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Warsaw | Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra plays Rachmaninoff


During the concert on 31 January 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw, 25-year-old Tymoteusz Bies along with Sinfornia Iuventus will demonstrate his artistry, which is inspiring increasing delight among listeners and critics who see him as one of the most promising talents of the young generation. The programme will include Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 and Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27.

Symphony No. 2 (1908) was to some extent a development of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s symphonic ideas – neo-romantic, expressive, full of pathos and drama, with rich chromatic harmonics and colourful instrumentation; it is also very ‘Russian’ in spirit, although it does not contain many obvious excerpts of national music. Alongside Rachmaninoff's monumental piano concertos, it has become one of the artist’s most popular works, admired on concert stages around the globe for over a century.

Almost two decades later (1934), one of the composer’s last works and the last one for piano and orchestra was written: the daring Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The fascinating piece is a set of variations on the 24th Caprice written by the legendary Italian violinist – captivating for listeners of this hypnotic work, as well as for many composers. Rachmaninoff work represents one of the most monumental and difficult pieces for piano, a true test for only the most skilled virtuosos.

The concert will be led by outstanding conductor Paweł Przytocki, artistic director of the Arthur Rubenstein Łódź Philharmonic since the 2017/2018 season. Russian music is particularly close to his heart – his recording of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 1 was honoured by American music magazine La Folia.

Piotr Maculewicz

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://sinfoniaiuventus.pl/ 

Rzeszów | The Carnival Concert at the Subcarpathian Philharmonic


The programme of the concert on 31 January 2020 at 7.00 at the Artur Malawski Subcarpathian Philharmonic will include the most popular concert pieces.

The well-instrumented symphonic scherzo by Paul Abraham Dukas, The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1897), is a musical representation of Goethe's witty ballad, and Danse macabre (1874) by Camille Saint-Saëns presents a fantastic story about the crazy dance of death. The second of Saint-Saëns' works – Rondo capriccioso (1863) – from the very beginning charms with romantic emotionality and spectacular virtuosity of the violin. Gypsy melodies (1878) by Pablo Sarasate, a combination of the Gypsy-Hungarian motifs with czardas, expose the virtuosity of the soloist, similarly to the Poem (1896) by Ernest Chausson.

Partita (version for violin and orchestra of 1988) by Witold Lutosławski will present a different musical language. The composer wrote: "The three main movements refer, at least in terms of rhythm, to the pre-classical 18th-century tradition of instrumental music. However, this is only a kind of allusion. In terms of harmony and melody, Partita belongs to the same group of my last compositions as Symphony No. 3 and Chain I.

The works will be performed by the Subcarpathian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Wojciech Rodek. The soloists will be Szymon Krzeszowiec, Bartłomiej Fraś, Sulamita Ślubowska and Michał Orlik.

Information on tickets: http://www.filharmonia.rzeszow.pl/repertuar/dzien,31-01-2020.html 

Jelenia Góra | The Carnival of Wishes


The Lower Silesian Philharmonic in Jelenia Góra invites you to a carnival concert on 31 January 2020 at 7:00 p.m.. The evening will feature the world premiere of the latest piece by Artur Zagajewski.

Leonard Bernstein's music from the musical West Side Story was chosen by the participants of the programme "filharmonia / ostrożnie wciąga!" as one of the three works which will be included in the current season repertoire. The concert will start with Maurice Ravel's choreographic poem La Valse and end with his moving Bolero. We will also witness the premiere of the Concerto for two flutes wrote by Artur Zagajewski for the Lower Silesian Philharmonic as part of the "Collections – Composing Commissions" programme implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.

The works will be presented by the Lower Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the renowned flute virtuosos – Agata Kielar-Długosz and Łukasz Długosz – under the baton of Szymon Makowski.

Information on tickets at: http://filharmonia.jgora.pl/repertuar,6/karnawal-zyczen,2880?did=4641 

Warsaw | A Concert Marking the 80th Birthday of Krzysztof Jakowicz


A master recital by Krzysztof Jakowicz on the occasion of his 80th birthday will take place on 28 January 2020 at 7.00 p.m. at the National Philharmonic. The eminent violinist accompanied by the pianist Robert Morawski will perform works by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Witold Lutosławski, Henri Vieuxtemps, Aleksander Zarzycki and Henryk Wieniawski.

For over 200 years, Polish composers have written sonatas for violin and piano. Examples of the genre have been penned by, among others, Józef Elsner, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Karol Szymanowski, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Krzysztof Penderecki. The first part of the concert will be devoted to the earliest two of them – both written in three movements and in a classical form, albeit quite distant from each other in terms of style.

Józef Elsner composed his Sonata in F Major, Op. 10 in 1798, and thus towards the end of his seven-year-long stay in Lvov. It is an example of unpretentiously flowing music, where neither of the instruments is favoured over the other. In turn, in Jan Paderewski’s Sonata in A Minor, the piano part is much more expansive and clearly shows the composer’s virtuosic aspirations, especially in the spectacular third movement.

During his numerous travels abroad, Aleksander Zarzycki (1834-1895) made the acquaintance of the greatest composers and artists in Europe of the second half of the 19th century. One of these was the violinist Pablo Sarasate, who included in his repertoire Zarzycki’s Mazurka in G Major dedicated to him. The popularity of this vibrant composition was further consolidated at the international level by Bronisław Huberman and David Oistrakh. Violinists are equally fond of Zarzycki’s Romance in E Major – a melodic piece of remarkable beauty, in which they can show off their instruments in their highest registers.

One of the final pieces composed by Witold Lutosławski was Subito for violin and piano from 1992. The title refers to the work’s structure – a series of violently changing and diverse episodes that move along at breakneck speed. His slightly earlier Partita (1984) conveys the flavours of the Baroque.

Information on tickets at: http://www.filharmonia.pl/koncerty-i-bilety/repertuar/recital-mistrzowski 

Katowice | Możdżer's "Missa Gratiatoria" at the Silesian Philharmonic


Missa Gratiatoria by Leszek Możdżer will be presented at the Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Silesian Philharmonic for the second time at the request of the audience delighted with the first performance in October 2019. The concert will take place on 26 January 2020 at 5 p.m.

This modern combination of jazz and religious music shows Możdżer's smooth movement between genres, which he also constantly proves as a pianist. The concert will start with a piece for a cappella choir written by the Silesian Philharmonic Patron, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. Euntes ibant et flebant is based on a text taken from the Book of Psalms, illustrated by a melody with an almost extraterrestrial dimension.

The concert will commemorate the victims of the 1945 Upper Silesian Tragedy, which 75th anniversary falls in January this year. Excellent performers: Michał Schoppa, Paweł Tomaszewski, Bartek Pieszka, Krzysztof Nowakowski, Tomasz Kałwak, Jarosław Wolanin and his Silesian Philharmonic Choir will give a unique concert of sacred music.

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: https://filharmonia-slaska.eu/production/pro-memoria/ 

Łódź | Organ concert à quatre mains


On 26 January 2020 at 5.00 p.m., the Artur Rubinstein Łódź Philharmonic invites you to an organ concert performed by Krzysztof Urbaniak & Łukasz Mosur. Before the concert, you'll be able to use VR  a virtual reality system that lets you look inside the organ!

The richness of the organ sound and the ability to change its timbre make this instrument perfect for four hands performances. During the carnival organ concert, Krzysztof Urbaniak and Łukasz Mosur will perform original compositions and transcriptions of orchestral works.

Four-hand piano pieces were particularly popular in the 19th century, as part of the repertoire of amateur and salon music. In 1884 Juliusz Zarębski wrote a collection of dances and melodies A travers Pologne (Through Poland), which refers to Polish musical tradition (mazurka, polonaise) and to Chopin's works. An expression of patriotism is also the famous polonaise Farewell to the Fatherland, attributed to Michał Kleofas Ogiński, which we will hear paraphrased by Maurycy Moszkowski. The programme will also include baroque compositions (J.S. Bach, J. Ph. Rameau) as well as contemporary ones, among others Sound of the Future by Krzysztof Urbaniak and Łukasz Mosur.

Information on tickets at: https://filharmonia.lodz.pl/pl/wydarzenia/koncert-organowy-quatre-mains 

Warsaw | "Chain XVII" – Witold Lutosławski's Festival


The Festival "Chain XVII" will run from 25 January to 8 February 2020 at the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw. The Festival's programme revolves around the work of Lutosławski and the circle of artists associated with the composer.

The plan of the "Chain XVII" is not quite accidental: it proposes a specific network of connections. The thought of color and harmony as interconnected and interpenetrating elements, so important for Lutosławski, recalls here the close Chopin-Debussy constellation, but also Messiaen's rainbow harmony and the colouristic structuralism of Webern's works. Chain II and Double Concerto expose the equal connection between cantilena and ornament; a connection leading across the ages back to romanticism (Chopin), classicism (Mozart) and to Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas. The peculiar, lyrical-grotesque tone of the Concerto and Chain connects both compositions with Prokofiew (Op. 19). The idea of ​​a purely instrumental drama and great form associates Lutosławski's Quartet and Symphony with the Great Fugue and Sonata op. 109 by Beethoven. Krzysztof Penderecki's Symphony No.1 also belongs to this domain.

The above mentioned works will be presented during symphonic concerts performed by NOSPR, Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw, and chamber concerts by Chain Ensemble, Royal String Quartet and Jan Krzysztof Broja.

The festival is co-organized by the Programme 2 of Polish Radio and co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund under the "Music" programme implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.

Full programme available at: www.lutoslawski.org.pl 

Szczecin | The Evening of Polish Ballets

Opera na Zamku

Roman Palster's Song of the Earth choreographed by Paolo Mangioli and Stanisław Moniuszko's On the Billet choreographed by Rafał Bondara will be presented on 25-26 January 2020 the Opera in the Castle in Szczecin as part of "The Evening of Polish Ballets".

The first choreography is the work of Italian artist Paolo Mangioli, director of the national ballet in Malta, who reinterpreted the masterly orchestrated and extremely energetic score of Roman Palester through the prism of universal values. The second choreography was prepared by Robert Bondara – one of the best choreographers in Poland, appreciated for his modern interpretations of Polish historical works. Ballets in his choreography were staged at the Grand Theatre – National Opera (Świtezianka by Eugeniusz Morawski) ad at the Grand Theatre in Poznań (The Baltic Legend by Feliks Nowowiejski).

The performance is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund under the "Moniuszko 2019 – Promesa" programme implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance. "The Evening of Polish Ballets" is held under the patronage of the PWM Edition as part of the TUTTI.pl project, promoting the performancse of Polish music.

More information athttp://www.opera.szczecin.pl/component/repertuar/spektakl/403-wieczor-baletow-polskich 

Kraków | Bridges instead of walls – Opera Rara 2020

Opera rara

The 12th edition of the Opera Rara Festival will run from 23 January and 14 February 2020 in Kraków. We will once again hear works from outside the repertoire, played very rarely. We have a number of very different performances ahead of us, including the Baroque Il ballo delle Ingrate by Claudio Monteverdi complemented by new compositions by Teoniki Rożynek, and Unknown, I Live With You, a joint work of playwright Krystian Lada and composer Katarzyna Głowicka.

These works come from different epochs and represent different styles, but are connected by a common thought. They make us wonder why we are so eager to build walls around us, what are the consequences of this, and what to do to build bridges instead of them. What does the opera have to do with it? It has always been able to react quickly and sharply – listen to social moods, comment on reality, insult kings, inspire revolts, lead to fury or tame dictators. There is no reason why it shouldn’t tell us about the world here and now. It can do this in two ways – by referring directly to current events or by reflecting them in the mirror of the past.

Unknown, I Live with You is a direct commentary on our present. The opera-installation was inspired by the poems of Afghan women poets – their personal statements, undistorted by their husbands, fathers, brothers and biased media. The authors took part in a project designed to encourage women to express themselves through words and tell their own stories. Most of them took part in the project in secret. There are other divisions that the Il ballo delle Ingrate (Ballet of the Ungrateful Women) tells us about. This perverse courtly morality play by Monteverdi considers the border between life and death, between people and gods, as well as between men and women. From today’s perspective, it makes us think about whether we, living in the modern times, are not disturbed by the visions of the gender relations presented in the work. The performance at the Opera Rara Festival will break another wall: the one that divides the worlds of contemporary and early music. The bridge between 17th-century Italy and Poland in the 21st century will be built by the composer of the young generation, Teoniki Rożynek.

Full programme of the Festival: http://operarara.pl/eng/