Scharwenka, Franz Xaver (1850-1924)

Franz Xaver Scharwenka

born: 6 January 1850
died: 8 December 1924
country: Poland

Franz Xaver Scharwenka was born on 6 January 1850 at Samter, near the Polish city of Poznan, which was then in East Prussia. Both Xaver and his older brother Philipp (1847–1917) showed early signs of musical talent and were much encouraged by their father in their first music lessons.

In 1865 the Scharwenka family moved to Berlin where the two brothers were enrolled at Theodor Kullak’s Neue Akademie der Tonkunst. Xaver made rapid progress, studying the piano with Kullak himself, a pupil of Carl Czerny, and composition with Richard Wuerst who in turn had studied with Mendelssohn in Leipzig. This formal musical education, together with his own natural ability and dedication, ensured Scharwenka’s success as both pianist and composer, and in 1869, a year after his pianistic debut at the Berlin Singakademie, his first compositions were published. Before 1874, when he took up a career as a travelling virtuoso, he had already been on Kullak’s teaching staff for some five years as professor of piano, and the experience thus gained was to prove invaluable in later years when he turned his attentions more to teaching, opening his own conservatory in Berlin in 1881, and subsequently a branch in New York in 1891 following his successful American debut. By the middle of the 1890s that institution had become one of the world’s largest, universally acknowledged as offering the highest quality of musical education.

It was the outbreak of war in 1914 which forced Scharwenka’s retirement from the international concert platform after some forty years, during which time he had achieved the highest reputation worldwide, not only as a pianist of exceptional quality but also as a fine all-round musician, receiving numerous decorations and orders from most of the crowned heads of Europe, as well as many honours from various educational institutions. The last few years of his life were spent in semi-retirement in Berlin, where he died, a much respected man, in December 1924.

from notes by Martin Eastick

Albums

Scharwenka & Rubinstein: Piano Concertos
Studio Master: CDA67508Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Scharwenka & Sauer: Piano Concertos
CDA66790
Scharwenka: Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 3
CDA67365
Scharwenka: Piano Music, Vol. 1
CDH55131Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Scharwenka: Piano Music, Vol. 2
CDH55132Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Scharwenka: Piano Music, Vol. 3
CDH55133Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Scharwenka: Piano Music, Vol. 4
CDH55134Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Scharwenka: The Complete Chamber Music
CDD220462CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings
APR7501Download only
Rubinstein & Scharwenka: Piano Concertos
Studio Master: CDA67508Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Sauer & Scharwenka: Piano Concertos
CDA66790
Stephen Hough's Spanish Album
Studio Master: CDA67565Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2
This album is not yet available for downloadHYP202CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted

Complete works available for download

Barcarolle in E minor, Op 14Seta Tanyel (piano)
Cello Sonata in E minor, Op 46aColin Carr (cello), Seta Tanyel (piano)
Drei Klavierstücke, Op 86Seta Tanyel (piano)
'Eglantine' Waltz, Op 84Seta Tanyel (piano)
Five Polish Dances, Op 3Seta Tanyel (piano)
Four Polish Dances, Op 47Seta Tanyel (piano)
Four Polish Dances, Op 58Seta Tanyel (piano)
Impromptu in D major, Op 17Seta Tanyel (piano)
Novelette und Melodie, Op 22Seta Tanyel (piano)
Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor, Op 32Marc-André Hamelin (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Michael Stern (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op 56Seta Tanyel (piano), Radio Philharmonie Hannover des NDR, Tadeusz Strugala (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 3 in C sharp minor, Op 80Seta Tanyel (piano), Radio Philharmonie Hannover des NDR, Tadeusz Strugala (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 4 in F minor, Op 82Stephen Hough (piano), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Foster (conductor)
Piano Quartet in F major, Op 37Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Ivo-Jan Van Der Werff (viola), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)
Piano Sonata No 1 in C sharp minor, Op 6Seta Tanyel (piano)
Piano Sonata No 2 in E flat major, Op 36Seta Tanyel (piano)
Piano Trio No 1 in F sharp minor, Op 1Seta Tanyel (piano), Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Colin Carr (cello)
Piano Trio No 2 in A minor, Op 45Seta Tanyel (piano), Levon Chilingirian (violin), Garbis Atmacayan (cello)
Polonaise in C sharp minor, Op 12Seta Tanyel (piano)
Polonaise in F minor, Op 42Seta Tanyel (piano)
Romanzero, Op 33Seta Tanyel (piano)
Scherzo in G major, Op 4Seta Tanyel (piano)
Serenade for violin and piano, Op 70Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Seta Tanyel (piano)
Six Waltzes, Op 28Seta Tanyel (piano)
Sonatine in E minor, Op 52 No 1Seta Tanyel (piano)
Two Polish Dances, Op 29Seta Tanyel (piano)
Valse-caprice in A major, Op 31Seta Tanyel (piano)
Variations for piano, Op 48Seta Tanyel (piano)
Variations on a theme by C H, Op 57Seta Tanyel (piano)
Violin Sonata in D minor, Op 2Lydia Mordkovitch (violin), Seta Tanyel (piano)
Zwei Erzählungen am Klavier 'Legends', Op 5Seta Tanyel (piano)
Zwei Klavierstücke, Op 65Seta Tanyel (piano)

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

Barcarolle in E minor, Op 14 (Scharwenka)
Cello Sonata in E minor, Op 46a (Scharwenka)
Drei Klavierstücke, Op 63 (Scharwenka)
Drei Klavierstücke, Op 86 (Scharwenka)
'Eglantine' Waltz, Op 84 (Scharwenka)
Erzählung in D flat major: Langsam und zart  
Erzählung in F major: Sehr schnell bewegt  
Five Polish Dances, Op 3 (Scharwenka)
Four Polish Dances, Op 47 (Scharwenka)
Four Polish Dances, Op 58 (Scharwenka)
Impromptu in D major, Op 17 (Scharwenka)
Menuett  
Moderato  
Novelette und Melodie, Op 22 (Scharwenka)
Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor, Op 32 (Scharwenka)
Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, Op 56 (Scharwenka)
Piano Concerto No 3 in C sharp minor, Op 80 (Scharwenka)
Piano Concerto No 4 in F minor, Op 82 (Scharwenka)
Piano Quartet in F major, Op 37 (Scharwenka)
Piano Sonata No 1 in C sharp minor, Op 6 (Scharwenka)
Piano Sonata No 2 in E flat major, Op 36 (Scharwenka)
Piano Trio No 1 in F sharp minor, Op 1 (Scharwenka)
Piano Trio No 2 in A minor, Op 45 (Scharwenka)
Polonaise in C sharp minor, Op 12 (Scharwenka)
Polonaise in F minor, Op 42 (Scharwenka)
Romanzero, Op 33 (Scharwenka)
Scherzo  
Scherzo in G major, Op 4 (Scharwenka)
Serenade for violin and piano, Op 70 (Scharwenka)
Six Waltzes, Op 28 (Scharwenka)
Sonatine in E minor, Op 52 No 1 (Scharwenka)
Spanisches Ständchen  
Two Polish Dances, Op 29 (Scharwenka)
Valse-caprice in A major, Op 31 (Scharwenka)
Variations for piano, Op 48 (Scharwenka)
Variations on a theme by C H, Op 57 (Scharwenka)
Violin Sonata in D minor, Op 2 (Scharwenka)
Vivace con fuoco  
Zwei Erzählungen am Klavier 'Legends', Op 5 (Scharwenka)
Zwei Klavierstücke, Op 65 (Scharwenka)