No 1: Romance: Sostenuto e con molto espressione
No 2: Caprice: Allegro assai
If the first Orientale creates an impression of being somewhere in the Middle East, the second work, Caprice oriental (Allegro assai), brings the listener much closer to Constantinople. Stojowski’s ‘Turkish’ opus is a wild and exciting bacchanal, full of power and virtuosic bravura. A rhythmic ostinato leads the piece to its frenzied climax and dominates it from beginning to end.
Rafael Kammerer wrote that the work ‘… is quite remarkable and wonderfully idiomatic. It is a worthy substitute for, and welcome relief from, Balakirev’s Islamey’. This original and breathless pianistic tour de force was written for the composer’s compatriot and life-long friend, the pianist Josef Hofmann, who kept the work in his repertoire for over forty years, and added two arpeggiated A minor chords as an introduction when he performed it. (The score for this version of Caprice oriental, prepared by Fredric Dannen, is available from the University of Southern California Polish Music Center’s Website. This is the first of several planned editions of Stojowski’s music to be made available online.)
The Deux Orientales were published in 1894 by E Hatzfeld in Leipzig and London. The first is dedicated to Paul Bergon and the second to Josef Hofmann.
from notes by Joseph A Herter © 2004