Badarzewska, Baranowska Tekla

Image of Badarzewska

Little information is available about the Polish-born composer Madame Bądarzewska-Baranowska Tekla (Thekla/Tecla Badarzewski). She may have been born in Warsaw (Or Mława) either in 1834 (compte rendu des travaus, vol.4 1902 and others), or 1838 (Paul Julius Mobius Stachyologie weitere vermischte Augsätze, 1901 & Oxford Companion to Music, 9th edition). She died in 1861 from tuberculosis, cutting this talented musician’s life extremely short whether at age 23 or 27. Most or all of her known music is for solo fortepiano but some of it was arranged for a stringed instrument (mostly violin) with piano. One such example that excludes her most well-known piece is ‘La Priere Exaucee’ (The Answered Prayer). Mr. Hermann Friedrich included this arrangement in his unrevised version of the Salon-Album; a book of excellent salon pieces for the violin. This version includes music by some unknown composers and Schubert, while the revised version excludes all of those but adds wonderful music by Chopin (a Mazurka), Charles Dancla (Souvenir), Vieuxtemps (Also Souvenir), and ‘Antira’s Dance’ from Peer Gynt by Grieg.

To further encourage the violin student to look into this little-known and underrated piece by Badarzewska, it is in the dramatic key of C minor with an exceptionally full harmony in the accompaniment part. It includes technical challenges in an intermediate way that supports the development of the left hand; double-stops such as 5ths and 6ths, very short and tasteful passages with moving 6ths, pizz chords, and playing on the G string in 4th or 5th position. The performer can simply enjoy while the piano provides full support.