This video was made at ‘Polish Music Day at the Wigmore Hall with Jennifer Pike and Friends’ on 14 October 2017.

Featuring violinists Jennifer Pike, a former BBC Young Musician, and Thomas Gould, these four short duets written in 1945 by Grażyna Bacewicz are named:

  • Praeludium
  • Kujawiak
  • Nokturn
  • Marsz Groteskowy

The programme note from the concert (©Paul Griffiths 2017) reads:

‘One of the foremost Polish composers of the generation around Lutosławski, Grażyna Bacewicz was born in Łódź to a Lithuanian father and a Polish mother. She studied composition and violin at the Warsaw Conservatory, going on to Paris for lessons with Nadia Boulanger in 1932-3. Before the Second World War she earned her living in Poland as an orchestral violinist; later she taught at the conservatory in her native city. Her large output includes seven violin concertos and seven string quartets. Coincidentally also seven in number, the violin duets she wrote in 1945 are, like Bartók’s collection, teaching material that exceeds its brief, and does so in two dimensions, being amply suited to life in the recital hall and, back home in the studio, introducing young players to a touch of modernity. Even in these miniatures, Bacewicz’s discipline is in evidence. “I walk quite alone”, she wrote to her composer brother around this time, “because I mainly care about form in my compositions”.