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Inventions: Contemporary Music for Harpsichord Vol 2 (PFCD195) £12.50
Compositions by Stephen Dodgson and Elizabeth Maconchy
Performed by Katarzyna Kowalik
Stephen Dodgson Sonata-Divisions
1. Part I – 1 Maestoso, 2 Un poco Più Mosso, 3 Più Deciso, 4 Allegro Ma Non Troppo, 5 Giocoso, 6 Un Poco Più Vivace, 7 Poco Più Largo
2. Part II – 8 Maestoso, 9 Alla Fantasia, 10 Piacevole: Sostenuto
3. Part III – 11 Allegretto Scherzando, 12 Andante Sostenuto, 13 Nervoso, 14 Spiritoso
4. Part IV – 15 Maestoso, 16 Con Moto, 17 Maestoso
Elizabeth Maconchy Sonatina for Harpsichord
5. I Allegro moderato
6. II Allegro
7. III Lento con passione
8. IV Allegro con brio
Elizabeth Maconchy Notebook for Harpsichord
10. II Con allegrezza]
11. III Tempo libero, poco lento, espressivo
12. IV Allegro molto
Stephen Dodgson Six Inventions Set 5
13. 1 Alla Fantasia
14. 2 Calmo e Cantabile: Sostenuto
15. 3 Poco Mosso: Saltando
16. 4 Languido
17. 5 Allegretto
18. 6 Vivace
"The harpsichord used for all of the music has a rich sonority and is owned by Katarzyna Kowalik herself... Kowalik also writes a very worthwhile essay on first encountering the music of these two composers." Gary Higginson, British Music Society
Harpsichords built in the 20th century varied considerably in style and construction. Some of the earliest builders paid little attention to the light construction of surviving historic examples; the heavy casework and metal framing they introduced had a profound effect on the sound. The incorporation of a 16ft stop became common (rarely found on historic instruments) and pedal-operated stop mechanisms enabled rapid changes of registers in what became known as a colouristic style of playing. Some of the 20th-century repertoire was clearly composed with such instruments in mind. In the second half of the century, however, harpsichord makers began to adopt a more carefully researched historical approach to construction, closely and accurately replicating instruments of the past, producing a rich sonority and clarity. This in turn had an influence on the music composed during the latter part of the century. Stephen
Dodgson’s first set of six Inventions were composed in 1955 for the former type of instrument, but on the acquisition by his wife, the harpsichordist Jane Clark Dodgson, of a harpsichord by Feldberg after an 18th-century instrument by Jean-Claude Goujon, Dodgson increasingly composed with such an instrument in mind. His Sonata-Divisions date from 1982, and the fifth (and final) set of six Inventions from 1993. These two works, of which these are the first recordings, are played by Katarzyna Kowalik on her own harpsichord after Goujon, made by Andrew Garlick in 2012 – an ideal instrument for these works.
Elizabeth Maconchy composed only two works for solo harpsichord, which are recorded here for the first time. Her Sonatina, for Alan Cuckston, dates from 1965, and Notebook, for Zuzana Růžičkova, from the following year. Both were intended for a mid-20th century-style instrument with pedal-operated stop mechanism: Elizabeth Maconchy had borrowed a harpsichord by Goble to acquaint herself with the instrument before composing the Sonatina. As Katarzyna began to work on the Maconchy pieces, she found that these sounded well when played on her Goujon. Dodgson’s and Maconchy’s own musical languages, though distinctly different, do have features in common, which becomes apparent when played on the same harpsichord. The decision was therefore made to record the entire programme on Katarzyna’s Garlick / Goujon.
Recording dates and location:
St Mary’s Church Harrow-on-the-Hill, 3rd August 2021
Recording engineer and producer: Steve Plews
Digital editing and mastering: Phil Hardman
Harpsichord technician: Oliver Sandig
Booklet and packaging artwork: Pawel Szalwa
Executive producer: Andrew Mayes
We would like to thank and acknowledge the kind assistance, information and support from: Jane Clark Dodgson, Nicola LeFanu, Leonora Dawson-Bowling, Pamela Nash, Oliver Mahoney (The Maconchy Archive, St Hilda’s College, Oxford) Keith Grout (Churchwarden of St Mary’s Harrow-on-the-Hill)
We are grateful to The Stephen Dodgson Charitable Trust and The Ida Carroll Trust for financial assistance in support of this CD.
You can read more about this recording on the Prima Facie blog Recitative
Katarzyna Kowalik is a Polish/British, London-based harpsichordist performing as a soloist and with many period ensembles in the UK and across Europe. After graduating from Frederic Chopin University in Warsaw (MA in Piano with Alicja Paleta - Bugaj, Doctoral Piano Studies with Maria Szraiber, MA in Harpsichord with Władysław Kłosiewicz) she completed MMus and MPerf Degrees in Historical Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with Carole Cerasi, James Johnstone and Nicholas Parle, obtaining The City of London Corporation Award and Guildhall School Trust Award. She was also awarded Guildhall Artist Fellowship twice.
Katarzyna mastered her skills in the Piccola Accademia in Montisi studying with Christophe Rousset and Skip Sempé, as well as with Ilton Wjuniski at the Académie Musicale de Villecroze. She has performed across Poland and The United Kingdom, Germany, France, The Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and The Netherlands. In 2015 Katarzyna was a participant of the Handel House Talent Scheme. She also won a Basso Continuo Prize at the Gianni Gambi Competition in Pesaro, Italy. Katarzyna is a founder of the Royal Baroque ensemble, who were highly commended in the final of the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition (2015). They have also been awarded a grant from the Continuo Foundation in 2022.
Katarzyna’s CDs include ‘Forgotten Vienna’ with The Amadè Players (Resonus Classics) and ‘French Collection’ solo harpsichord CD. She has also recorded for BBC Radio 1.
Apart from the solo, chamber music and orchestral performance work, Katarzyna is a passionate teacher, working at the Pembridge Hall School and Morley College in London, also delivering educational projects to schools with The Mozartists’ outreach team.