The three movements of Mythes
Op 30 (1915) were a product of the composer’s collaboration with Kochanski, to whose wife Szymanowski inscribed them. Writing to her in 1930, he was to claim that he and Kochanski had created ‘a new … mode of expression for the violin’. Christopher Palmer has interpreted this as meaning that the wide range of playing techniques and timbres employed in Mythes
is never a virtuoso end in itself, but simply an integrated means of giving rise naturally to what the composer already wished to say. Szymanowski, he states, ‘removes the element of self-consciousness from virtuosity’. Certainly the virtuosity is as refined in nature as the music itself, in that the violin and piano parts interact seamlessly, demanding great intuitive subtlety and telepathy from both players.
from notes by Francis Pott © 2009