Mieczyslaw Karlowicz: Symphony in E minor

Mieczyslaw Karlowicz - Symphony in E minor

Last updated Mar 3, 2020 | Published on May 17, 2019

Written by Gianmaria Griglio

Mieczyslaw Karlowicz was a polish composer and conductor. He died very young, at the age of 33, and, unfortunately, most of his music got lost during World War II.
However, what’s left testifies the stature of this musician, perfectly comfortable between Chopin and Szymanowsky.

Here’s a recording of his Symphony in e minor, op.7, with the Polnisches RSO conducted by Lukasz Borowicz.


Karłowicz started working on the piece while he was still studying in Berlin: the symphony belongs to his academic period with the orchestration particularly influenced by Tchaikovsky’s symphonic model. Quoting polish musicologist Leszek Polony “Karłowicz here still willingly operates with various sound blocks of entire instrumental groups, treating them in a choral manner, with tight chordal pillars”.

Even though it’s an early piece, it’s interesting to note how the musical material is treated and how fresh it sounds: it’s the landmark of a great musician who, despite masters like Tchaikovsky and Wagner casting a big shadow, found a way to develop his own musical language with an extremely rich and colorful orchestration.


Gianmaria Griglio

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