The composers Jakub Golabek and Karol Kurpinski represent two different phases of the Classical era in Polish musicthe early and latest phase. The difference in style between their works is huge, ably demonstrated on this recording featuring the Orkiestra Historyczna [oh!] and Lorenzo Coppola on period clarinet.
The Classical era occurred during one of the most difficult periods in the history of Poland, when independence was being torn piecemeal from the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania year on year, until finally it was erased from the maps of Europe.
A composer as an artist could not compare with a poet or a portrait painter during this time - he was a player, a copier of sheet music, sometimes a 'master' and up to the start of the nineteenth century, Polish composers were virtually anonymous figures.
Jakub Golabek was born around 1739, presumably in Silesia, but we don't know exactly where. He arrived in Krakow as a singer and was given a place in the ensemble of St Mary's, and possibly also in the Jesuit ensemble attached to the church of SS Peter and Paul.
From 1781 to 1787 he taught at a music school which he also ran. From 1774 he was a member of the cathedral chapel, held in high regard by the chapter and by his fellow musicians. During the twentieth century, several of his symphonies were discovered in various parts of Poland.
At one time, they were played by church ensembles, which up to the beginning of the nineteenth century were the main performers of symphonic music on Polish soil.
Today we know of five symphonies by Jakub Golabek: three in D major, one in C major and one in B flat major. Yet there could have been more. Four of them are recorded on this disc.
They are accompanied by the Partita in C major for 2 clarinets, 2 horns and 2 bassoons, dating from 1770.
In the period immediately prior to the era of Fryderyk Chopin, several outstanding Polish composers of the previous generation were active, including Karol Kurpinski.
Kurpinski was a journalist, publisher, translator of theoretical works and teacher, but above all a composer. Up to 1840, he wrote 27 operas and melodramas of considerable musical quality, but he had no luck with librettos. In 1820 Kurpinski began composing a Concerto for clarinet and orchestra. He only completed it in May 1823, in Paris, during an eight-month tour of European theatres.
It is performed on this new recording by Lorenzo Coppola who studied with Eric Hoeprich at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He now teaches historical clarinet in Barcelona and appears in various ensembles including the Orchestra of the 18th Century and Le Petite Band.
- Karol Kurpinski: Clarinet Concerto In B Flat Major
- Jakub Golabek: Symphony In C Major
- Symphony In D Major No. 2
- Symphony In B Flat Major
- Symphony In D Major No. 1
- Partita In C Major For Brass Ensemble