Ryszard Daniel Golianek, Imitating the Master: Jules Zarembski’s Grande fantaisie

Jules Zarembski (1854–85) was a Polish pianist and composer who completed his studies at the Vienna Conservatory in 1872 before electing to continue working with Liszt in Rome and Weimar between 1874 and 1876. He studied Liszt’s piano technique and also turned his hand to composition, writing works in a recognizably Lisztian style. During this period he wrote only piano pieces, including a Grande fantaisie (1876) that is undoubtedly the most interesting of these works. It was thought that Zarembski had destroyed the manuscript and that the work was lost, but in 2001 the present writer discovered the autograph in the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv in Weimar, where it is headed “Un pezzo agitato con un intermezzo amoroso”. It was clear from our earlier research that this heading is a subtitle for the Grande fantaisie. It is interesting to analyze the piece within the context of Liszt’s own musical creativity. In attempting to write an impressively large-scale, virtuoso work, the young Zarembski imitated some of his mentor’s ideas with regard to sonority. The present article sets out to analyze some of the musical elements of the Grande fantaisie and to identify those aspects that bear witness to Liszt’s direct influence.