Piotr Janowski about himself

February 5, 2011   |   PIOTR JANOWSKI


A short description of my own career and studies upon Henryk Wieniawski’s compositions.

The first piece by Henryk Wieniawski which I encountered in my youth (I was then 8 or maybe 9 years old and I was starting to play violin) was Chanson polonaise op12. No 2. I remember how fascinated I was by this composition, which appeared to me ravishing and magnificent. After all, this work stays with me until today. I was then a pupil of professor Henryk Nowak who stimulated my imagination and my temperament.

As I see it today, he was inspiring in me an improvisational approach to music on the canvas of melody stylized on a folk melody; taking into account my instrumental skills of that time. Back then, I had been playing violin for a year… Usage of a catchy melody was the favourite trick of post-romantic composers. Also primary education, to this day relies on this rule. Recalling that I think that professor Nowak was developing my musical and esthetical skills in the right direction since the beginning.

Studying under Irena Dubiska I was not only discovering other pieces of Henryk Wieniawski but also I met a man who remembered Wieniawski’s concerts in Saratów in the year 1879 or 1880! He was a nice old man who was claiming with affection in his voice that such a pitch which Henio (it is a short from Henryk) had, nobody else had. I remember this today as well as the situation when Mieczysław Horszowski used an argument which was not to be rebutted “Brahms told me”.