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Szymański has called his treatment of borrowed or self-constructed material ‘surconventionalism’. Others might use the term ‘postmodernism’. His sources may stretch back to the medieval tune ‘L’homme armé’ (as in Lux aeterna, 1984) or to a more recent mazurka by Karol Szymanowski (in the Sonata). The Piano Concerto (1994), with the jazz syncopations of the first movement complemented by the quiet and extremely drawn-out polyphony of the second, is an example of Szymański’s fondness for bipartite structures. His range—from aphoristic pieces to extended works like his opera Qudsja Zaher (2005, premiered 2013)—constantly surprises, as do his often quixotic titles (such as Four Hevelian Dances for organ and two positive organs, 2011) and his reluctance to say anything about his music.
from notes by Adrian Thomas © 2015