Wanda Wilkomirska

October 16, 2004 at 04:32 AM · Hey,

What do you guys and girls out there think about the Polish violinist Wanda Wilkomirska?

Replies (30)

October 16, 2004 at 06:00 PM · One of the best. Her recordings are hard to come by, Though. Her Kreisler album (with Antonio Barbosa) is great, and her Bach chaconne is on a par with Hahn's. I saw a recording of her doing the Khachturian concerto and I didn't get it, and I've been forever kicking myself.

October 17, 2004 at 05:55 AM · I want to buy some of her recordings, what has she recorded and what labels are they on?

October 18, 2004 at 07:35 AM · ??

October 18, 2004 at 03:35 PM · Her Lp recordings were largely done for the Conisseur label (I spelled it wrong,) and she did some recordings for Musical Heritage. I think she might have done some for Philips or DG, but I'm not certain about that.

October 18, 2004 at 04:33 PM · And if we are talking about polish violinists - what do you think about Konstanty Andrzej Kulka? He's considered as the greatest polish violin virtuoso of that time. Acctually, I haven't heard about Wanda, but I heard Konstanty at a concert in Łódź and he was really great!

October 19, 2004 at 03:35 PM · Speaking of Poles...

how about Ivry Gitlis?

October 19, 2004 at 03:54 PM · For me Gitlis plays amazingly, after I heard his La Campanella I can't find other so beautiful performance. But he isn't a Pole, is he?

October 20, 2004 at 07:32 AM · No, he's a Russian Jew

October 20, 2004 at 03:36 PM · Sorry. I got my information from a record back printed 30 years ago. Lp cover bloopers would make another interesting forum...

November 11, 2004 at 02:20 AM · Wanda Wilkomirska is my choice for most underrated/underappreciated violinist of the 20th century. She is the only violinist of whom I can say that EVERY piece I've heard her play (live or recorded) was either absolutely the best performance of that piece I had ever heard, or was right up there in a tie with the very best. Her recording of the Prokofiev violin & piano sonatas with Ann Schein in the 1970s is THE BEST recording of those pieces (the only possible qualification being that the legendary Oistrakh-Richter performance is perhaps equally good). Likewise, her recording of the Khachaturian concerto is right up there to be compared directly to Oistrakh's and Kogan's performances -- and I think she wins. Her Szymanowski concerti are unsurpassable, even by the divine David Oistrakh. She has one of the most distinctive, soulful, charismatic sounds of any violinist I've ever heard. Her chops are awe-inspiring. Her musicality never wavers. She deserves to be thought of in the company of Oistrakh, Szeryng, Grumiaux, and the rest of the pantheon. Her Franck, Brahms, Bach, and Szymanowski are as good as it gets. I wish there was a way to give a testimonial to her amazing achievements in music.

I recently spoke to the head guy at Connoisseur Society records and asked if they would be reissuing the Wilkomirska material on CD. He said Yes! I should be hearing from him regarding their plans. I pressed for the Prokofiev sonata set to be a priority. I hope it happens. Not only is the record one of the best violin/piano performances ever done of some of the best violin/piano music ever written, but the recording sound was absolutely first-rate.

These recordings need to be reissued, and you need to hear them.

November 11, 2004 at 11:30 AM · Yes, Wanda is one of the greatest violinist of our time. Everything she plays has got so much expression and love in it - listening to her is a great pleasure :)


November 22, 2004 at 07:33 AM · Wanda Wilkomirska is the missing link between the violin and true musicianship. I truly hope who ever has control of the Connoisseur Society recordings and any others she has made will reissue them on cd.

The Wilkomirska/Barbosa recordings of the Ravel and Prokofiev sonatas, make most other readings vanish.

No one has EVER done a comparable reading of the Ravel. It has to be heard to be believed.

November 22, 2004 at 09:15 AM · So it would be a wise move to learn from her I suppose...

December 6, 2004 at 09:15 AM · Konstanty Kulka –a miraculous interpret of great violin literature, unfortunately not well intergrated into the p.r.-machinery. I remember his time confined to the 70s, he later quasi disappeared from the radio programm, therefore a rather hypothetical question: are there analog recordings (record, MC) still available, maybe somwhere in Poland?

December 6, 2004 at 04:20 PM · Hey, I heard her play a Grieg Sonata. Unfortunately her vibrato was a bit uncontrolled, and everything kind of shaky. Her phrasing is beautiful though and her presence on stage memorable. I don't know about her recordings though.

Talking about Polish violinists, what about Wadim Brodski? Anyone heard of him?

December 6, 2004 at 06:59 PM · Artur: Konstanty hasn't good any good public relations manager, or something, though. But it's quite easy task to buy his recordings - not many, though. I have found some on CDs:

Karłowicz's Violin Concerto, Bach & Vivaldi Violin Concertos, Paganini's Nel cor piu non mi sento, Wieniawski's as-moll caprice and Polonaise, Brahms D-dur concerto, Dvorak a-moll concerto, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and so on.

I know nothing about analog's.



December 8, 2004 at 04:14 PM · One of my favorite recordings of all time is Wilkomirskas Kreisler CD. She's all everyone says. It's CD #4039 on Connoiseur Society .

February 8, 2005 at 05:46 AM · I want the Khachaturian she recorded! I can't find it under any label - does anyone have it?

February 9, 2005 at 09:10 PM · Wilkomirska's Khachaturian is among the very best -- maybe THE best. I don't know whether it's ever been released on CD. I have it on LP, and sometimes see the LP for sale. I think there's one on eBay right now.

February 9, 2005 at 11:26 PM · I have her playing Wieniewski's #2: for me she elicits a sense of tragedy from this piece. But what do I know. I drive a Ford.

May 17, 2005 at 02:55 AM · YES! when Conniseur society releases her cds I want to be in that line. I have her delius sonatas on LP and cassette and they are incredible. The problem today is I don't have a cassette player in my car anymore ...

I can't wait.

September 17, 2006 at 11:59 PM · http://www.connoisseursociety.com/catalog2.htm

September 18, 2006 at 12:00 AM · http://www.polskienagrania.com.pl/pl.php?o=big&big=903

December 11, 2006 at 05:05 AM · I'll be in line for the reissue of Wilkomirska's Connoisseur Society recordings too - especially the Ravel Sonata and Szymanowski's Mythes.

Her Szymanowski 1st Concerto with Rowicki is a real classic (though in a similarly "Polish" vein Kaja Danczowska is worth searching out - Accord ACD 026).

May 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Hi everyone.

There appears to be, and justifiably so, considerable interest in Wanda Wilkomirska.

What amazes me is that only in the far east do enthusiasts buy the latest CD, (released November 2011).

The Benjamin Britten violin concerto in a live recording from the Royal Festival Hall.

I wonder why?

Maybe this is news to those who would have a copy.

The CD has had incredible reviews, as can be read here: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2011/Dec11/Britten_VC_CD122011.htm#ixzz1nP6wxR00

What is most extraordinary, apart from Wanda's wonderful performance is that the recording was undertaken using just two microphones. At no point is the violin drowned by the orchestra, a feat in itself, and every detail of the orchestra is sharp and clear.

Here is a link to the website of the publisher of the CD:http://www.occds.org

Now you know!



May 22, 2012 at 09:33 PM · For those who don't know about this soloist, this is a breathtaking performance of the Britten recorded in 1967 (before Mark Lubotsky recording) and released 2011. Musicianship of the highest order from solist, conductor, and orchestra IMHO. And a simply stunning live performance exquisitely recorded. Nothing is lost. Quite outstanding, and one of my "best buys" this year.

The orchestral pieces are also highly enjoyable.

Yes, naturally 'tucked away in Amazon.co.uk with incorrect tags and no reviewer comments, as per usual for great new niche releases.. I corrected the tags but amazon.co.uk has not updated them to date!!

If one visits the orchestral concert Cds product webpage:


one can sample the entire first movement in all its soaring sweetness ....

[...to start with.... :-0 ]

I prefer this live performace to Janine Jansen's fine 2009 rendition with Jarvi/LSO, personally.

May 23, 2012 at 08:09 AM · Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your kind comments.

By the way my name is Geoffrey Terry and I made the recording in the RFH, with Wanda, whilst I was travelling with the Warsaw Philharmonic on their UK tour in 1967.

My duties were to take care of the conductor, Witold Rowicki and soloist Wanda, also to arrive at the next venue each day and ensure that everything was prepared for the evenings' concert.

I met the lorries carrying the instruments and helped unload and position them on the stage.

In fact during a normal tour of 8 concerts over 10 days I was lucky to have 5 hours sleep each night.

The reason for what I am telling you will come, be patient.

With such responsibilities, to add in setting up a recording session, alone, in the RFH was no mean task.

I used a unique process, which had been a dream of mine from when tape recorders first became available.

I spent years in recording, film and TV sound studios but I was very unimpressed with the techniques employed by my seniors and left to run a couple of Hi FI shops in south London. That was in the days when loudspeakers were constructed of wood and it was possible to recreate a near perfect representation of what I had heard in the concert hall.

I made many recordings of visiting orchestras during their tours and also took my equipment to the then Czechoslovakia, where I repeated the process, whilst becoming acquainted with the most beautiful woman in the world - we subsequently married and are still deeply in love after 43 years.

Incidentally I received no payment for my work, it was a labour of love for me, originating from my passion for classical music.

I also failed financially as a concert agent when I arranged tours of the UK for artists from Eastern Europe. My greatest loss came from a tour by the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1975.

The collection of recordings has given me great joy over the years, in fact whenever I play them I am always amazed that they sounded more natural than any other recordings I hear. However, the reasoning is clear and I will explain the process if the delightful Laurie will kindly permit me to return.

I am now 77 years old, with a limited life expectancy, I had already realised back in 2008 that my collection of recordings would be lost forever with my demise. It was necessary to take some action to preserve them.

I founded Orchestral Concert CDs and began publishing the recordings on CD.

I think it is important to mention that every recording, wherever the venue, was undertaken using exactly the same technical process.

There is, therefore a consistency in the sound quality, all recordings have the same quality as you experienced with the Britten violin concerto.

I have invested a great deal of money in the process and lost most of it, the major reason is that as a CD publisher I am an irritation to the Sony's and HMV's of the world. In addition the BBC refuses to have any contact with me, ignoring the dozens of messages I have sent and the many samples, which are presumably used as beer mats in Broadcasting House. The Gramophone Magazine is a closed shop to me also.

However, the 14 CDs I have published, so far, have received some incredible reviews as can be read on my website, orchestral concert cds.

When I was 25 years old I met my idol, Alfredo Campoli and it quickly became clear to me that I would never achieve his unique and wonderful level of performance. As a result I returned my £5 violin to its case and played no more.

I had never had a lesson but succeeded in being accepted by the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, however, that's another story.

The point of the aforementioned is that although, in theory, my comment on this article is in effect blatant advertising, the intent is not to make money, there is no hope of that. I simply wish that those, like yourself, who clearly love music as I do, have the possibility to hear the wonderful concerts I enjoyed so many years ago.

You appear to appreciate the sound quality. I think I can safely say that it is unique and music lovers should hear how a recording of classical music can sound.

Kind regards to everyone and my special thanks to Laurie for understanding that I am not an evil commercial leach.


30th May 2012

Interest in Wanda appears to have subsided.

Personally I believe she merits greater interest from fellow violinists, maybe the subject has just not come to the attention of many of you.

Oddly enough I have just received a letter from Wanda, she is in Poland and kindly included a copy of 'Wanda Wilkomirska Maestra', which is a two CD set. One with Brahms sonatas, the second includes two concerti by Bacewicz and the concerto of Andrzej Panufnik, very nicely presented and superbly performed, as always.



May 24, 2012 at 02:55 AM · Oh wow. I had never heard of her before this. Thank you for bringing her playing to our attention. I think she's wonderful.

February 3, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Well, despite all the wonderful comments, how you would love to have CDs of Wanda and where can you find them. Even with the information provided and the fact that the very latest release of Wanda won the German Music Critics prize for Best Historic Recording 2012, and the recorded sound was said to be 'sensational', by the jury, not one copy of the CD was ordered.

Wanda has now resettled in Poland, although she misses Sydney, where she was teaching.

I personally wish her a long happy retirement in her home country and suggest that if you haven't heard her wonderful recording of the Benjamin Britten violin concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic conducted by Witold Rowicki, your life has not been completely fulfilled.

I would also mention that the Tchaikowsky 4th symphony which is coupled with the Britten is absolutely the best recording and performance that exists, of that there can be no doubt.

You can even hear a sample on the following link:


And there is a great deal of information on the website, if you are seriously interested.


February 3, 2013 at 03:12 PM · By the way, a quick search of (US) Amazon lists several recordings if you enter "Wanda Wilkomirska."

[http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dclassical&field-keywords=%22wanda+wilkomirska%22&rh=i%3Aclassical%2Ck%3A%22wanda+wilkomirska%22 --- I can never figure out how to make links work on this site]

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