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Elzbieta Stefanska-Lukowicz is a major Polish harpsichordist. She was born in Cracow to a family that can boast several generations of musicians. When 11 she already began appearing as a pianist with the orchestras in Warsaw, Cracow and Wroclaw. Her piano teacher was her father, Prof. Ludwik Stefanski at the Higher School of Music in Cracow, and she learned harpsichord playing with Prof. Hans Pischner in Berlin.
1964 was a lucky year for Elzbieta Stefariska-Lukowicz. At the Competition of Early Music in Lodz she won two first prizes: in the piano and harpsichord sections. She soon added another success to that achievement when, a year later, she won the special Henri Ghez prize “for the best harpsichordist” at the International Harpsichord Competition in Geneva.
It was the starting point of her brilliant international career, marked soon by her concerts in Berlin, Cologne, Weimar, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Geneva and Paris. She appeared along with such celebrities as Ralph Kirpatrick, Gegore Malcolm and Isolda Ahlgrimm. In 1970 Elzbieta Stefanska-Lukowicz was also member of the jury at the International Harpsichord Composition in Munich. For many years she has been combining her activities of a concert harpsichordist with teaching at the state Higher School of Music in Cracow.
For this record of hers Elzbieta Stefanska-Lukowicz has chosen classical harpsichord concertos in whose interpretation she is partenered here by the Chamber Orchestra of the National Philharmonic, conducted by Karol Teutsch.
The already forgotten French composer and organist, Michel Corrette, was born in Paris (in the Saint-Germain area) in 1709 and died in 1795. He was an organist and initially played at the Sainte Marie Madeleine church in Paris then was cantor a Jesuite college, and towards the end of his life court musician to Prince d’Angouleme.
His music was popular and fashionable in the 18th century and it included instrumental concertos, divertimenti, symphonies, cantatas, motets, Masses and even a ballet. Of all these works only charming three-movement Harpsichord Concerto in D minor is still played and can be also heard on this record.
A Composition also a little forgotten is Mozart’s Harpsichord Concerto in D major KV’107 No. 1. This is not however an original piece but an arrangement of Johann Christian Bach’s Piano Sonata. In the summer or autumn of 1765, the ten-year-old Mozart, as Alfred Einstein is telling us, “was practicing the concerto form on the melodies of Johann Christian Bach”. Fascinated by his sonatas, he arranged three of them for his concerts. By distributing their original texture between the soloist and the accompanying orchestra he created here well-balanced and clearly written composition.
The harpsichord Concerto in D major by Joseph Haydn, written around 1782, is a work willingly played both by the harpsichordists and pianists. In spite of its simplicity, and even a certain economy of virtuoso devices, it is a piece of genuine beauty and also quite original. Its classical structure consists of three movements: the rhythmic Vivace, songful Adagio and the effective Rondo, described by the composer as being “in the Hungarian style”.
Haydn / Corrette / Mozart – Concertos para Cravo
1 J.Haydn. Concerto in D major. 1.Vivace.mp3
2 J.Haydn. Concerto in D major. 2.Un poco Adagio.mp3
3 J.Haydn. Concerto in D major. 3.Rondo all’Ungherese — Allegro assai.mp3
4 M.Corrette. Concerto in D minor. 1.Allegro.mp3
5 M.Corrette. Concerto in D minor. 2.Andante.mp3
6 M.Corrette. Concerto in D minor. 3.Presto.mp3
7 W.A.Mozart. Concerto in D-major KV 107 No.1. 1.Allegro.mp3
8 W.A.Mozart. Concerto in D-major KV 107 No.1. 2.Andante.mp3
9 W.A.Mozart. Concerto in D-major KV 107 No.1. 3.Tempo di Menuetto.mp3
Elzbieta Stefariska-Lukowicz, harpsichord
Chamber Orchestra of the National Philharmonic