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A Recital


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DAVID WISE (violin)
JAN SMETERLIN (pianoforte)
JAN SMETERLIN was born in Bielsko, Poland. As is not uncommon with that nation of musicians Smeterlin began his career as a child; at the age of eight he was appearing as solo pianist accompanied by an orchestra. In the eyes of his father, this looked ominous ; the boy might conceivably grow up to be a genius, and geniuses, as is well known, make no money ; so he was set to study law. Young Jan thought otherwise and, unknown to his father, competed for a scholarship at the Vienna Meisterschule and, having won it., settled in his own mind what he would be. His first intention was to become a conductor, but so admirable a pianist was he already, that his masters dissuaded him from his first intention and pinned him to a second-that of becoming a pianist. He was about to make his début when the War intervened, and his public career dates actually from 1919. Since then he has been acclaimed in every European country and in more than one continent. As a virtuoso his tastes are catholic; naturally, being a Pole, he inclines to Chopin and his Chopin playing is, as listeners know, extraordinarily beautiful. But his sympathies are not confined to the romantic, or even to the classical schools. He is an ardent modernist and plays the music of his own generation with the understanding appreciation of a contemporary. It is significant that he is fluent in several languages, for his musical tastes are as fluent in as many idioms.
WIENIAVSKI, the son of a doctor in Poland, showed his musical bent so early that at the age of eight he was allowed to enter the Conservatoire in Paris, winning the first prize for violin playing when he was only eleven. Most of his busy life was spent in concert tours, and even after his health was failing, he continued to make brilliantly successful appearances. In one of his last concerts he was seized by sudden illness and had to break off; Joachim, who was in the audience, stepped on to the platform and, taking Wieniavski's fiddle, finished the piece, to the delight of the audience. His own mastery of the instrument was so complete that his music for it is difficult and brilliant, demanding fine execution; it is all, however, so admirably suited to the violin that its popularity is inevitable.


Violin: David Wise
Pianoforte: Jan Smeterlin
Unknown: Jan Smeterlin

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Feedback about A Recital, National Programme Daventry, 21.35, 1 March 1934
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