Although the programme of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra’s concert on 16 October 2021 at 6 p.m. with Alexander Sitkovetsky includes works by two British and one Polish composers, all these pieces were written in England. They are also linked by the authors’ liking for displaying beautiful, singing melodies.
At the beginning of the concert, the musicians will present the Saint Paul Suite, Op. 29 No. 2 by Gustav Holst, which consists of four movements: Jig, Ostinato, Intermezzo and Finale (The Dargason). The title tune of the last movement, The Dargason, is a folk dance that was included in The English Dancing Master, published by John Playford in 1651. This part of the Suite also includes a quote from another popular old English melody – Greensleeves.
The Violin Concerto by Andrzej Panufnik, commissioned by his friend Yehudi Menuhin, is completely different. The composer accepted the offer with joy, and for him writing the piece was a return to the world of his childhood. The artist’s father was a violin maker, and the future composer’s youth was filled with the smells of wood and varnish, as well as the sight of instruments created in the workshop. These experiences influenced the reflective, warm and lyrical tone of the piece. They also made the composer living in England decide to write the third movement in the rhythm of a joyful oberek. Panufnik wrote: ‘I composed a piece that was to show the soul of the performer rather than turn the fretboard into a gymnasium for jumping fingers.’
The evening will end with Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10. They were commissioned by the conductor Louis Boyd Neel, who premiered them with his orchestra that same year at the Salzburg Festival. This concert was the beginning of the British composer’s spectacular career.
The project is part of the commemoration of the centennial of regaining independence and rebuilding Polish statehood.
Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.
More information: https://www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/en/