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Warsaw | Sinfonia Iuventus: Gershwin & Bizet


The Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus under the baton of Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk will present works of George Gershwin and Georges Bizet on 29 June 2019 at 7pm at the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio. The renowned Polish pianist Paweł Kowalski will perform as a soloist.

The life of a piece of incidental music is often ephemeral – it does not outlast the run of a specific theatrical play for which it was written. Yet there are some exceptions from this rule. L’Arlésienne (also known as The Girl from Arles) is a play based on a novel by an eminent French writer Alphonse Daudet, an eulogist of beauty and the culture of Provence. Bizet arranged four particularly impressive fragments for an orchestra, featuring, inter alia, themes from Provençal folk music. After Bizet’s premature death, his friend, Ernest Guiraud, collated the second suite on the basis of surviving drafts. In time, both spectacular and colourful cycles turned out to be a major success and built up fame of the author, who had died at 37 in poverty, grief-stricken and with a sense that he had been completely underrated…

With the American composer George Gershwin, Bizet shared both his first name and nearly the same age at which both authors, all too soon, died – yet the similarities end here. Gershwin rose quickly to fame and recognition as a composer who, in an original approach, introduced elements of jazz into his symphonic and operatic music. This is also a characteristic of his Concerto in F Major, composed (1925) right after the immensely successful Rhapsody in Blue. In the intervening period of just one year between the two works, Gershwin’s talent and skills developed remarkably – the new piece, orchestrated by the author himself, is also a proof of excellent knowledge of form and facture, which was appreciated by both the audience and the critics, but also by pianists, who often include it in their repertoires.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://sinfoniaiuventus.pl/gershwin-bizet/