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Resounds Online. Lutosławski / Krzanowski / Kosecka

SVWitold Lutosławski's 10 Polish Dances, Andrzej Krzanowski's Symphony No. 2, and Martyna Kosecka's Clarinet Concerto will make up the programme of the February edition of the "Resounds. New Polish Music" series on 27 February 2021 at 8.00 p.m. A pre-concert meeting with Martyna Kosecka, Szymon Bywalec and Magdalena Stochniol (music theorist), hosted by Agata Kwiecińska, will start at 7:00 p.m. Both the meeting and the concert will be live streamed on Sinfonia Varsovia’s YouTube channel and Facebook.

The February concert will start with rarely performed neoclassical miniatures by Witold Lutosławski, one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Sinfonia Varsovia under the baton of Szymon Bywalec will present his 10 Polish Dances (1951), a suite inspired by Silesian and Kashubian folklore.

Then we will hear Symphony No. 2 for 13 string instruments (1983-84) by Andrzej Krzanowski, a representative of the 'Stalowa Wola generation' (named after the festival in Stalowa Wola, where numerous composers made their debuts). The three-part chamber piece was commissioned by Elżbieta and Krzysztof Penderecki and dedicated to them.

In Concerto for clarinet and multipercussion (2019), Martyna Kosecka refers to the division into the movements marked as Hésitant (with hesitatiion) and Direct (directly) proposed by Lutosławski. As in her other works, she explores unconventional combinations of colours and microtonal harmony. Radosław Soroka (clarinet) and Karol Krasiński (drums) will perform as soloists.

More information: www.sinfoniavarsovia.org 

Wrocław | Polychoral

PendereckiThe National Forum of Music invite you on 28 February 2021 at 6 p.m. to a concert featuring 20th-century choral music. We will hear diverse works by four composers, performed by the NFM Choir conducted by Lionel Owl.

Born in 1948, the Danish composer and conductor Bo Holten is a prolific artist with a wide range of interests. The concert will begin with a piece by Holten, In Nomine, written in 1999 and lasting less than 5 minutes. Then we will listen to the Mass for a double choir by the Swiss composer Frank Martin, written between 1922 and 1926. It consists of five canonical sections that make up the ordinarium missae: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. The composer agreed to have the work performed only at the beginning of the 1960s. He had considered it to be such a personal expression of his religious feelings that he did not want to share it with anyone. It is simple, raw, beautiful and at the same time devoid of musical ostentation.

The next composition will be Krzysztof Penderecki's Stabat Mater, completed in 1963. With this work, the composer surprised the audience a lot, because earlier he had gained fame for his radical, avant-garde compositions, whereas his Stabat Mater seemed simple and beguilingly conservative. While the way of leading the melody in the initial section of the piece may bring to mind Gregorian chant, later the choir sings in falsetto, recites "quasi una litania" and whispers. In the dissonant expressive culmination, Penderecki used clusters characteristic of the twentieth-century avant-garde. At the end, the consonant chords return, creating a pure D major chord on the word "gloria". This unique mixture of styles was used to create a composition that is strikingly original and deeply moving. The programme will culminate in a monumental arrangement of the Our Father prayer, composed in 1909 by Max Reger.

More information at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/en/component/nfmcalendar/event/8162 

Szczecin | When Spring Comes

Opera na ZamkuWhen spring comes and Time to say goodbye – the concerts performed by the choir and musicians from the Szczecin Opera Orchestra conducted by Małgorzata Bornowska will take place on 27 and 28 February 27 2021 at the Castle Opera in Szczecin.

Szczecin opera singer, actor and director Mirosław Kosiński will take the audience on a sentimental musical journey. The first part of the concert consists entirely of works by Maciej Małecki. We will hear love songs to the poetry of Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer and songs to words by Wojciech Młynarski, Agnieszka Osiecka and Elżbieta Szeptyńska for a cappella mixed choir, expressing the longing for unrequited love, true friendship, lost youth, and the long-awaited spring.

The second part will present the musical evergreens – songs from movies, musicals and the world of so-called popular music, including Moon river from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, Time to say goodbye and Besame mucho.

Tickets for unassigned seats are on sale with the venue capacity limited to 50%.

Full programme is available at: https://www.opera.szczecin.pl/repertuar/kiedy-przyjdzie-wiosna 

Warsaw | Symphonic Concert at Warsaw Philharmonic: Górecki, Wagner and Schreker

H.M.GoreckiThe contemporary Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki was one of the admirers of Wagner's work. The drama about the history of legendary lovers is reflected in one of his last, unfinished compositions: Two Tristan Postludes and Chorale, Op. 82, which will be performed on 27 February 2021 at 6.00 p.m. at the Warsaw Philharmonic.

Similar to several other unfinished compositions, the work was prepared for concert performance by the composer's son, Mikołaj Górecki. The postludes allude to Tristan, as if stopping, stretching in time, reflecting and subtly transfiguring a few selected motifs. The first postlude is based on a fragment of the poignant complaint of the twice-betrayed King Mark from Act II, the second – among others, on themes of the famous Vorspiel.

After his involvement in the events of the May Revolution in Dresden in 1849, Richard Wagner and his wife Minna had to seek refuge in Switzerland, where they were hosted by Otto Wesendonck, a merchant and patron of the composer. The host's wife, Mathilde, was also admirer of the musician's talent, and soon a tender affection developed between them. Wagner rarely resorted to texts other than his own – the exceptions are the poems by Mathilde Wesendonck, arranged by him in 1857-58. Great attention was devoted to what extent this difficult relationship influenced the final shape of the music drama Tristan and Isolde, which was being created at the same time. Wagner himself admitted that writing these songs was a kind of compositional study for Tristan, which was reflected in Im Treibhaus and Träume. The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Thomas Rösner and soprano Ewa Vesin will present the songs in chamber arrangement by Ronald Kornfeil.

Franz Schreker was valued by his contemporaries especially as a composer of operas, but he created works of various genres, and among his orchestral compositions, the grateful Chamber Symphony from 1916 gained special and relatively lasting popularity. One-movement (but composed of several segments, similar to cyclical forms), the work for 23 performers delights with its rich texture and colour, and a special, dreamlike aura, especially in the introductory episode.

Piotr Maculewicz

More information athttp://www.filharmonia.pl/koncerty-i-bilety/repertuar/koncert-symfoniczny270 

POLIN Music Festival 2021: #online

POLINA special edition of POLIN Music Festival will be held online on 26-28 February 2021. Premieres of the concerts will take place at the POLIN Museum Facebook profile and on the Museum YouTube channel. The music journey will lead the audience from Switzerland, through Belgium, Poland and Ukraine all the way to the United States. We will be listening to the music composed by Bloch, Gershwin, Glass, Freidlin, Piazzolla and Weinberg.

The programme will include six concerts. Violinist Michael Guttman, curator of the Festival, together with cellist Jing Zhao will perform Suite Hebraïque by Ernest Bloch. Polish musicians of the younger generation: Ewa Leszczyńska, Maria Sławek, Marcin Zdunik and Mischa Kozłowski will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the passing of Mieczysław Weinberg by presenting the songs he composed to Yiddish lyrics. Alexey Botvinov and Eric Himy will perform the music by Philip Glass, Jan Freidlin and George Gershwin during their piano recitals. The final concert will commemorate Astor Piazzolla’s 100th birth anniversary. The youngest music lovers, including children with special sensory needs, will learn the secrets of string quartet thanks to the musicians of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra.

As part of POLIN Music Festival, the organisers have also planned the premieres of podcasts devoted to the musicians who are heroes of the "Legacy" gallery, a new section of the POLIN Museum core exhibition. They will introduce the works by Bronisław Huberman, Artur Rubinstein and Henryk Wars to the Festival audience.

More information: https://polin.pl/pl/polin-music-festival-2021 

Rzeszów | Symphony Orchestra of Artur Malawski Philharmonic and Massimiliano Caldi

FPThe Artur Malawski Philharmonic in Rzeszów invites you to a symphonic concert on 26 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m.

The programme will include Michał Spisak's Toccata (1942), a work dazzling with orchestral colours, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. The piece was written in a highly emotional period in the composer's life. It is a result of his creative successes (after composing Piano Concerto No. 1 and the ballet Swan Lake) and dramatic experiences related to a failed marriage. The confidant of the composer's most secret thoughts at that time was Nadezhda von Meck, to whom Tchaikovsky dedicated his symphony. In one of the letters addressed to his patroness, the composer revealed the meaning of this work. The fanfare first heard at the opening stands for "Fate", with this being "the fatal power which prevents one from attaining the goal of happiness". This motif recurs in the Allegro con fuoco finale.

The concert will be performed by the Symphony Orchestra of Artur Malawski Philharmonic under the baton of the outstanding Italian conductor Massimiliano Caldi. Winner of the first prize at the Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Conductors (1999), Caldi is the principal conductor of the Rzeszów Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.

More informationhttp://www.filharmonia.rzeszow.pl/ 

Kraków | 100th death anniversary of Władysław Żeleński

FKThe Krakow Philharmonic will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Władysław Żeleński with a concert on 26 February 2021 at 7.30 p.m.

As the most influential Polish composer of the fin-de-siècle, Władysław Żeleński occupies an important place in the history of Polish music. His compositional output includes 4 operas, nearly 100 solo songs, 19 orchestral works, 10 occasional cantatas for choir and orchestra, many choral and chamber compositions, 36 preludes and 12 organ fugues, numerous pieces for solo piano and for 4 hands. Unfortunately, many of his works have been lost, including both symphonies.

The programme of the upcoming concert will include Żeleński's Andante from Symphony No. 1Piano Concerto, Angels' Singing for soprano, female choir and orchestra, as well as Psalm No. 46 for male choir and orchestra to words by Jan Kochanowski. In 2020, the latter piece was published in electronic version next to three other unknown manuscripts of orchestral works by the Władysław Żeleński Foundation with a seat in the composer's birthplace – Grodkowice. The concert will be performed by pianist Piotr Sałajczyk, soprano Magdalena Drozd and the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir conducted by Sebastian Perłowski.

The detailed programme is available at: https://www.filharmonia.krakow.pl/Home/9415-KONCERT_ORATORYJNY.html 

Szczecin | "Adela" at the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic

FSzOn 26 February 2021 at 7 p.m., three weeks after the premiere of "Adela" – the latest album of the duo Aleksander Dębicz and Łukasz Kuropaczewski, the Szczecin Philharmonic invites you to a unique concert in the place where the album was recorded – the Symphony Hall of the Philharmonic. 

The album was relased on 5 February 2021 by the Warner Classics. According to Aleksander Dębicz: "The piano and classical guitar virtually never collaborate in music. However, after our first joint performance with Łukasz Kuropaczewski we immediately realised that we could create intriguing music worlds together. In my arrangements of classical works, I strove to represent the sonic qualities of both instruments, their unique expression, and cultural associations. I reworked Domenico Scarlatti’s famous Sonata in D Minor (Toccata) K. 141 so as to bring out its Spanish roots. Titled Domingo on our album, it features distinctive flamenco qualities and an improvised layer. The Aranjuez Concerto BWV 1056 is, as its very name suggests, a fusion of the world’s most famous piece for guitar and orchestra, Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in F Minor BWV 1056."

"Three of the works on this album have been enriched by the angelic voice of Jakub Józef Orliński. In these three, Egberto Gismonti’s guitar composition Água e Vinho, my own Quarantine Song, and even the famous Adela by Joaquin Rodrigo, the voice has been treated more as an instrument than a lyrical subject. Adela constitutes the emotional culmination of our duo’s programme. What counts is not the name, but the person we love and long for. Everyone certainly has such a person, and so we hope that each listener will find on our CD something close to his or her heart."

Information about tickets: https://filharmonia.szczecin.pl/pl 

Wrocław | Song of Gratitude

SzymanowskiLutosławski Quartet will perform two string quartets by Karol Szymanowski and Ludwig van Beethoven on 25 February 2021 at 7.00 p.m. at the National Forum of Music. Both works were created in difficult times for the artists who sought relief in music. Beethoven called one of the movements of his quartet a "holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent".

Szymanowski composed the String Quartet No. 1 in C major, Op. 37 in 1917, during one of the most difficult periods of his life, when the revolutionaries and the Soviet communist party escalated their activities against landowners, forcing him and his family to leave their Tymoszówka estate. Composed in Elisavetgrad and regarded as one of Szymanowski's most inspired works, it had clearly been influenced by those dramatic events. After the premiere of the quartet in Warsaw in March 1924, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz wrote: "In no previous work of his could one feel such hot breath of the south, not the heat of the Sicilian afternoon, nor the mournful glow of Greece, when the Pan’s flute drives hearts to death, but a heat that is succulent, ripe, and fragrant with the grain of the Ukraine… the wailing, that mixes on a hot afternoon… with the high hum of the cicadas". Szymanowski’s comments about the quartet were somewhat restrained: "I do not count it among my favourite compositions, but it does represent something of value".

String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 is one of Beethoven's late works. It is a powerful, monumental, five-movement composition. The composer wrote this piece after recovering from a serious illness which he had feared was fatal. He thus headed the movement with the words, "Holy song of thanksgiving of a convalescent to the Deity, in the Lydian mode". However, the fast section bears the annotation "feeling new strength".

More information at: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/en/component/nfmcalendar/event/8236