on Sunday was encouraged by the presence of the same orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic). At best, in the central Capriccio movement, something of an individual personality, quicksilver, angular and hard-edged, can be detected through the Stravinskyian cut-and-thrust, the late-Prokofiev flourishes and moto perpetuo passagework.

Elsewhere, in the Introduction and Passacaglia, but more so in the Finale, brandishing its fugue, sonata, and toccata, a slight greyness threatens to seep out from the basic material, a want of burning organic energy to be revealed behind the formal gestures. It will be interesting to hear the work again, with an orchestra and conductor more firmly in possession of the shifting rhythmic patterning than were the RPO and Uri Segal. An important novelty that cannot be undervalued in the concerto is the provision of a new performance personality for Radu Lupu, one much spikier and less self-possessed than he has so far disclosed in London, and rewarding to meet. On this form, forward-thrusting as well as dreamy-toned, a whole range of greater 20th-century piano concertos awaits his attention.

Edward Greenfield wrote for the Arts Guardian:

RPO / Segal

There were some, I imagine, who came to this Festival Hall concert puzzled that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra were offering the world premiere of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto. It was of course quite different music from the celebrated B-flat minor of Peter Ilych, for the pianist André Tchaikovsky is also a composer and has delivered himself of a piano concerto. For this first performance he had the rare restraint to sit in the audience and get a distinguished colleague, Radu Lupu, to play the solo part instead of himself.

"I made a determined effort not to write a 'prima donna's favourite,'" Mr. Tchaikovsky explained in his programme note, and, for the first five minutes, that seemed the understatement of the year. Like the B-flat minor concerto, the new Tchaikovsky first starts with an introduction, but in the composer's own words, 'it is slow and austere,' and the piano for three whole minutes never gets a look-in, while the thematic material for the whole work is grittily outlined. After that, flamboyance still rejected utterly, the pianist enters with a long and ruminative solo, which sets the pattern of wrong-note romanticism in gently flowing lines.

As a virtuoso, Mr. Tchaikovsky is an unashamedly flamboyant musician, but, whether to compensate or in genuine revelation of his inner self, much of this work takes quite the opposite course. Even when the first movement Passacaglia really gets going, there is little display. But then, with the Capriccio second movement (Goya's grotesque Capriccios implied as an inspiration), and even more in the sonata-fugue Finale, the composer begins to enjoy himself. The energetic last movement may be the most obviously derivative of the three, but it is also the most memorable.

Radu Lupu, dedicatee as well as soloist, was the most persuasive of advocates, but the orchestral accompaniment (including much solo string work but with only 16 violins generally working in unison and no second violin section) was difficult enough to present the RPO and Uri Segal as conductor with serious problems. At least such passages as the desolate end of the Passacaglia and the toccata-like coda of the Finale suggested that with more time for preparation, the whole structure would hang together better.

The piano concerto was one of the few exceptions to André's rule of not playing his own compositions in public. André never played his "The Inventions" in public, or his clarinet sonata, but his concerto was different. If Radu Lupu had been indisposed on the October 28, 1975, for the piano concerto, André had already memorized the work and could have stepped in at the last minute.

Terry Harrison had hopes for future performances of the piano concerto after the world premiere. In a December 1975 letter, Terry wrote to André's German manager:

Dear Hans Ulrich,

Recently the world premiere of his first orchestral work took place. This was a piano concerto, played by Radu Lupu. Incidentally, the success was very big and there are going to be two repeat performances, including a London performance in the 1977 Proms. There is also interest abroad -- I think it may be done in Stuttgart -- Previn is interested in doing it with Radu in Pittsburg, and Foster is interested in doing it in Houston.

In a January 1976 letter, Terry tried to interest Christopher Seaman and his Glasgow Orchestra, but Christopher had to refuse due to inability to give the concerto proper rehearsal time. Terry wrote letters literally for years to BBC facilities, orchestras, and conductors, trying to find a second performance. By 1977, Radu withdrew his selection as a soloist as the concerto had now slipped from his fingers. Radu, and others, so thought it a shame that a second performance was not forthcoming. Terry continued his efforts, this time promoting André as the soloist.

Finally, the Irish National Orchestra, conducted by Albert Rosen scheduled two performances, one in Dublin, on October 1, 1978, and the second in Cork, on October 2,1978. The recordings from these performances are only a few of the official recordings ever made of the concerto. The performance was reviewed by Robert Johnson of the Irish Press:

André Tchaikowsky was soloist in his own piano concerto (first performed in 1975). It is in three movements and very modem in style if a trifle episodic, and the inner movement is full of delicate and exciting ideas, particularly the percussion effects. Like many modern works it needs to be heard again, exciting as it was.

Terry continued to push for additional performances. Copenhagen had agreed to schedule the work, and finally, the BBC agreed to make a recording for a radio broadcast. The orchestra in Hagen, Germany scheduled the concerto for November 17, 1981, and again André was the soloist, with conductor Yoram David. The critical review in the Westfalenpost:

First Performance at City Hall

A very memorable event occurred last night in Hagen with a concerto performance at the City Hall. The conductor, Yoram David, presented a 1971 composition for piano and orchestra written by André Tchaikowsky, with the composer personally at the piano. This was the first German performance.

The concerto is dedicated to the famous pianist, Radu Lupu, who played the world premiere in 1975 at the London Royal Festival Hall. The concerto was presented again in Ireland, in 1978. Yoram David was excellent and the concerto is surely the best since Brahms.

A critical review in the Westfalische Rundschau (No. 270) reported:

German First Performance - Tchaikowsky

The fourth Hagen symphony concert introduced, as a German first performance, the André Tchaikowsky piano concerto. The first performance was given at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 1975. It is a masterpiece of composition.

André Tchaikowsky (age 46), especially appreciated as a Mozart virtuoso all over the world, played the piano part at the Hagen City Hall concert himself. Is the concerto calculated such that the piano part is dominant? André Tchaikowsky: "This is what I've tried to avoid. The instruments are introduced in groups and separately. The work is so polyphonic as to make great demands on every member of the orchestra."

André Tchaikowsky, who appeared very successfully as a soloist with the Hagen Symphony orchestra in 1964, played his unique concerto only twice before, both times in Ireland. Yoram David, the conductor of this event, says: "This concerto for piano and orchestra is a phenomenally good work, tremendously crafted and is without a superfluous note."

Another reviewer in the Westfalische Rundschau (No. 271) wrote:

Tchaikowsky Concerto Well Received

The audience at the fourth symphony concert heard the German premiere of the concerto for piano and orchestra by André Tchaikowsky, which was received with great applause. World experts of the piano raved about the first performance of this famous composition at the world premiere at the Royal Festival Hall in 1975.

Yoram David and the orchestra rehearsed the concerto in a short time. It is in three movements of various themes which were worked in a logical and consequential manner. After the performance, Yoram David and André Tchaikowsky offered an opportunity to discuss the work at an interview session. [André's fluent German amazed Yoram David.]

The Hagen orchestra gave the concert an excellent interpretation, including many instruments not usually heard. The theme was worked out intelligently and well considered, as Yoram David obviously enjoys the composition, giving it precise tempi and excellent sound levels.

The concerto was scheduled to be recorded by the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra conducted by Albert Rosen, with André as soloist, on March 2 and 3, 1982. Unfortunately, André was ill at the time, and the session had to be canceled. The Copenhagen performance promised by André's good friend Lars Grunth took place but not with André as soloist. The soloist was British pianist Norma Fisher. Norma had also given the first complete public performance of André's "The Inventions." The Copenhagen performance was on September 12, 1986, with the Tivoli Summer Orchestra, conducted by Uri Segal. Music critic, Jan Jacoby, wrote of the Copenhagen performance in the Politiken:

Norma Fisher with Tivoli Symphony Orchestra under Uri Segal

If it was the horror of having Bruckner's last symphony spoiled by a modernistic thriller before the intermission that made people come too sparsely to Tivoli's last, symphony concert this season, then it was due to a misunderstanding. For André Tchaikowsky's Piano Concerto is only modern from a chronological point of view.

Most noticeable was the stylistic reference, which has very little to do with the 1970s. Tchaikowsky had his ears well tuned to Central Europe around the first World War, a place between Mahler and Berg, with the rhythmic twentieth century modernism in view. Norma Fisher gave a technically impressive and strongly committed performance.

Critic Hans Voigt wrote of the Copenhagen performance in the Berlingske Tidende:

Individual Against Society

"Writing music is just another way of telling a story," pianist André Tchaikowsky, the pianist and composer, once said during a visit to Norway. He also revealed that it was Peggy Ashcroft's acting in Ibsen's "Rosmersholm" that had given him the inspiration for his piano concerto. Ibsen's description of an uncompromising hero, an individual against society, could also be seen as the lone piano against the enormous forces of the violent and complex orchestra.

But what comes through even without this background knowledge is an impressive work with much artistic and constructive strength. The concerto is a virtuoso work, without being overwhelmingly so, the whole musical development being taken from the opening slow orchestral introduction and culminating in the exceptional final closing theme.

The excellent Norma Fisher played the concerto with remarkable skill, where soloistic bravura, radiance, gentle strength and the authority of personality were united effectively.

The two Polish performances in February, 2008, featuring Maciej Grzybowski at the piano were very exciting and each concert hall in Kalisz and Bialystok were full to the last seat. Maciej rose to the difficult task at hand. In a previous 2006 concert featuring the music of Andrzej Czajkowski, the Warsaw Voice had this to say about Maciej:

Czajkowski Rediscovered

Olsztyn and Kielce will soon host two interesting concerts dedicated to the music of Andrzej Czajkowski. Last November marked the 70th birthday of the late outstanding pianist, whose achievement as a composer remains virtually unknown.

Maciej Grzybowski, one of the most interesting Polish pianists around, has decided to change this state of affairs. Fascinated with Czajkowski's music, he tries to feature Czajkowski's works into his own performances. According to Grzybowski, Czajkowski is "the greatest Polish composer after Chopin, Szymanowski and Lutoslawski, and next to Penderecki and Szymanski." "Here is an artist of phenomenal technique, extraordinary imagination, an amazing sense of musical drama, no less than brilliant intuition unmistakably leading him towards the 'yet undiscovered,' an extremely rare sensitivity to sound-its color and context-and harmonics; a master of declamation and structure showing a 'flair for the dramatic,'" says Grzybowski.

At the Olsztyn Philharmonic March 24 and the Swietokrzyska Philharmonic in Kielce April 3, Grzybowski will present a program of Czajkowski's works, accompanied by excellent musicians: Urszula Kryger-vocal, Krzysztof Zbijowski-clarinet, Marcin Suszycki-violin, and Karol Marianowski-cello. The program includes Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1959), Inventions for Piano (1961/62) and Seven Sonnets by Shakespeare for Voice and Piano (1967).

Czajkowski was born Nov. 1, 1935 in Warsaw. He studied in Poland, France and Belgium. In 1955, he garnered acclaim as the youngest laureate of the Frederic Chopin Competition. In 1956, he received the Third Prize at the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels. In the same year, he left Poland to settle in England. He was a very successful pianist, giving 500 recitals and concerts over three years, as well as making many recordings. Later he devoted himself to composition. He died in 1982 in Oxford.

A review of Maciej Grzybowski's concerto performance in Kalisz on 8 February 2008 was published by the Polska Agencja Prasowa (PAP). (Click here for the Polish version as a PDF file.)

First Time in Poland

Piano Concerto by Andrzej Czajkowski

Kalisz (PAP) - Pianist Maciej Grzybowski was rewarded with a standing ovation after his performance Friday evening in Kalisz of the piano concerto of Andrzej Czajkowski (1935-1982).

This music by Andrzej Czajkowski was performed for the first time in Poland and for only the sixth time in the world. The Kalisz Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by the Director Adam Klocek. In the first portion of the concert, music lovers heard Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No 1 in D major "Classical Symphony," Op 25, which was followed by a dance from Prince Igor, an opera by Aleksandr Borodin.

Friday's concert was one of the biggest events of the current artistic season in Kalisz. There was not one empty seat in the concert hall, located in the John Paul II Plaza. After the concerto performance, the audience was hoping for more but Director Klocek explained that due to the demands that the concerto placed on the pianist, that Grzybowski would be unable to honor the request for an encore. According to the Director, the concerto was the most difficult piece the orchestra has ever performed. The occupants in the box seats were stating that the concerto fine performance would undoubtedly go down in history.

They also underlined that Czajkowski’s music was a reflection of his difficult life. As a Jewish child during the second world war he was hidden in a closet. Later on he wanted to catch up with his lost years and - often by playing and later by composing. "His music reflects all of his life," - people were saying.

Czajkowski’s Piano Concerto was first performed by Radu Lupu and Uri Segal at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 1975, and was declared by critics at that time as the best piano concerto since the time of Bartok. A special guest at the Kalisz concert was music lover, biographer of Andrzej Czajkowski, and author of the Internet page about him - American David Ferre.

According to Adam Klocek, the concerto concert was a true Polish event. Czajkowski was a pianist playing in the largest concert halls of the world. He also recorded many records for well known recording companies. The director mentioned that while he was somewhat forgotten in Poland he still has many fans.

Czajkowski was born in Warsaw. From 1945 through 1948 he was taking piano lessons in Lodz under the instruction of Emma Altberg. Later he studied in Paris under Lazare-Levy, and next in Sopot and then Warsaw. In 1955 he received eighth place and was the youngest pianist in the Fifth International Piano Contest held in the name of Fryderyk Chopin. He also received special acknowledgment from Arthur Rubinstein.

After his success at the Chopin competition, Czajkowski traveled to Brussels. Later he performed in Europe, the United States and New Zealand with the finest orchestras of the world under conductors like André Cluytens, Karl Bohm, Carl Maria Giulini, and Carlo Zecchi. During the 1950s and 1960s Czajkowski performed 500 piano recitals with tremendous success. In 1960 he settled in London. He died in Oxford.

On August 17, 2008, the Piano Concerto was performed again by Maciej Grzybowski as part of the Chopin and his Europe Festival in Warsaw, Poland. [Click Here for a review of an October, 2009 recital by Maciej Grzybowski, at the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C. USA.] The following review for the Polityka newspaper by Dorota Szwarcman appears on her website.

Andrzej Czajkowski

Briefly, from the flames of an outstanding event on Sunday evening at the Chopin and his Europe Festival...

This is about the Piano Concerto No. 2 by the composer Andrzej Czajkowski, who lived in Great Britain for many years as André Tchaikowsky. The concerto was performed by pianist Maciej Grzybowski who tirelessly promotes the music of Andrzej Czajkowski, and with the Sinfonia Varsovia under the baton of Jacek Kaspszyk, who some years ago met Andrzej Czajkowski in London.

Although André Tchaikowsky was the hero of the "Hamlet" story from the book by Hanna Krall, Proof of Existence, this is about music, about composition. Tchaikowsky was a fantastic and well-known pianist, but apparently preferred the life of an unknown composer. In general, composing as a career is not easy, but it is even more so for Tchaikowsky because his compositions are difficult and require total commitment from the musicians.

Maciej Grzybowski is very involved in restoring, and properly placing on a concert stage, the compositions of André Tchaikowsky. To this extent, Grzybowski performs Tchaikowsky's music all over the country and plays songs [Seven Sonnets of Shakespeare], piano pieces [The Inventions], and chamber works [Trio Notturno, Sonata for Clarinet and Piano] as well as the Piano Concerto No. 2. I was at a concert once in Olszytn that was dedicated entirely to compositions by André Tchaikowsky.

For this concert, Grzybowski wrote his own program notes and I asked him if the music is physiological? For me, this is music after the world war catastrophe, which connects it to works by composers from the Terezina Concentration Camp, for example, with Gideon Klein and Viktor Ullmann. Maciej agreed that to a certain extent that - yes - this is holocaust music. Well, this is subjective. The objective is excellent musicianship by performer and composer, and it just chokes me up. For me, it's the piano concerto.

The Piano Concerto (1966-1971) Opus 4, was published by Josef Weinberger, Ltd. in 1975; a two-piano reduction by the composer was also published.