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Warsaw | International Organ Concerts Cycle: Michał Markuszewski

Michal Markuszewski

The Evangelical-Reformed Parish in Warsaw invites you to the final concert of the year-round cycle of organ recitals on the historic organ built by the Schlag und Söhne company in 1900, which will take place on 15 December 2019 at 7.00 p.m.

The historic instrument, restored years ago, is used not only during the Sunday liturgy. You can also admire its wonderful, beautiful and warm sound during organ recitals. Prominent musicians from six European countries took part in the tenth jubilee edition: Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Italy and Poland. Their recitals include masterpieces of organ music, works by Western European composers and Polish artists, among others compositions by Mieczysław Surzyński.

The final concert will be performed by the festival's artistic director, Michał Markuszewski, PhD, Habil. The programme will be filled with improvised music inspired by a classic of silent cinema – Nosferatu (1922) directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau.

Admission to the concert is free (the church is heated).

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: www.festiwal.reformowani.pl 

Wrocław | Journey to Scotland


Travels have often been an important source of inspiration for composers, including Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Karol Szymanowski and Michał Ziółkowski. We will listen to their works during the concert on 15 December 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the National Forum of Music in the interpretation of the Karol Lipiński Academic of Music Symphony Orchestra in Wrocław under the direction of Wojciech Rodek.

Travels have often been an important source of inspiration for composers. Felix Mendelssohn first visited Great Britain in 1829. His visit to Staffa Island resulted in the creation of a concert overture of The Hebrides, while the view of The Ruins of Holyrood Chapel inspired him to start working on a symphony that went down in history as “Scottish”.

Karol Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 4 was written in just four months, from March to June 1932. The composer could not decide whether to write a piano concerto or a symphony, which is why he finally decided to create a symphony with a solo piano part. He adapted the technical difficulties to his own performance capabilities, and in one of his letters he described the composition as a “first-class trick”. The work is accessible to the audience, cheerful and attractive. This is due to the singing, charming melody and the skilful combination of the piano part with the shimmering orchestra.

This evening we will also hear the Black Swan by Michał Ziółkowski, a composer of the young generation, student of Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil.

More information at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/component/nfmcalendar/event/7758 

Łódź | The Signs of Time


The interdisciplinary artistic project The Signs of Time – a combination of organ music, choreography, live-electronics, literary text and lighting installation, will be presented at the Łódź Philharmonic on 15 December 2019 at 5 p.m. 

The event is a joint venture of pedagogues and students of the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Music Academy in Łódź and Musikhochschule Lübeck, whose cooperation was initiated in 2018 thanks to a similar project implemented in the Church of St. Jacob in Lubeck thanks to the patronage of Stiftung zum 7. Dezember 1970. The concept of the event scheduled for 15 December was prepared by professors Elżbieta Aleksandrowicz, Franz Danksagmüller and Krzysztof Urbaniak and refers directly to the history of 4 cultures coexisting in the former Łódź. The space of the concert hall of the Łódź Philharmonic will be divided into 4 spheres defined by 4 organ instruments: symphonic organs, baroque organs, organ positive and a small organ model.

The organ works, which will be presented during the evening, refere to 4 communities that make up the historic Łódź agglomeration and – more broadly – the Łódź region. The group of Polish works will include Toccata from the Organ Symphony No. 9 by Feliks Nowowiejski, who personally inaugurated in 1934 the organs of the Zgierz parish church built by the renowned company of Wacław Biernacki. Toccata by Max Drischner, composer and organist of the famous Engler organs in then Lower-Silesian Brzeg Dolny, refers to the historic Łódź organ, built, among others, by renowned Silesian organ workshops such as Schlag und Söhne, Gebrüder Walther or Rieger from Jägerndorf in the former Opavian Silesia. Hell und Dunkel by Sofia Gubaidulin will function as a free reference to Łódź's Russian past. The dramatic fate of the Jewish community of the city of Łódź will be commented on by the organ transcription of Agnus Dei from Krzysztof Penderecki's Polish Requiem.

More information at: https://www.facebook.com/events/559825944562775/ 

Warsaw | Textures in Resounds


The Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra will perform works by Adam Falkiewicz, Krzysztof Penderecki, Tomasz Sikorski and Paweł Szymsńki on 14 December 2019 at 4 p.m. at the New Theatre in Warsaw.

Homo – and heterophonies, meaning various types of musical textures written for different orchestral voices, are the main theme of the concert. Partita IV by Paweł Szymański, with his trademark interplay between lines overlapping with similar contours (heterophony), and Concertino for trumpet and orchestra by Krzysztof Penderecki, dominated by a single melody over the other voices (homophony) are two very different examples of composer's thinking. Holzwege… by Tomasz Sikorski, author of the anti-homophonic Homofonia (1968), not keen on overly defined ways of organising musical spaces, is another, different sort of musical narration: a static, obsessively repeated frail motif is topped with elegiac sounds of other instruments, while dramaturgical censorships are marked with silence. The intensity of accumulated energy is ushered by compositions by AdamFalkiewicz.

The concert in the Sinfonia Varsovia's "Resounds. New Polish Music" series will be accompanied by Jacek Poniedziałe's audiovisual installation focused on the legacy of Adam Falkiewicz.

More information athttps://nowyteatr.org/pl/kalendarz/faktury-w-oddzwiekach 

Szczecin | Różycki and Wars


Works by Polish composers which refer to the complicated political situation of Poland in the 20th century will be performed on 13 December 2019 in the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin.

The programme will feature a dramatic fragment Pietà. On Smouldering Ruins Of Warsaw and Concerto for violin and orchestra, Op. 70 by Ludomir Różycki, one of the composers of the Young Poland period, as well as Symphony No. 1 by Henryk Wars.  The Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra will be led by Noebert Twórczyński. The solois of the evening will be Janusz Wawrowski, an outstanding musician on a prestigious long-term artistic contract with the Warner Music label. One of his main goals as the originator and artistic director of international festivals is the dissemination of Polish music. The artist will play on the only Polish violin from the Stradivardi's workshop.

More information at: https://filharmonia.szczecin.pl/wydarzenia/1161-ROZYCKI__WARS 

Opole | The Odder Quintet


The Odder Quintet will perform on 13 December 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the chamber hall of the Józef Elsner Opole Philharmonic in the "Opole Philharmonic Chamber Music" series.

The Wrocław-based string quintet consists of five musicians associated with the orchestras of the National Forum of Music (Wrocław Philharmonic and Leopoldinum) and the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music: Malwina Kotz, Karol Kamiński – violin, Monika Młynarczyk – viola, Sylwia Matuszyńska – cello, Paweł Jabłczyński – double bass. The quintet will present two compositions: String Quintet in D minor, Op. 3 by Witold Maliszewski – a teacher of Witold Lutosławski, and the String Quintet in G major, Op. 77 by Antonin Dworzak.

Moe information at: https://filharmonia.opole.pl/wydarzenia/68-sezon-artystyczny-wroclaw-string-quintet/ 

Warsaw | Sinfonia Varsovia String Quintet Phonographic Debut


Sinfonia Varsovia String Quintet makes its phonographic debut in contemporary music repertoire. The album will be released on 6 December 2019! The ensemble will perform most of the recorded works on 13 December at 7 p.m. at the New Theatre during the concert entitled "Orpheus among shadows".

Exploration of sound spaces and memory – coded in individual and collective musical consciousness – are two main themes interlocking in the concert repertoire. The spectral and partly heterophonic Umbrae by Andrzej Kwieciński, written by the composer at the age of 20, create a fascinating sphere of microtonally glistening shadows, seducing simultaneously with ecstatic rhythmic obsessiveness. Quintetto per archi by Krzysztof Penderecki, a transcript of his String Quartet No. 3, is the composer's aural diary, recollections of Hutsul melodies of his childhood, played on a violin by his father who came from Rohatyn. Motifs taken from musical traditions are also the basis of the Five Folk Melodies by Witold Lutosławski and Votive by Roxanna Panufnik, with a Sephardic melody of prayer Kol nidre, written to commemorate Pamela Majaro – British pianist, sculptor and photographer. The repertoire will also include String Quintet No. 2 by Jan Duszyński.

After the concert, there will be a meeting with the artists combined with the promotion of the Sinfonia Varsovia String Quintet (Adam Siebers – violin, Kamil Staniczek – violin, Katarzyna Budnik – viola, Marcel Markowski – cello, Michał Sobuś – double bass) phonographic debut.

More information at: www.sinfoniavarsovia.org 

Katowice | Up and reach the places out of sight: a special project


The International Day of People with Disabilities is celebrated every year in December. On this occasion, from 10 to 14 December 2019, the Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice will present a special project: the fairy tale Salija based on the opera of the same title by Krzysztof Dobosiewicz and Małgorzata Szwajlik.

"Up and reach the places out of sight" is the interdisciplinary educational project of the Silesian Philharmonic addressed to the blind and visually impaired, increasing their comfort of life. The project includes concerts with the possibility of interactive participation using instruments created during the workshops. As part of the project, the audience will have a chance to experience the world as it is experienced by people with visual impairments. The programme is also adapted to the dysfunctions of recipients so that they can take an active part in the events.

The musical work composed by Krzysztof Dobosiewicz based on the libretto of the opera Salija by Małgorzata Szwajlik will take the audience to magical places and move their imagination. It will tell the story of Salia, a girl who learns to appreciate what she has – home, family, everyday life and little joys. The classic tale with a moral will gain a new, musical dimension enriched by the participation of machines appearing here as a choir. The work will be performed at the chamber concerts, during which the participants of the workshops will form a kind of rhythmic section, playing not only on traditional musical instruments, but also on instruments made by themselves. In this way, people with disabilities will actively contribute to the project, learning the elements of a musical work in practice.

More information at: https://filharmonia-slaska.eu/production/tam-siegaj-gdzie-wzrok-nie-siega-projekt-specjalny/ 

Warsaw | Roman Statkowski Days of Music. From Warsaw to Hollywood


"Roman Statkowski Days of Music. From Warsaw to Hollywood ”are four concerts presenting both music of the event's patron and his outstanding students. The festival will last from 10 to 20 December 2019. The concerts will take place at the Agnieszka Osiecka and Władysław Szpilman Polish Radio Concert Studios.

Roman Statkowski, whose 160th anniversary of birth will be celebrated on 24 December 2019, is one of the great forgotten Polish composers and music teacherers. Among his students were Henryk Wars and Victor Young (one of the greatest composers of American film music, 22 times nominated for an Oscar award, which he finally received posthumously; creator of many jazz standards played by Duke Ellington and Miles Davis). These composers owed a lot to Statkowski's music, in particular the opera Maria, and achieved great success in the film industry. After the death of Roman Statkowski in 1925, his valuable work quickly fell into oblivion (the exception was the overture to Maria).

The goal of the "Roman Statkowski Days of Music" is to remind the audience and listeners of the work and influence of this outstanding composer. We will listen to the jazz arrangements of works by Henryk Wars (10 December, Bogdan Hołownia and Wojciech Pulcyn duo) and Victor Young (11 December, Kuba Stankiewicz ensemble), as well as Roman Statkowski's compositions (12 December, Magdalena Lisak recital; 20 December, Lutosławski Quartet).

All concerts will be broadcast on Polish Radio Chopin and will be conducted by Grzegorz Dąbrowski. In addition, on 22 and 29 December, Klaudia Baranowska will discuss Roman Statkowski's work in the "Composer of the Month" series.

Full programme of the Festival is available athttps://www.polskieradio.pl/326/6378/Artykul/2414180,DNI-MUZYKI-ROMANA-STATKOWSKIEGO