J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera Don

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J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera Don

Postby Scot Tremblay » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:27 am

Here's a pretty fine performance of J.N.Bobrowicz (1805-1881): Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera Don Juan op. 6.

Bobrowicz was a student of Giuliani so there's plenty of the masters influence in his music. The guitar is a typical Viennese early 19th century Stauffer style "Legnani" model. I'm not sure if it is original or a replica. I suspect the latter.

I hope you enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJtqpOM6aNQ
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby kefka » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:15 am

I did enjoy. Thanks for posting this and informing me of a composer completely unknown to me. I recognized the Mozart tune, and the charming variations that followed were remarkable. Quite wonderful.
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby Scot Tremblay » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:35 am

I think she did an excellent job of this piece. I find her body movements overly distracting but just listening it's great.

That duet tune from Don Juan made it's way into many sets of variations during the 19th century but this is argueably one of the more charming.

I think Bobrowitcz must have been a pretty formidable guitarist as some of his pieces are amazingly difficult. This Don Juan variations are amongst the more accessable and it's not exactly a breeze. It would be nice to see more on the modern concert stage IMO.
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby kefka » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:28 pm

Here is the score from the Danish Royal Library:

http://wayback.kb.dk:8080/wayback-1.4.2 ... BS0041.pdf

Yes, the score looks as difficult as this piece looks to play...which is difficult!

@Scot: I really love this piece, a catchy tune varied by Bobrowicz, the theme penned from the hand of the ever famous Mozart. Thank you again for introducing me to the composer Bobrowicz and this piece. I would consider this piece to be a true hidden gem; A great composition musically and virtuosically. I usually find Theme and Variation pieces quite boring, especially 19th century Theme and Variations, which are typically predictable. This piece is a rare exception, breaking the typical bordom to the genre.

If you have anymore rare fun pieces up you sleeve, please post them my way. Actually post them for all to enjoy!
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby Jacek A. Rochacki » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:13 am

Forgive me, please, this little OT and allow me to remind by the occasion of this thread, that Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz ("western" spelling: Bobrowitz - like my own name: Rochacki has been often spelled in the West as: Rochatzky - and it is perfectly OK) - was not "alone" in the circle of prominent Polish composers/virtuoso guitarists of His time. Other names are: Feliks Horecki (other spelling: Felix Horetzky), Marek Sokołowski and Stanislaw Szczepanowski. I think, that am not alone in my feeling, that contemporary Polish guitarists like mentioned at our Forum Marcin Dylla and many of His great colleagues ( like Krzysztof Pelech, Lukasz Kuropaczewski plus plenty of others - and new generation of their students) are not just in the metaphorical way "spiritual grandchildren" of the musicians who's names I indicated at the beginning.
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby kefka » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:07 am

Bobrowicz, J.N. de, born May 12, 1805, in Cracow, Poland, and was
living in Leipzig as late as 1857, after which date nothing is known
of his life. He was a pupil of Giuliani, and one of the most skilful
of Polish guitarists and composers, his abilities as an executant
rivaling those of his countryman, the renowned Felix Horetzky.
The fame of Bobrowicz does not, however, rest alone on his musical
genius, for he was a remarkable linguist and litterateur, and his
translations and editions of the Polish classical writers form a lasting
monument in proof of his abilities in this direction and his name is
regarded with the highest esteem by his countrymen for this service
rendered to his nation's prestige. At one period of his life Bobrowicz
was principal of the foreign department of a library of Leipzig.
When a youth he was sent to Vienna to receive his education, and
he remained in that city until he was fifteen years of age. While
residing in Vienna he studied the guitar and theory of music under
the celebrated Mauro Giuliani, who was at this time creating such a
sensation by his marvellous playing in that city. Young Bobrowicz's
progress under this virtuoso was phenomenal, for in the year 1821,
when but sixteen years of age, upon the departure of his guitar in-
structor, Giuliani, to Rome, the youthful musician also made his
departure from Vienna and commenced his professional career as a
•guitar teacher in Cracow, his native city. Having acquired a
reputation as a teacher and performer, he was elected a member of
the Musical Society of Cracow the year following. He was held in
universal respect and admiration by the musical inhabitants of Poland
and his services as guitarist were in frequent request, and he appeared
at all the important concerts given by native and foreign artists in
Cracow.

Bobrowicz was a most generous and sympathetic personality, and
he was ever willing to assist the indigent. His name was to be
found on all the programmes of concerts given for charitable purposes.
He obtained particular success by his playing the original guitar
part in a quintet of Paganini, which was performed in Cracow under
the leadership of the violin virtuoso, Charles Lipinski. From the
year 1821, the date of his first public appearance, till 1830, he gave
more than thirty guitar recitals, and in 1826 he commenced to com-
pose for his instrument, his first productions being published by F.
Piller.

In 1829 Bobrowicz was offered the position of Secretary to the
Cracow Senate, which he accepted ; but owing to the memorable
events of the following year he was not permitted to long enjoy this
important office. Bobrowicz was as patriotic and enthusiastic as
any of his countrymen in their endeavours to obtain their national
independence and he played no insignificant part in this Polish in-
surrection, for he immediately joined the army of his native land
and served throughout the entire struggle. For personal bravery
and military ability, displayed during the first campaign of 1831, he
was promoted to a lieutenancy and placed in command of a regiment
of horse artillery, and for his valour during the succeeding engage-
ments was awarded the Cross of Virtue. After the settlement of
affairs in 1832 he removed to Leipzig, where he once again adopted
his first profession and was engaged as guitar virtuoso in a lengthy
series of concerts held in the famous Gewendhaus of that city. At
these concerts he performed in company with the most celebrated
instrumentalists and vocalists of Europe. In the following year,
1833, he appeared at a grand concert given by Clara Wieck — after-
wards Madam Schumann. His solos upon this occasion were his
own transcriptions for the guitar of four of Chopin's mazurkas, and
he was described by the musical critics and journals as the Chopin
of the guitar.

His reputation was now established throughout Germany, and his
compositions were sought for and published by the principal editors
of Leipzig, Dresden, Vienna, Warsaw and London. Bobrowicz
was not a prolific composer for his instrument, as his published
works do not number more than forty. These consist of solos and
duos for the guitar, with violin, 'cello, and other instruments. He
is the author of a Method for the guitar published by G. Sennevald,
Warsaw, and he also translated and appended in the German
language the French edition of Ferdinand Carulli's Method, which
was published by Breitkopf & Hartel, Leipzig. After 1833 he de-
voted himself principally to literature, and founded a magnificent
establishment in Leipzig for the translation and publication of the
classic literary works of the writers of his native land. From the
year 1833 he published no less than three hundred and eighty vol-
umes of the works of various Polish authors. These included forty
volumes — pocket edition — of the classics, ten volumes of A' Armorial
of Niesieck, seventeen volumes — being the complete works of J. N.
Niemcewicz, — an edition of the Bible containing four hundred wood
engravings, and the complete works of Adam Mickiewicz and
numerous other Polish writers of renown.

The following are his most popular instrumental compositions : Themes, with variations
for guitar solo, Op. 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, 20 and 30, published by
Breitkopf & Hartel, Leipzig; Grand potpourri, for guitar, Op. 21,
Hofmeister, Leipzig; Marches for guitar solo, Op. 19 and 25,
and Rondo Brilliant, Op. 17, Breitkopf & Hartel, Leipzig;
Polonaises and Waltzes, Op. 11 and 24, also for guitar and flute;
Souvenir of Pologne, grand potpourri for 'cello and guitar, or piano,
written in conjuction with J. B. Goss ; and four mazurkas of
Chopin, for guitar solo, in addition to piano solos, waltzes, etc.,
Breitkopf & Hartel, Leipzig.
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby Scot Tremblay » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:57 am

That's good and welcome information, Jacek.

It's true, there's a massive repertoire from the "Eastern" European group of 19th century guitarist/composers that rarely gets attention these days. Although it's getting better known with more people looking into it.

Kefka asked for more "rare fun" pieces so I recommend anyone interested to look through Boije for starters and home in on any of the unfamiliar "Eastern" sounding names, for starters. (sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone. I cannot think of a better word at the moment and don't have the time to start listing names off. Have to pick up my wife from work.) Once those amazing pieces are mastered then have a look at the even more massive repertoire for the Russian seven string guitar. Matanya Ophee introduced me to it years back and now when I hear folks complain about the lack of a substantial repertoire for the classical guitar...well, I simply cannot take that complaint seriously.
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby Jacek A. Rochacki » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:27 am

I agree, Scot, that complaining on lack of music for classical guitar is, well, to be discussed. The problem may boil down to lack of information and limited number of publication. And I find your remark on first impression created by "exotic" sound of many "eastern" names most right. But many of us never felt "offended" or surprised, being aware, that we became a kind of "unknown" or even "exotic" :) also due to too long period of time from the end of the WWII until the year, when the Berlin Wall fall down. And consequences of that time.

If our activity was perceived in foreign circles as positive, enlightening, bringing contribution to general development of art, culture or science, then it was natural, that many of our colleagues, friends, cooperators, students etc. were giving us sympathetic "nicknames" that sounded more familiar in their ears. I am up to now addressed sometime by some of my dear friends: Jackie, or Hiacinto, and I absolutely accept this. Language is important part of culture, but at the same time it may be merely a tool for verbal communication, a tool to bring people together. And my name is worth as much as I was able to "make my name" by my modest achievements and the way I exist and behave.

It is so beautiful that you have mentioned Russian guitar music. Andrei Schyra (1773-1850) is, perhaps, more known, so let me, please, remind name of Nikolay Makarov (1810 - 1890) who was prominent guitarist and he is said to organize the first competition of guitar composers, virtuoso players and guitar constructors (luthiers) in Brussels in 1856. The first prize went to J.K. Mertz, second - to Napoleon Coste…

P.S. I am not surprised, that Marek Sokolowski (1818-1883)
is indicated there as Russian musician. At that time Poland did not existed as independent state and was partitioned between Russia, Austria and Prussia, so it was natural, that Poles inhabiting certain areas were Russian, Prussian or Austrian subjects. And people were migrating and often "inhaling" other then their own, brought from home culture. Many native Russians were living in Warsaw, and certain, very close to me Polish family on the end of XIXth century for one generation was living in Kiev…

P.S. II - I apologize for giving in my first version of this post links that are copyrighted; I did not know that, so I am removing these links. Please, google for site by Igor Varfolomeev on lute and classical guitar.
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby jimmyblues » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:39 pm

Scot Tremblay wrote:... Once those amazing pieces are mastered then have a look at the even more massive repertoire for the Russian seven string guitar. Matanya Ophee introduced me to it years back and now when I hear folks complain about the lack of a substantial repertoire for the classical guitar...well, I simply cannot take that complaint seriously.


I agree. I have been looking into some of the great guitar composers and have looked at Makarov's works available on Boije - they need incredible technique to play properly, and it is a project I would happily take on, as I am aware of no single recordings available of any of Makarov's compositions. I think I actually started a thread about it on this forum, about a year ago....

I emailed Matanya Ophee to see whether he could shed light on this, and in his curt manner, replied along the lines that no-one has recorded Makarov as there is much more worthwhile 7-string repertoire to record. :(

I don't agree with this, but I have still been unable to locate any recordings of Makarov's works. Too difficult, perhaps? Too obscure?

One day, perhaps....

jdc
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby Scot Tremblay » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:43 pm

Yes, Matanya isn't always the easiest to deal with but there are ways around that. The easiest might be to get him to suggest the most "worthwhile" repertoire in his opinion and take it from there. Once he gets to know you a little he'll loosen up.

You might try talking to these guys, they might have recorded some of Makarov's works. They should know of some of the Eastern European recording artists that might.

http://www.johnschneiderman.com/czarsguitars.htm

Oleg can be a bit "Russian" but a nice guy and very interesting. John is very friendly. I've also heard that Oleg has written a history of the Russian guitar and it's music but I'm not positive about that. Will have to contact him or Matanya to find out for sure.

http://www.semistrunka.com/
http://www.johnschneiderman.com/
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby kefka » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:13 pm

Scot Tremblay wrote:Yes, Matanya isn't always the easiest to deal with but there are ways around that. The easiest might be to get him to suggest the most "worthwhile" repertoire in his opinion and take it from there. Once he gets to know you a little he'll loosen up.

You might try talking to these guys, they might have recorded some of Makarov's works. They should know of some of the Eastern European recording artists that might.

http://www.johnschneiderman.com/czarsguitars.htm

Oleg can be a bit "Russian" but a nice guy and very interesting. John is very friendly. I've also heard that Oleg has written a history of the Russian guitar and it's music but I'm not positive about that. Will have to contact him or Matanya to find out for sure.

http://www.semistrunka.com/
http://www.johnschneiderman.com/

I saw Schneiderman in concert play an entire concert with a seven string guitar. It was flawlessly amazing. He sight read the entire concert though, IMHO, his only fault. I dont care for soloists that sight read, its like they arent even trying or something. I liked his 7 string guitar however. I think he played later 19th century music like Coste and someone else, i cant recall, it was over ten years ago.
I talked to him after the show and he was super nice, answering all my questions.

Hope i am not taking this conversation off topic. . .

I printed the Bobrowicz score from the online library and will attempt to read through it tonight during my studies.
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby jimmyblues » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:39 am

Scot Tremblay wrote:Yes, Matanya isn't always the easiest to deal with but there are ways around that. The easiest might be to get him to suggest the most "worthwhile" repertoire in his opinion and take it from there. Once he gets to know you a little he'll loosen up.

You might try talking to these guys, they might have recorded some of Makarov's works. They should know of some of the Eastern European recording artists that might.

http://www.johnschneiderman.com/czarsguitars.htm

Oleg can be a bit "Russian" but a nice guy and very interesting. John is very friendly. I've also heard that Oleg has written a history of the Russian guitar and it's music but I'm not positive about that. Will have to contact him or Matanya to find out for sure.

http://www.semistrunka.com/
http://www.johnschneiderman.com/


Thanks Scot - much appreciated :)

ill follow these leads

JDC
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby kefka » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:53 pm

Another Editions Orphee bit of info on Bobrowicz:

Liszt called Bobrowicz, "...the Chopin of guitar."

High Praise indeed. What a compliment.

Imagine Franz Liszt reviewing you in concert, and then he writes a review about you, you read the review and someone with his stature and notability calls you Chopin of the guitar. WOW.
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Re: J.N. Bobrowicz Grandes Variations sur un Duo de l´Opera

Postby Catire » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:41 pm

Her name, by the way, is Dana Memioglu. I agree about her schmaltzy gestures , but I'm willing to overlook that if it comes with a preformance of this calibre.
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