Thursday 6 June 2019. 2-3:30pm, Roy Barnett Hall.
Lecture Recital: Exoticism and Parable in Szymanowski’s Masques
Mikolaj Warsznski, University of Alberta
This lecture-recital will focus on the analysis of the piano cycle, Masques Op.34 (1915), by the twentieth century Polish composer, Karol Szymanowski. As a result of his voyages to the Mediterranean in 1914, the fascination with classical antiquity and eastern cultures led to the creation of Szymanowski’s unique compositional idiom in the works of 1914-18. Alongside the profusion of musical influences within the European milieu before the First World War, Szymanowski draws on a variety of ‘exotic’ sources. In writing his piano cycle Masques, Szymanowski conceived his triptych of tone poems as musical parodies in the spirit of Commedia dell’arte. The three piano pieces are programmatic and infuse the narrative with vivid musical imagination: Sheherezade, Tantris the buffon and Don Juan’s Serenade.