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Revolution, Destruction and a Nobel Prize

Chopin's Buchholtz Warsaw piano, recreated for the first time, in a concert from Polish period ensemble Collegium 1704 and pianist Krzysztof Ksiazek.

Chopin's Warsaw piano, recreated for the first time in this concert from Polish period ensemble Collegium 1704 and pianist Krzysztof Ksiazek and presented by Fiona Talkington.

Around 1815, a certified organ-maker Fryderyk Buchholtz opened a piano-making workshop in Warsaw, where a student Chopin would drop in to test his new pieces. By 1825 Chopin's family could buy and install a Buchholz instrument in their apartment, where Chopin created many of his early masterpieces including both of his piano concertos. Chopin left Warsaw in 1830, never to return, and his piano was inherited by his sister Izabella, who took it with her to her new apartment near the lavish Zamoyski Palace when she married, and where in 1863 Tsarist soldiers, in retribution for a failed assassination attempt on the Tsarist governor of Poland, ransacked the palace and nearby homes. Chopin's Buchholz piano was thrown through an upper floor window and it shattered on the pavement below.

There are so few surviving Buchholtz pianos that it has taken until now to get sufficient information together to attempt a re-creation, which is by period keyboard specialist Paul McNulty.

And there is Tchaikovksy from the 2018 Nobel Prize Concert in Stockholm. Every year there is a classical concert which happens alongside the awarding of the Nobel Prizes and last year the central work was a symphony by Tchaikovsky. The Fourth Symphony begins with a brass fanfare depicting 'Fate'. As Tchaikovsky wrote to his patron and the symphony's dedicatee Madam Nazheda von Meck: 'the fatal power which prevents one from attaining the goal of happiness ... There is nothing to be done but to submit to it and lament in vain'. In tonight's performance the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Karina Canellakis.

Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor, Op 21
Krzysztof Ksiazek (piano)
Ensemble 1705
Václav Luks

Symphony No 4 in F minor, Op 36
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Karina Canellakis

1 hour, 29 minutes

Music Played

  • Frédéric Chopin

    Concerto no. 2 in F minor, Op.21

    Performer: Krzysztof Ksiazek. Orchestra: Collegium 1704. Conductor: Václav Luks.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Mazurka no.7 in F minor, op. 7'3

    Performer: Krzysztof Ksiazek.
  • Karol Kazimierz Kurpinski

    Fugue et coda

    Performer: Krzysztof Ksiazek.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Symphony no. 4 in F minor, Op.36

    Orchestra: Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Karina Canellakis.


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