01-12a: Szymanowski Violin Concertos : Zehetmair / Rattle 1996 - Wagner Parsifal : Windgassen / Knappertsbusch Bayreuth 1951 - Stravinsky Chamber Works - Carissimi Oratorios / Roland Wilson 2003

Not shown: John Eccles, Michael Gottard Fischer, Koos van de Griend & Hervey Alan

1674 – Giacomo Carissimi (Italian composer & priest)
1735 – John Eccles (English composer)
1765 – Johann Melchior Molter (German composer & violinist)
1829 – Michael Gottard Fischer (German organist & composer)
1893 – Karl Hill (German baritone, creator of Alberich in the Ring cycle & Klingsor in Parsifal)
1921 – Gervase Elwes (English tenor)
1933 – Václav Suk [Вячеслав Сук] (Czech violinist, conductor & composer, active in Poland, Ukraine & Russia)
1934 – Paul Kochanski [Paweł Kochański] (Russian-born Polish violinist, composer & arranger, active also in the U.K. & U.S.)
1950 – Koos van de Griend (Dutch composer)
1953 – Simeón Roncal (Bolivian composer)
1958 – Arthur Shepherd (American composer & conductor)
1962 – Richard de Guide (Belgian composer)
1982 – Hervey Alan (English bass-baritone, creator of Mr. Redburn in Britten's Billy Budd)

The presence of the Szymanowski disc is thanks to his close friend Paweł Kochański, who performed the composer's works for violin and piano with him many times, collaborated with him on the violin parts of both his concertos, and was the dedicatee of those works and several others Szymanowski wrote for him.

The link above will take you to a scholarly article detailing Kochański's various collaborative efforts with composers. These efforts also produced works such as Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1, and violin sonatas by Arnold Bax and Ernest Bloch. Works dedicated to Kochański also include the violin/piano version of Stravinsky's Suite Italienne, which consists of material from Pulcinella, Stravinsky's 1920 ballet based on music (at the time thought to have been written) by Giovanni Pergolesi.

When Kochański was helping Szymanowski with his Second Concerto, he was already sick with the cancer that would cut his life short at the age of 47. Still, he forged ahead and gave the premiere of the work. Szymanowski's score, published after his friend's death, contained a moving dedication to him. The pall-bearers at Kochański's funeral, held at the Juilliard School, included Arturo Toscanini, Frank and Walter Damrosch, Jascha Heifetz, Vladimir Horowitz, Serge Koussevitzky, Efrem Zimbalist, Sr., and Leopold Stokowski.

No less affecting was the passing of the great concert and recital tenor Gervase Elwes, who perished hours after a horrific accident at a railway station in Boston when he leaned over too far as he attempted to return to the conductor an overcoat which had fallen off a train. His death was mourned all over Britain, and concerts in his memory took place across the nation. Edward Elgar wrote "my personal loss is greater than I can bear to think upon, but this is nothing - or I must call it so - compared to the general artistic loss - a gap impossible to fill - in the musical world."


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