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Music from Chopin’s Land

Music from Chopin’s Land is an international educational project bringing the works by Polish composers closer to students, players, teachers and audiences worldwide

Featuring the music of Paderewski, Szymanowska, Moniuszko, Kilar, Kurpiński and many more, the project has brought together pianists and pedagogues from France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the UK.

The project led to a suite of educational videos and professional recordings financed from the funds of Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the “Inspiring Culture” programme.

Andrew Eales was selected to visit Poland to present and appear in the English video tutorials. An introductory blog post outlines his participation in this exciting project:

You can also visit the PWM Music from Chopin’s Land mini site here

The Pianodao Reviews Series

Subsequently, a series of reviews on Pianodao have introduced important and popular titles from within the legendary PWM Edition catalogue of piano music, with works suitable for piano students and players of all ages and abilities.

This series has grown beyond the original titles to include all Pianodao reviews of music from PWM, new and old: a varied, extensive, inclusive, and expanding body of carefully curated music suitable for all.

These ongoing reviews are independent, not sponsored in any way, and are added to the ever-growing Pianodao Music Library.

Andrew can help you to learn and improve your playing of any of the music that is featured in the Pianodao Music Library. Find out more here.

Andrew’s book How to Practise Music is also packed with hundreds of tips to help you learn this music.

Stanisław Prószyński: Easy Pieces for Piano

While Stanisław Prószyński’s music is perhaps unlikely to finally achieve mass appeal, the more adventurous young explorer will lap up this delightful collection with enthusiasm, enjoying the composer’s zesty character, liberal doses of humour, and ingenious compositional skill.

Mirosław Gąsieniec: Album for Children

I first became aware of Gąsieniec’s educational piano music while visiting Poland as a guest of PWM Edition to film piano tutorial videos… Simply, I think these publications, and especially the stunningly presented Album for Children, are superb.

Rybicki: Young Modernist

The piano educational music of Feliks Rybicki is one of the great treasures of the pedagogic repertoire, and deserves to be known by teachers and students everywhere. This latest edition is another delight from PWM, which further enhances the impression that Rybicki is one of the most important composers of pedagogic piano music, and is a thoroughly worthwhile purchase!

Janina Garścia: Ikebana

Ikebana, which literally means “making flowers alive”, is the Japanese art of flower arranging; in addition to being one of the piece-titles included here, it makes a beautiful name for this highly intriguing (and newly reissued) piano collection…

Returning “…from Chopin’s Land”

As the series draws to a close, I would like to share a couple more books that were featured in the PWM promotion, as well as a series of three special collections which actually bear the project name, Music from Chopin’s Land. And then the punchline! I will end this final post in the series with a short reflection on the lasting lessons I have learnt about piano pedagogy following on from my visit to Chopin’s land…

Zbigniew Bargielski: A Flea Market

Bargielski’s music is yet another unmissable highlight of the PWM catalogue, the three “Flea Market” books in particular offering a kaleidoscopic view of twentieth-century music in all its range and beauty. Here’s a closer look at the first book…

Exploring Janina Garścia’s Educational Music

Janina Garścia left the world enriched with an extraordinary range of pedagogic music which deserves “classic” status, but which beyond the interests of the connoisseurs remains one of Poland’s best-kept secrets. It’s surely time for that to change! Here’s an exploration (with recordings and video tutorials) of three of her best collections:

Wojciech Kilar: Film Music for Piano

Wojciech Kilar is perhaps the best known and most respected Polish film music composer, his music not only enriching the films of renowned Polish and international directors but in many cases also finding a second life in the concert hall. To celebrate this popular music, PWM have produced two books of accessible piano transcriptions arranged by Michał Jakub Papara…

Karol Kurpiński: Polonaises

Karol Kurpiński (1785-1857) was a leading figure in the musical life of Warsaw in the early nineteenth century, and a significant inspiration to his much younger compatriot Chopin. These three Polonaises offer us a glimpse of why. Find out more in the latest article in the Music from Chopin’s Land series, which includes a video tutorial by the French pianist Ernestine Bluteau.

Łuciuk: Children’s Improvisations

Of the many excellent educational books in the PWM Edition “cat” range for young learners, Julius Łuciuk’s Children’s Improvisations for Piano is one of the most striking in every sense, from the stunning cover to the extraordinary music within. In this article I will introduce the book, as well as including the PWM tutorial video featuring my French colleague and friend Ernestine Bluteau (with English subtitles).

Discovering Chopin

Frederic Chopin is of course one of the most beloved of all piano composers, and many players are eager to play his music as soon as they possibly can; in the case of adult learners, often when they have only been learning for a few months. For pianists at any level who are keen to explore and discover the music of Chopin (and who isn’t?), Poland’s PWM Edition offer the definitive range of sheet music publications, from easier anthologies through to the world’s finest complete editions…

Krystyna Gowik: My Little World

Krystyna Gowic is a well-known composer and educator in Poland, and it’s clear from her music that she has a deep understanding and commitment to education, alongside a real artistic flair. In this article I will be considering her two collections published by PWM Edition: My Little World and My Favourites, as well as sharing the tutorial videos that I and my Japanese colleague Marie Kiyone have made to support teachers using this music…

‘The Maiden’s Prayer’ and beyond

While The Maiden’s Prayer is one of the most beloved piano pieces of all time, its composer Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska remains one of the many great female composers of the early 19th century whose music was largely ignored in the 20th. In this article I will try to find out who she was, what else she wrote, introduce a wonderful collection of her pieces from PWM edition, Memories of my Cottage, and share the tutorial video that I filmed for PWM offering tips on playing and teaching The Maiden’s Prayer itself…

The Most Beautiful Paderewski

Most piano lovers will of course have heard of Ignacy Paderewski: a seminal figure from the “golden age” of the piano whose brilliant career as a touring virtuoso was interrupted when he became Poland’s Prime Minister from 1919-21. Paderewski’s hugely appealing contribution to the solo piano repertoire fully deserves its place at the centre of the classical literature. Don’t miss it!

Feliks Rybicki: I Begin to Play

The educational composers of the early to mid twentieth century bequeathed a veritable treasure trove of seminal pedagogic repertoire, and these collections of music by Feliks Rybicki are surely among the finest gems of all. Melodically and imaginatively, they are easily the equal of Kabalevsky’s best, while they equally offer the same focus on sound production, articulation and musical detail as that other great contemporary, Bartók. And I can see a case for suggesting that Rybicki surpasses both these masters… Find out more, and watch my video tutorials filmed in post, here’s the Pianodao article:

Filming “Music from Chopin’s Land”

Back in May 2020 I received an email from my friend Tracey Connell suggesting I might be interested in a collaborative project with the legendary Polish publishing house Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne. And so began an unexpected journey…

Bacewicz: Children’s Suite

Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) is at last gaining the recognition she deserves as one of the great composers of the mid-twentieth century, her towering Second Sonata rightly applauded as one of the significant piano masterpieces of the last century. Among the composer’s many smaller-scale piano works the Suita dziecięca or Children’s Suite is a delightful highlight, its eight charming miniatures for the late-intermediate pianist a fascinating progression from the educational piano music of Bartók, Kabalevsky and Prokofiev (whose popular Musiques d’enfants appeared just one year after Bacewicz’s Suite)…

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