The Quatre Morceaux
, Op 3, are Bortkiewicz’s earliest published works to have survived and were probably written in 1906. The dedications of the first three pieces are a clear acknowledgement of the individuals whose influence was most important to Bortkiewicz in his early career. The first is dedicated to the pianist Alfred Reisenauer, Bortkiewicz’s teacher and mentor, and the second to the Countess d’Osten-Sacken, the wife of the Russian Ambassador in Berlin. The Countess had studied with Chopin and was an influential admirer of Bortkiewicz, though his acquaintance with such high-ranking members of Berlin society seems to have come through his wife (whose uncle, Nicolaus von Bulatzel, was the Ambassador’s advisor) rather than through his own fame. The third piece is dedicated to Madame Sophie Bortkiewicz, presumably the composer’s mother, to whom Bortkiewicz, in his memoirs, attributed his musical talent.
from notes by Stephen Coombs © 2000