Michał Kleofas Ogiński (1765-1833)
Michał Kleofas Ogiński was a Polish Prince, diplomat, pianist, violinist, and composer. His Polonaises were an important influence on Chopin.
The Polonaise in a minor ‘Farewell to the Fatherland’ is one the the most famous polonaises ever written. It was composed after Ogiński returned to Warsaw, Poland from a diplomatic mission to the Hague and London, England. Ogiński found out upon his return to Poland that the country was being threatened with an invasion from Russia, Prussia, and Austria. He became depressed and composed the Polonaise in a minor. The polonaise became very popular because there was a rumour that Ogiński had committed suicide which was not true.
Ogiński also composed a piece called the Song of the Legions which later became the Polish National Anthem.
Iwo Załuski – pianist
Iwo Załuski is the great-great grandson of Michał Kleofas Ogiński. He is working to restore the music of the Ogiński dynasty into the repertoire of Polish piano music.
Here is a recording of Iwo Zaluski playing the Polonaise in a minor ‘Farewell to the Fatherland’. Enjoy!