Franz Xaver Scharwenka


He was born in the middle of the XIXth century in Szamotuły. His father was German, and his mother – Polish. He completed his primary and secondary education in Szamotuły and Poznan, but he studied music in Berlin, where the Scharwenkas moved when Franz Xaver was a teenager. It is also there, where he began his career as a pianist and a composer and soon conquered Europe and South America (his opera Mataswintha was performed at the Metropolitan Opera). His works are well-know across the world, however, in Poland they are only being rediscovered.

In his music one can hear the rhythms of mazurkas, obereks, krakowiaks and polonaises which points to Polish traditions and the passion for Frederic Chopin’s music as the sources of his inspiration. It will suffice to buy his latest album published by Naxos to find out about it on one’s own. Scharwenk’s compositions performed by the pianist and the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra under the conduction of Łukasz Borowicz were recorded at the University Hall at Adam Mickiewicz University – the concert hall of the Poznan Philharmonic.

Francois Xavier Poizat 1,4
Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra 1,2,3
Łukasz Borowicz 1,2,3

Piano Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 82 1

1. I. Allegro patetico

2. II. Intermezzo: Allegretto molto tranquillo

3. III. Lento maestoso

4. IV. Allegro con fuoco

5. Mataswintha – Opera: Overture 2

6. Cello Sonata in E minor, Op. 46: II. Andante religioso

(arr. for harp, organ and strings, Op.46a) 3

Polish Dances, Op. 3 (excerpts) 4

7. No. 1 in E flat minor

8. No. 8 in B flat minor

9. No. 15 in B flat major

Total Playing Time: 01:07:28

Publishers: F.E.C. Leuckart, Leipzig (tracks 1-4), Breitkopf & Härtel (track 5), The Fleischer Collection

(track 6) and C. Fischer, New York (tracks 7-9).

Recorded at the Auditorium of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland,

from 14th to 19th September, 2009.

Producer: Wojciech Nentwig

Engineer: Andrzej Solczak

Booklet Note: Marlena Gnatowicz

Cover Image: The Cathedral in Poznań, the Greater Poland, (photo: Piotr Skórnicki)