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Gdańsk | Premiere of the new work by Piotr Moss


The world premiere of According to Memling – a concert for flute, organ and orchestra by Piotr Moss will take place on 28 February 2020 at the Polish Baltic Frédéric Chopin Philharmonic during the concert entitled "Programme and Absolute Music".

The inspiration for the composition was the Last Judgment triptych created by the Dutch painter Hans Memling. The work was commissioned by the Polish Baltic Frédéric Chopin Philharmonic and was written for Łukasz Długosz and Roman Perucki, who will premiere it with the PBP Symphony Orchestra conducted by George Tchitchinadze.

The programme will also include Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Symphony in D Major, which opens the cycle of four symphonies for strings and wind instruments written in Hamburg. Symphony No. 2 in D major by Joseph Haydn is relatively less known, but full of surprising moments. The slow movement in D minor is a display of the composer's counterpoint skills, and the whole work ends with an impressive finale. The audionce will also listen to the Romeo and Juliet ouverture-fantasia by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, based on the literary programme.

The concert was included in the „filharmonia / ostrożnie, wciąga!!!” programme, co-organised by the Institute of Music and Dance.

More information at: https://www.filharmonia.gda.pl/

Wrocław | Stage premiere of Rafał Augustyn's „Descensus Christi ad inferos"


The stage version of the Descensus Christi ad inferos oratorium by Rafał Augustyn will be premiered on 26 and 28 February 2020 at the Bakery Centre for Performing Arts of the Jerzy Grotowski Institute in Wrocław.

What was Jesus doing on Easter Saturday? The canonical gospels are silent about this episode, so we need to consult apocryphal records, such as the beautiful Latin text translated from ancient Greek which is included in the Gospel of Nicodemus. The fast-paced and eventful story starts among Jerusalem Jews who are looking for witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection, and then moves to the abyss that the Greeks called Tartar where the holy fathers and the first mother, Eve, held captive by Satan, await their liberation.

Inspired by the eminent philologist Professor Jerzy Woronczak, Rafał Augustyn started working on Descensus Christi ad inferos in the 1990s. Completed in 2016, the oratorio was first performed at the 14th Song of Our Roots Festival of Early Music in Jarosław. Incorporating a range of stylistic idioms, from chant to medieval motet technique to contemporary elements, the piece forms a cohesive, tightly-knit whole.

The piece will be sung by three choirs. The chant schola will narrate the story and the National Forum of Music Choir will complete the ‘cantus firmus’, with the solo parts sung by a group of solo singers. Despite its psychological interest and delving into serious theological matters, the libretto (as well as music) contains a good dose of humour.

Koncert zrealizowano w koprodukcji Instytutu Grotowskiego i Narodowego Forum Muzyki. Partnerem wydarzenia jest Stowarzyszenie Schola Gregoriana Silesiensis.

Tickets are available at: www.bilety.grotowski-institute.art.pl/ 

More information at: http://grotowski-institute.art.pl/wydarzenia/descensus-christi-ad-inferos/

Warsaw | 11th "The New Epiphanies" Interdisciplinary Festival


Tickets for the events of the eleventh edition of "The New Epiphanies" Interdisciplinary Festival, organized by the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II, are now available for sale. The festival will start in Warsaw on 26 February and will last for forty days, until 5 April 2020. The programme will include works by Szymon Godziemba-Trytek and Paweł Łukaszewski.

The main goal of "The New Epiphanies" Festival is to search for new, contemporary epiphanies of beauty and to initiate creative dialogue between artists and traditional religious art in the spirit of the "Letter to Artists" by John Paul II. The programme of the 11th edition of the Festival focuses on Maria Magdalena. We don't learn much about her from canonical gospels. They leave room for speculation, but also space for artistic images. This year's music programme of the Festival will be an opportunity to experience religious delight. The concerts of Graindelavoix, Adam Strug, Polish Monody, Qvint Essençia, Carine Tinney, Lucas Henning, Dziczka and Catalina Vicens, choirs of the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II and VRC – will lift even the most resistant listeners.

The "Lontano" concert on 28 March will premiere the work written especially for the festival by Szymon Godziemba-Trytek – Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita for white voice, mixed choir, chamber ensemble and dancer, inspired by the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. The concert will take place in an unusual arrangement of the hall – the audience will be placed on the platforms on both sides of the stage and the fragments of the composition will be sung by two chamber choirs from behind the audience, which voices will be heard lontano, i.e. from afar.

On 31 March we will listen to the Paweł Łukaszewski's mass in tribute to John Paul II on his 15th death anniversary – Missa de Maria a Magdala for soprano, baritone, mixed choir, organ and orchestra. The composition's text is a compilation of liturgical texts (Vespers of Mary Magdalene, Easter sequence) and fragments of the New and Old Testaments – both the Apocalypse and Gospel, as well as the Song of Songs. Łukaszewski's monumental work, based on the form of the mass cycle, introduces the listeners into the composer's characteristic musical sacrum space, stretched between Middle Eastern motifs and contemporary harmony and expression.

Detailed festival programme and information on tickets: https://noweepifanie.pl/

Kielce | "Stage for Polish Music" – Cuore Piano Trio


The Cuore Piano Trio will perform on 18 February 2020 at 6.30 p.m. at the Oskar Kolberg Świętokrzyska Philharmonic as part of the "Stage for Polish Music" programme of the Institute of Music and Dance.

The “Stage for Polish Music” is a new project of the Institute of Music and Dance aimed at Polish music performers and organised in collaboration with the Warsaw Philharmonic and arts institutions in Poland. Programmes featuring Polish music, selected on the basis of a competition, will be presented at the Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Hall and then repeated in other cities in Poland. The goal of the project is to inspire musicians to prepare concert programmes featuring Polish music, promote the performance of Polish musical works as well as draw listeners’ attention to Polish music, especially lesser known pieces.

During the upcoming concert, the Cuore Piano Trio – composed of students of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw: Zuzanna Budzyńska, Jadwiga Roguska and Szymon Ogryzek – will perform works by Karol Lipiński, Franciszek Lessel, Artur Malawski and Ludomir Różycki.

Information on tickets at: http://filharmonia.kielce.pl/ 

Warsaw | It takes two to play violin (sometimes)


Still students, but already one of the most recognizable violin duos of the young generation – Gidaszewska / Łaguniak Duo will perform on 17 February 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Mazovian Institute of Culture during the next concert of the "Chamber Music Masterpieces" series.

We will listen to an interesting selection of music for two violins – from a baroque sonata by Georg Philipp Teleman, through classical compositions by Joachim Kaczkowski, virtuoso romantic caprices by Henryk Wieniawski, to the suite written by Grażyna Bacewicz during World War II.

Gidaszewska / Łaguniak Duo was established in 2014. Its members, Marta Gidaszewska and Robert Łaguniak, are students of music academies in Poznań and Łódź. As soloists, they took part in international and national violin competitions, winning top positions (together over 150 awards from Japan, Serbia, Greece, Sweden, England, France, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany and Poland). The duo actively performes at concerts and takes part in many competitions. The ensemble won the first prize (2014) and the Grand Prix (2015) of the International Chamber Music Competition in Bydgoszcz, the first prize at the Polish Chamber Ensemble Competition in Łódź, the second prize at the Warsaw Chamber Forum and the title of runner-up at the International Masters Tournament in Bydgoszcz (all in 2015), and in 2019 they won in their category at the International Polish Music Competition in Rzeszów. In November 2019, the duo won the first prize at the Artur Rubinstein International Chamber Ensemble Competition in Düsseldorf. Their repertoire includes works from the Baroque, Classicism, Romanticism and 20th century.

More information at: http://biuro-prasowe.mik.waw.pl/84621-bo-do-skrzypiec-trzeba-dwojga-czasem 

Poznań | Valentine's Day with Amadeus


The Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio invites you for the Valentine's Day concert conducted by Agnieszka Duczmal on 16 February 2020 at 6 p.m. in the Adam Mickiewicz University Hall.

The Orchestra will perform together with the famous Polish accordionist Klaudiusz Baran and young harmonica virtuoso Kacper Smoliński. Klaudiusz Baran is a thoroughly versatile artist, endowed with an exceptional musical sensitivity. His artistic achievements have changed the perception of the accordion in Poland, elevating it to the status of a fully-fledged instrument capable of shaping a real musical world. Klaudiusz Baran knows how to combine artistic activity with teaching and management of a major musical institution. He is a professor and Rector of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. This unusual combination will make the evening full of musical impressions.

The programme will include Polish music: Alexander Tansman's Variations on a theme by Girolamo Frescobaldi, Krzysztof Herdzin’a Concerto for harmonica and strings and Mikołaj Majkusiak’s Concerto for accordion as well as Igor Stravinski’s Concerto in D.

More information at: https://amadeus.pl/event-16-02-2020-walentynki-z-amadeusem 

Katowice | Grażyna Bacewicz and America(ns)!


The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra invites you to a concert of the Silesian Quartet from the series "Grażyna Bacewicz and America(ns)!". On 15 February 2020 at 6.00 p.m. the Silesian chamber musicians together with the flutist János Bálint will perform in the NOSPR Chamber Hall with a repertoire that is an interesting combination of different styles and aesthetics.

The programme will include Snapshot: Circa 1909 by John Coriglian, A Night Piece for flute and string quartet by Arthur Foot, Quintet for flute and string quartet by Walter Piston, and String Quartet No. 3 by Grażyna Bacewicz. As Małgorzata Gąsiorowska points out, "This is one of G. Bacewiczs most internally balanced works, maybe the closest to the ideal 'Sérénité', characteristic of Romanesque spirituality. In this work, whose outer movements show activity as a major creative force, it never comes to extreme situations - in the sense of the word, or in the use of technical resources. The element of movement here is derived from the logic of motivic connections and development of form, the scale of tension is moderated according to internal order, a regular course. In the third Quartet there remained still a characteristic of the composers style of this period: the dominance of linear structures over vertical: the latter, not without a certain harmonic refinement, which however, seems to be the result of the interaction of independent melodic lines."

Media patronage: Polish Music Information Centre POLMIC.

More information at: http://www.nospr.org.pl/ 

"Composers living out of a suitcase" – international concert series of the Poznań Philharmonic


With a concert on 14 February 2020 at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra together with Rafał Blechacz will begin a European tour as part of the "Composers living out of a suitcases" series.

The programme of the concerts will include works by three outstanding Polish composers: Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849), Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986) and Roman Palester (1907-1989). All three left their native country for political reasons to settle in Paris, where the lived and created. Each of them has developed an original style, using the effective composing techniques and the references and stylization of Polish folklore.

The Poznań Philharmonic has chosen the most representative works: Wedding dances from the ballet The Song of the Earth by Roman Palester and Symphony No. 3 for violin, viola, cello, piano and orchestra by Alexander Tansman to present these original and still little-known output of Polish emigrant composers. 1 March 2020 marks the 210th anniversary of the birth of Fryderyk Chopin thus the programme also includes Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11, which will be performed by Rafał Blechacz, the winner of the 15th International Competition Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw.

The European concert tour will start on 14 February in Berlin. On 26 February the musicians will perform in Frankfurt (Oder) and two days later in Darmstadt. The most important event of the tour will be the concert on 1 March at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, where the orchestra will celebrate the 210th anniversary of the birth of Fryderyk Chopin. The events will feature soloists of the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductors Marek Pijarowski and Łukasz Borowicz.

More information athttps://filharmoniapoznanska.pl/

Warsaw | Valentine’s Day Concert at the National Philharmonic


The Warsaw Philharmonic has prepared a special programme inspired by the theme of love for its concert scheduled for 14 February 2020, i.e. Valentine’s Day.

A Cheerful Mythology in Three Acts is the subtitle of Strauss’ last but one opera – Die Liebe der Danae – which has never been staged in Poland before. Will the eponymous heroine marry Jupiter out of love, or will it rather be a marriage of convenience? Strauss spins this tale with his characteristic symphonic panache.

Right before the outbreak of the Second World War, Władysław Szpilman composed his incredibly cheerful Waltz in the Olden Style in the spirit of film music. Restored to concert programmes only a dozen years ago, Szpilman’s serious works have yet to achieve the kind of fame that the music composed four years later by Aram Khachaturian to Mikhail Lermontov’s play Masquerade has enjoyed for many years now. The five-movement suite extracted from the piece has become immensely popular.

Fredrick Delius’ opera A Village Romeo and Juliet was quite clearly inspired by Shakespeare’s play; however, instead of feuding aristocratic families, the story revolves around a dispute over an undeveloped plot of land. “The Paradise Garden” is the name of the inn frequented by the two young lovers from the quarrelling clans. The moving interlude The Walk to the Paradise Garden is one of the most beautiful examples of British music from the beginning of the 20th century.

Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story is another free adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Public acclaim for the musical has surpassed that of other stage compositions by the same composer. The same is true of the serious music of Nino Rota, famous mostly for his film scores. Both pieces, despite their radically contrasting musical idioms, have one common feature: their authors are easily recognisable after just a couple of bars.

Information on tickets at: http://filharmonia.pl/