Marie-Claude Werchowska, Piano

Marie-Claude Werchovska - mixing a frothy soupçon of inspiration and delight.

Marie-Claude Werchowska Plays Music Of Jean-Jacques Grunenwald – 1963 – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone

Marie-Claude Werkowska, Piano
Marie-Claude Werchowska – mixing a frothy soupçon of inspiration and delight.

Marie-Claude Werchowska, piano – ORTF chamber Orchestra – Jean-Paul Kréder, cond – October 1963 – ORTF, Paris –

Digging into some historic French Radio performances this week by way of the composer Jean-Jacques Grunenwald. His Concert d’été for Piano and Orchestra featuring Marie-Claude Werchowska, piano with the ORTF Chamber Orchestra led by Jean-Paul Kréder. The performance comes by way of a 1963 broadcast and does not appear to have been issued, either this performance of any performance, for that matter.

Which is a real shame because this piece is charming – and bubbly – and loaded with broad appeal. But the bulk of his creative output appeared to be film scores and most likely is the bulk of his recognition. Still, his other work should be looked at a bit closer – I suspect there are gems lurking around.

From the Fimo Festival 2022 Biography on Marie-Claude Werchowska:

Marie-Claude Werchowska is a pianist of Polish descent born in Toulouse.

She studied at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris where she obtained a first prize in piano (class of Lucette Descaves) and a first prize in chamber music (class of Fernand Oubradous).

She perfected her skills with Marguerite Long, Pierre Barbizet, Valdo Perlemuter, Eduardo Del Pueyo and L.Fourestier, conductor at the Paris Opera.

Her Prize from the Fondation de la Vocation de France allows her to play Salle Gaveau with the Orchester des Concerts Lamoureux under the direction of JB Mari, where she performs three concertos: Beethoven, Liszt and J.Rivier (in the presence of the composer).

Soloist at Radio France, she performs either in recital or with orchestra: Salle Pleyel, at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées and then in many cities in France. She plays under the direction of conductors such as: Serge Baudo, Charles Dutoit, André Girard, Marcel Couraud, Jean Claude CasaSupre, Jacques Houtman, Tony Aubin, José Sérébrier, Enrique Jorda, Georges Octors.

She has toured extensively abroad: in Belgium with the Philharmonie d’Anvers, the National Orchestra of Belgium, French-speaking and Flemish radio orchestras, then in the United Kingdom, Holland, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland (in the house of Frédéric Chopin), in the United States, Canada, Senegal. Creation in Central America of the concerto by Frédérik Devreesse, Belgian composer, with the National Orchestra of Guatemala.

Very attached to her Polish origins, Marie-Claude Werchowska created in Douai in 1999, the Franco-Polish Cultural Association which organizes an annual festival bringing many artists from Poland. She was the President and Artistic Director of this association until 2016. In 2010, the 10th anniversary of the festival corresponded with the bicentenary of the birth of Chopin. Marie-Claude Werchowska gave a Chopin recital and a lecture on the letters of Chopin and Georges Sand.

On March 8, 2017, at the invitation of the Soroptimist club, Marie-Claude Werchowska gave a lecture which she herself illustrated on the piano, on the theme: “Late recognition of the female composer from the 11th to the 21st century”, at the Maison des Associations, in Lille.

She received for her work as President of the Franco-Polish Festival of Douai the Order of National Merit and the Order of Polish Cultural Merit.

She moved closer to Toulouse, her hometown in May 2017 and lives in Muret where she continues her musical activities, mainly in duet with her clarinetist husband. It was in Muret that they produced their latest CD entitled “Duo Affetuoso” and featuring composers exiled because of the Second World War.

Have a listen and enjoy.

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