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  Solving an enigma
The Sensuality of Szymanowski
Wednesday 8 June 2005

Anderszewski's latest CD has just been released by Virgin Classics. It features solo piano works by the Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937), whose music Anderszewski has championed for nearly a decade.

Anderszewski began to programme Szymanowski's music after some years spent performing Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and the Variations of Anton Webern. It was a journey from late Beethoven and the fastidious sound world of the second Viennese school to something extravagant, rich and wayward. Szymanowski's sensuality and sheer exuberance have proved irresistible to Anderszewski.

The new release includes three works written between 1915 and 1917 - Métopes, Masques and the Piano Sonata No 3. The Métopes and Masques are sets of poèmes with evocative titles - ravishing studies in sonority which show Szymanowski at his most sophisticated. The Sonata No 3 is, according to Anderszewski, a 'post-late-romantic' piece, multi-layered and conceived on a grand scale. The choice of works means there's a lot to explore on this disc, and much to be seduced by.

June is to be a Szymanowski feast. Not only will Anderszewski's new disc appear in the shops, but he will perform a variety of Szymanowski's solo and chamber works in both Paris and London. Those interested in doing a mini-survey of the composer's music may find this is the perfect time to start.

Update: If you couldn't attend the concerts in Paris, France Musiques will be broadcasting them online on 15, 16 and 17 June. For more details, click here

Want a quick overview of Szymanowski? Listen again to BBC Radio 3's Music Matters, whose 12 June edition included a feature on the composer. With contributions from Anderszewski and others.

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