By Adam Zamoyski
Hailed as a genius and nationwide hero, in comparison to Einstein and Gandhi, Paderewski rose from provincial obscurity to turn into the main well-known pianist in historical past — the 20th century’s first megastar — in addition to best Minister of Poland.
For greater than fifty years, till his demise in 1941, he was once a family identify, and around the globe ‘Paddymania’ was once rife.
Audiences swooned: at the very least a dozen girls needed to be ‘carried out in a fainting condition’ whilst he played in Edinburgh in 1894; he used to be mobbed in Paris, London and all over the place the US, besieged with love letters and suggestions of marriage.
Critics eulogized him. James Huneker chanced on his enjoying ‘totally overwhelming’, or even George Bernard Shaw admitted that Paderewski’s musical ‘intelligence’ accredited him to grab ten nuances in a composition for each one the typical pianist picked out.
Advertisers swore via him. the click explored each minute element of his lifestyles. Heads of country acquired him — he performed for Queen Victoria at Windsor, and for Woodrow Wilson on the White condominium; he used to be sought after by means of politicians from Lloyd George to Mussolini, through artists from Conrad to Burne-Jones and Saint-Saëns.
Why then, after his dying, did Paderewski emerge as mostly forgotten?
Adam Zamoyski units out not just to re-examine Paderewski’s achievements, yet to restore, with the aid of new learn, the wonderful tale of his lifestyles.
It is a narrative with components of either a fairy story and a melodrama, within which, regardless of the pains of his youth, his chaotic musical schooling, his tragic first marriage, and the preliminary hostility of audiences and critics, Paderewski’s fanatical ambition to ‘do whatever for Poland’ drove him to unheard of luck.
Drawing on quite a lot of modern resources, Adam Zamoyski unravels the proof from the legends which grew up round the pianist-statesman.
He clarifies Paderewski’s severe character, his advanced romantic existence, his musical and political careers; and chiefly makes an attempt to unravel the secret of his indisputable, impossible to resist strength.
“A interesting biography” – Arthur Rubinstein.
Count Adam Stefan Zamoyski is a historian and a member of the traditional Zamoyski relations of Polish the Aristocracy. His books contain ‘The Forgotten Few’, ‘Holy insanity: Romantics, Patriots and Revolutionaries’, and ‘The final King of Poland’