- Chopin Nocturne No. 20 perf. by Wladyslaw Szpilman - "The Pianist" - Original Recording
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- The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45
Chopin Nocturne No. 20 perf. by Wladyslaw Szpilman - "The Pianist" - Original Recording
The academy "appreciated the fate that befell my father, the total degradation of a well-known artist under war conditions," said Andrzej Szpilman , a doctor who lives in Europe and who attended the Academy Award ceremony in Los Angeles. The film tells the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman , a Jewish pianist in Warsaw. It won three Oscars: best director; best actor, and best adapted screenplay.
El pianista wladyslaw szpilman pdf download
Wednesday, March 26, Grim calling the film, "undoubtedly the greatest Holocaust film of all time," adding "'The Pianist' is a testament to the indefatigable spirit of life that refuses to go gentle into the night.
How war transforms 'Pianist' For all of its devastating power, Roman Polanski's film The Pianist reaches a point where it doesn't entirely ring true. How could anybody emerge from five horrific years of hard labor and starvation in World War II Warsaw with such clean, crisp, emotionally unclouded renditions of Chopin?
The real-life Wladyslaw Szpilman, whose memoir was the basis of the film, didn't play that way. Even before hearing the two Szpilman discs that have hit the market amid the two-Oscar success of The Pianist, seasoned music lovers could have predicted that.
Polish pianism of that period is more about shade than light. But anyone can understand that artistic expression, even the supposedly stationary world of classical music, cannot exist in a demilitarized zone, standing apart from world events.
Performances conceived, delivered and heard during a state of crisis, or in its aftermath, can be hugely different from those that are not.
Szpilman's fellow musicians - whatever side they were on during the war - changed so much over the s and after that the great masterpieces they performed seemed to rewrite themselves. You can hear it in before-and-after recordings, in which one conductor beefed up the militaristic brass, and another found a conduit for psychic pain in the music's dissonances.
Similarly, the world changed after Sept.
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How the current war will change what we hear remains to be, well, heard. You could argue that such changes have most to do with how we hear. But this is only partially true. I made a point of listening to the Szpilman discs one from the independent label BCI Eclipse and the other from the German branch of Sony Classical before and after seeing the film.
What I heard didn't change, but the film explained a few things. Szpilman, who died three years ago, was an artist of sterling pedigree, which all but guarantees his recordings won't be a redux of the David Helfgott-style compromised pianism heard in the wake of the film Shine. No, from the first notes of both Szpilman discs, you hear poetic, Old-World rubato and that warm blanket of piano tone that's missing from the film's soundtrack performances by Janusz Olejniczak.
Most arresting is a reading of Schumann's Fantasy in C major, the middle movement, which reaches an utterly singular, harrowingly intense climax. Nobody can really say this reflects Szpilman's wartime hardships, but my intuition tells me, unmistakably, that only someone who has paid rent in the abyss could conceive such phrase readings. Nearly identical in their selection of works, the two discs differ mainly in Sony's inclusion of a CD-ROM video feature of the aging Szpilman playing Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor in That's where the film offers needed context.
The dignity of the pianist's manner has infinitely more impact if you know that this is the piece he was playing when Polish Radio was destroyed by the Nazis and that he returned to five years later, after the Nazis had been destroyed.
Without asking for the slightest bit of sympathy, he was recreating a moment that was emblematic for his country and all Jewish survivors of World War II. The Economist - Our reviewers' favourites The decision was announced by author and broadcaster Frank Delaney, chairman of the judges, who had selected it earlier this evening from a shortlists of four titles: "When you read this book - and you must read it - you will never forget it. The subtext asks whether good people were on the side of the evil people and shows how the human spirit is enlarged by the knowledge of such people.
The talented Pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman gave, with great success, a concert in the auditorium of the music conservatory on the 22nd of this month. Inside his sitting room there are shelves of old books, a Bieder-meier secretaire, a polished parquet floor.
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Black and white photographs of old friends stand in rows on the piano; prints and framed mementoes hang from the white walls. At first glance, everything about Wladyslaw Szpilman speaks of a certain kind of Central European comfort, of a pleasantly uneventful, bourgeois life. Dressed in a tweed jacket and tie, speaking of popular music and songs, Szpilman himself initially gives off the air of someone who has lived all of his 87 years in civilised surroundings.
Then, effortlessly, he moves from the familiar to the horrific. The German found me when I was in the ruins of someone's kitchen, looking for food. I found out later - this isn't in the book - that he was lookin g for toothpaste, but no matter. When he saw me, he asked me what on earth was I doing there What could I say?
I couldn't say that I was Jewish, that I was hiding, that I had been in these ruins for months. I told him that this was my old flat, that I had come back to see what was left Over the subsequent weeks, the German officer regularly brought bread to the Jewish musician, and news from the Front.
Finally, in December , he left him with the words: "The war will be over by spring at the latest.
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In fact, it is merely one episode in an extraordinary story of survival, recently published in English as The Pianist. Wladyslaw Szpilman, already a famous musician and composer when the war broke out - Poles of a certain generation still know the words to his popular songs - was rescued not only by a German but by a Jewish policeman, who pulled him out of a queue of people boarding trains for Treblinka; by his talent, which kept him alive in the starving Warsaw Ghetto; and by, in his own estimate, no less than 20 Poles who smuggled him out of the Ghetto and then hid him in their flats, knowing that they and their families could be sentenced to death for helping a Jew.
In the end he survived for several months alone, perhaps the only person alive in the burnedout ruins of Warsaw, drinking water frozen in the bathtubs of empty flats and eating whatever he could find hidden in destroyed kitchens. Written in flat, almost emotionless prose, The Pianist evokes the strange mix of horror and elation Szpilman must have felt at that time. His whole family was dead, his city was in ruins, and yet, against all possible odds, he remained alive.
Both the book, and the man himself, are also devoid of any desire for vengeance. There is no finger-pointing in The Pianist, no hatred. Along with his straightforward portrait of Captain Hosenfeld, he depicts good Jews and bad Jews, Poles who helped him and Poles who cheated him. Ideology, nationality and religion, he says now, had nothing to do with anyone's wartime behaviour: "One of the Poles who helped me first told me, 'I was an anti-Semite, but not any more.
In that post-war era, it appeared in poor quality bindings, on bad paper, and in a very small print run, which nevertheless sold out immediately. After that, the story was forgotten, or rather ignored. In Poland, it was never reprinted: within a few years of the war's end, Poland's communist authorities had grown touchier about the publication of a book which had a German hero, and which also contained flattering descriptions of the Polish Home Army, the wartime, anti-communist Polish underground.
Szpilman tried once or twice to have the book republished, but didn't push.
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He was more interested in his music, didn't consider himself a writer, and most of all had no interest in politics of any kind. Only the efforts of his son Andrzej, who lives in Germany, ensured that the book was published there two years ago, where it became a best seller, and now in Britain. But even during its years out of print, Szpilman's story did have some unexpected effects. Among other things, it led him, through a series of chance meetings, to Frau Hosenfeld, the wife of his good German.
She wrote to him in , when her husband was dying in a Soviet prison camp, asking for help. Szpilman did what he could. Being a celebrity himself, Szpilman simply rang up Berman's office and said he wanted to meet him on a private matter.
They met, Berman listened. Nothing came of it. Captain Hosenfeld died in his Soviet prison camp, having been tortured for claiming to have saved a Jew.
And not just one: over the years, it has emerged that Captain Hosenfeld served as guardian angel for a whole group of people, including others Jews, as well as a Polish priest. His son has been to visit Szpilman: the two of them went together to the building, now rebuilt, where the Wehrmacht officer brought bread to the Jew in hiding. Standing there on the street, the younger Hosenfeld had what Szpilman can only describe as "an attack of hysteria". Szpilman himself does not appear prone to such violent emotions.
He says he is often asked how he can bear to go on living in a country in which he saw so many people die, but he says that most of the time it doesn't bother him. Polish is his language, Poland is where he was born - "my son says there was a Szpilman here in the 15th century" - and Poland is where his music was popular, even adored.
True, he has never been to Treblinka, where his entire family died: they were on the train that he escaped. His wife, a doctor of 70 who appears no older than50, smiles graciously as she pours tea into English china cups.
The horror and the terror are there, in the background, but they don't show on the surface.
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Or not always. After the war, Szpilman gave occasional piano recitals at 8 Narbutta Street, in a building in central Warsaw which he helped to construct as part of a slave labour gang from the Getto. Most of the Jewish brigade who worked there were shot, once the construction had been finished, if they hadn't died already.
At the end of The Pianist, Szpilman describes his feelings about returning, once again, to that terrible place: "The building still stands, and there is a school in it now.
I played to Polish children who do not know how much human suffering and mortal fear once passed through their sunny schoolroom. But there is more to Szpilman than being "The Pianist".
He is increasingly being noticed as a composer, both of concert works and of music in a lighter vein. To say that the music was Wladyslaw Szpilman's life-blood is more than just a poetic metaphor.
The Polish composer and pianist literally owes his miraculous survival of the Holocaust to music. Born in the Polish town of Sosnowiec on 5 December , after first piano lessons Wladyslaw Szpilman continued his piano studies at the Warsaw Conservatory under A. He also studied composition under Franz Schreker. In , he returned to Warsaw where he quickly became a celebrated pianist and a composer of both classical and popular music.
The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45
On 1 April he entered Polish Radio, where he was working as a pianist performing both, classical and jazz music. The German invasion of Warsaw on 23 September put an untimely but temporary end to Szpilman's musical career when a bomb, dropped on the studios of Polish Radio, interrupted his performance of Chopin's Nocturne in C Sharp minor.
Yet despite the inevitable changes to his life, brought about by the onset of war, Szpilman refused to give up his music. His Concertino for piano and orchestra was composed while he was experiencing the hardships and deprivation of the Warsaw Getto in Time after time, Szpilman managed to escape the deportations.
Even when he and his entire family were packed into cattle trucks to be sent off to Treblinka, the famous pianist was miraculously picked out and spared from the death camp. He fled to the Aryan part of the city and spent two long and agonising years in hiding, always assisted by loyal Polish friends. After the Warsaw Uprising he continued to lead the life of a recluse in the deserted ghost town.
Towards the end of the war, he was discovered by a German officer of the Wehrmacht, Wilm Hosenfeld, who saved his life after listening to the starved pianist play Chopin's C Sharp minor Nocturne on the out-of tune piano of his hiding-place.
When Szpilman resumed his activities as the at Polish Radio in , he did so by carrying on where he left off six years before: poignantly, he opened the first transmission of the station by playing, once again, Chopin's C Sharp minor Nocturne.