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Claude Debussy

The Isle of Joy (1904)

L'isle joyeuse (The Joyful Island) L. 106 is a piece for solo piano composed in 1904. The painting "The Embarkation for Cythera" by Jean-Antoine Watteau likely served as inspiration for the piece, with Debussy reimagining a group's journey to the island Cythera, considered ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite's birthplace, and their subsequent ecstatic unions of love upon arrival.

This performance is from Thaddeus Kozuch's October 1976 DePaul University Faculty Recital.

Debussy The Isle of Joy

Debussy Preludes

This performance is from Thaddeus Kozuch's 1975 DePaul University Faculty Recital.

Debussy's Preludes are a fundamental staple of the classical piano repertoire.

Audiences enthusiastically looked forward with anticipation whenever Thaddeus Kozuch scheduled a performance of Debussy's Preludes.

Debussy Preludes Book 1

This performance is from the 1976 DePaul University Faculty Recital.

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Debussy Preludes Book 2
(selected)

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Manuel de Falla

Pantomime is a hauntingly beautiful melody from the ballet El amor brujo ("Love, the magician") by Manuel de Falla.

Thaddeus Kozuch performed the music of several leading Spanish and Latin American composers. The shorter piano works of Manuel de Falla were a particular favorite.  

This performance is from Thaddeus Kozuch's 1974 DePaul University Faculty Recital.

Falla El amor brujo "Pantomime"
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Alberto Ginastera

This Ginastera's Sonata 1 is a
Thaddeus Kozuch "tour de force" performance.  We anticipate adding another earlier Kozuch performance to our website, so please stay in touch !

Kozuch's earlier performances were sometimes taken at a faster clip.  Here the sonata is given in a deliberate and expansive manner.  Powerful music is presented in a quite powerful performance. 

VIDEO:  Ginastera Sonata 1 Opus 22 (1952)

The movements are:  

  1. Allegro marcato ...................... at time 0:08 

  2. Presto misterioso ..................  at time 4:25 

  3. Adagio molto appassionato ... at time 7:14 

  4. Ruvido ed ostinato .................. at time 11:40 

Thaddeus Kozuch was in his home studio on March 26, 1986 for this recording.  He has publicly performed the Ginastera Sonata a number of times ever since its first publication. 

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Franz Joseph Haydn

This keyboard sonata is scored for harpsichord or fortepiano, leaving the choice to the performer.

This performance is from the 1978 DePaul University Faculty Recital.

Haydn Sonata
Hob. XVI/33

This is one example of the few times that Haydn connects movements in his sonatas (2nd to 3rd).

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Thaddeus Kozuch's music

Thaddeus Kozuch Eight Dances

Thaddeus Kozuch wrote compositions for for flute, violin, cello, voice, and of course, piano.

When Kozuch traveled to Europe for multi-country concert tours, while in Paris in 1960 he was asked by Radio-Television France to record a collection of piano works, including his own Eight Dances.  In this playlist, Kozuch's Dances are separated into individual tracks.

A word of thanks for help in discovering and obtaining the RTF recordings from pianist-friend Joseph Stefanits ... Joe and I met in front of our Chicago home one day when he noticed my father's music CD and we learned of our common appreciation of great piano music.  Joseph, who also is a fine pianist and musician, has a wonderful Youtube site at www.youtube.com/@josephstef

CORRECTION, Bagatelle #1 is from 1943 ===>

Here is a link to the "Concert Miniature" 78rpm 1947 disc recordings. The album includes music of Thaddeus Kozuch and works by others.

Here is a link to the 1960 Radio-TV France recordings. The album includes these dances composed by Kozuch and works by others.

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Thaddeus Kozuch other compositions

Here are several other works composed by Thaddeus Kozuch.  Included are two of his Improvisations from a 1947 studio disc and two 1979 recital encore performances: the first Bagatelle #1 from 1946 and the Mazurka in E♭ from 1949.

The Bagatelle #1 was performed as Dance #3 of the Kozuch Eight Dances.

The Mazurka in E was performed as Dance #7 of the Kozuch Eight Dances.

Kozuch other compositions

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Thaddeus Kozuch Poem

Mr. Kozuch originally composed the Poem for Violin as a gift to his wife Jacqueline in the 1930's.  Later he reworked the music for flute and piano in the 1980's.

Poem (1980's version) for flute with piano is performed in this 2021 video by his daughter Ann (Kozuch) Fairbanks with pianist Daryl Robinson.  Ann provides a brief introduction to the music recorded in Houston's Christ Church Cathedral.

Here is a link to the "Concert Miniature" 78rpm 1947 disc recordings. The album includes piano music composed by Kozuch.

Here is a link to the 1960 Radio-TV France recordings. The collection also includes piano music composed by Kozuch.

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Ernesto Lecuona

Gitanerias, this whirlwind little work by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona was a fitting encore to Thaddeus Kozuch's remarkable performance career. 

Thaddeus Kozuch performed his final formal concert recital October 3rd, 1986 at the St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids Michigan.  

Gitanerias (1928)

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Franz Liszt

1963 RECORDINGs DISCOVERED

AUDIO NOTE: We recently discovered a rare 1963 tape of music recorded in Thaddeus Kozuch's first home studio on Kedvale Avenue in Chicago.  Made by a family friend, the original audio was from a poor quality reel-to-reel tape machine.  These recordings required extensive noise reduction, equalization, and pitch corrections to properly match the true pitch of the piano.  Even following these many improvements, THE ETUDE IS VERY DISTORTED.  The improved audio quality may still sound harsh and unacceptable to non-historians of piano technique.

The challenging Liszt Etudes are intended not only for the acquisition of a better technique, but also for concert performance.  They require extreme virtuosity, displayed here by Thaddeus Kozuch. 

Etude #2

La Leggierezza

( "lightness" )

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Franz Liszt

1963 RECORDINGs DISCOVERED

AUDIO NOTE: We recently discovered a rare 1963 tape of music recorded in Thaddeus Kozuch's first home studio on Kedvale Avenue in Chicago.  Made by a family friend, the original audio was from a poor quality reel-to-reel tape machine.  These recordings required extensive noise reduction, equalization, and pitch corrections to properly match the true pitch of the piano.  Even following these many improvements, LES FUNERAILLES IS VERY DISTORTED.  The improved audio quality may still sound harsh and unacceptable to non-historians of piano technique.

Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (Poetic and Religious Harmonies) S.173 is a cycle of 10 piano pieces by Franz Liszt.  Funérailles is the 7th and one of the most famous pieces in the collection.  It was an elegy written in October 1849 in response to the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.  Liszt piano music often requires extreme virtuosity, as is displayed here by Thaddeus Kozuch. 

Les Funerailles

( "Funeral" )

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