Polish Music Newsletter

May 2014, Vol. 20, No. 5. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

 Anniversaries  |  Awards | Discography | Festivals | Panufnik/Kolberg Year
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Performances | PMC News | Portrait of a Polish Violinist

Back to PMC Home Page  |   PMC Newsletter Archive

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PMC NEWS
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RECENT DONATIONS TO THE PMC

ROMAN’S MUSICAL PILGRIMAGE

Maciejewski_TwoLives.jpgWojciech Maciejewski, brother of composer and pianist Roman Maciejewski (1910-1998), has been a faithful friend of the Polish Music Center and a frequent donor of scores and other materials pertaining to his older brother. Wojciech Maciejewski’s latest donation is a hardcover biography, Roman Maciejewski, authored by Marek Sołtysik and published by the Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy in 2013. With the subtitle Two Lives of One Artist, the book is dedicated to Wojciech Maciejewski. It is a fascinating text that quotes from Roman Maciejewski’s correspondence with his family and friends, and includes many photographs from his brother’s collection.

Whether in Paris in the 1930s or Sweden throughout the 1940s or California from 1950 to 1976, and Sweden once again during the final two decades of his life, Roman Maciejewski was a restless and creative spirit who befriended the musical and social elites of the time wherever he went. Scores of other celebrities, politicians, aristocrats and art patrons, which include figures such as Karol Szymanowski, Czesław Miłosz, Igor Stravinsky, Arthur Honneger, Grażyna Bacewicz, Alfredo Casella, Artur Rubinstein, Ingmar Bergman, Nadia Boulanger, weave in and out of Roman Maciejewski’s richly eventful life. Let’s hope that, before long, the English version of this biography will become available to readers outside Poland.

More information on the publisher’s website: http://www.piw.pl/

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THE GREAT SOUNDS OF AUTUMN

WarsawAutumnFest2013.jpgOur two dear friends at the Polish Music Information Centre in Warsaw, Mieczysław Kominek and Izabela Zymer, once again provided us with a treasure trove of CD recordings for our library. This time they sent us a 7-CD set of music performed and recorded during the 56th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, which was held in September 2013. The recordings are accompanied by a 450-page catalogue/booklet containing detailed biographical notes on composers and compositions. This truly scholarly publication also features a 50-page index, listing all of the works performed during the fifty-four Warsaw Autumn Festivals between the years 1956-2012. Together with other recordings from the Polish Music Information Centre in Warsaw we have received in the past, this new set will serve as a great tool for students, faculty and researchers worldwide.

Kotonski_Awangarda.jpgIn addition to this very generous gift, the parcel from Warsaw also contained two additional CDs. The first, Włodzimierz Kotoński—Awangarda, was produced to celebrate Włodzimierz Kotoński’s 88th birthday. It opens with Kotoński’s Study on One Cymbal Stroke (1960), the first example of musique concrète (music that includes acoustic and electronically-generated sounds) penned by a Polish composer. 

 

MagdalenaDlugosz.jpgThe other CD presents works by Magdalena Długosz (b. 1954), a composer and professor of electroacoustic music in Kraków. A student of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar and Józef Patkowski, Długosz has been associated with the Experimental Studios of the Polish Radio in Warsaw, Stockholm, Bratislava, and Groupe de Recherche Appliquée en Musique Electroacoustique in Lyon.

As part of the series called Polish Music Today, this CD is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Polish Radio, and the Polish Music Information Center. Besides Magdalena Długosz, the series presents portraits of ten contemporary Polish composers, including  Jacek Grudzień, Aleksander Kościów,  Zbigniew Penherski, Jarosław Siwiński, Michał Talma-Sutt, Ewa Trębacz, Tadeusz Wielecki, Anna Zawadzka-Gołosz, and Lidia Zielińska. 

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RARE PHOTOS OF LUTOSŁAWSKI

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Wanda Wilk and Witold Lutosławski

William E. Thomson, Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Thornton School of Music, sent us six rare photographs from Witold Lutosławski’s first visit to the Polish Music Center in 1985. Taken during a meal in an unspecified location, the pictures show Witold Lutosławski, his wife Danuta, and the founders of the Polish Music Center—Dr. Stefan Wilk, his wife Wanda, and Betty Thomson, Dean Thomson’s late wife. Taken by Dean Thomson, these images document Lutosławski’s first visit in Los Angeles that culminated with the donation of his manuscripts to the newly-established Polish Music Center. Lutosławski’s manuscripts, alongside many others received from leading contemporary Polish composers, became the foundation of the Polish Music Center’s unprecedented collections, initiated by the Center’s founder and first director Wanda Wilk.

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MUSIC OF THE SOUL

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Beloved Polish singer and friend of the PMC Anna Jurksztowicz has donated a copy of her recent contemplative exploration of ‘music of the soul’ from many different countries and traditions. The album Poza czasem - Muzyka duszy [Out of Time – Music of the Soul] is a result of her collaboration with Californian music producer Thomas Barquee, who has produced albums for such singers and yogis as Snatam Kaur, among many others, for the American record label Spirit Voyage. The album includes spiritual songs in Polish, Sanskrit, Gurmukhi, and German, with music composed by Thomas Barquee, Anna Jurksztowicz, Krzesimir Dębski, Marek Żebrowski, Snatam Kaur and W.A. Mozart.

Our heartfelt thanks to all PMC donors! Dziękujemy!

 

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AWARDS

ZUBEL WINS POLONICA NOVA PRIZE

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photo: Bogusław Beszłej, from www.zubel.pl

On April 12, during the final concert of the 2014 Musica Polonica Nova festival, composer and vocalist Agata Zubel was declared the winner of the Polonica Nova prize for her 2010 composition entitled Not I for voice, instrumental ensemble and electronics with text of Samuel Beckett.

The jury, chaired by Szymon Bywalec, found Agata Zubel’s work to be the most deserving amongst the five nominees. The award was presented with a cash prize of zł. 100,000 PLN, which is funded by the Mayor of Wrocław, Rafal Dutkiewicz, as well as a planned performance of the award-winning piece during the World Music Days festival held in October.  In addition, Zubel received a statuette designed by Gabi Kowalska and is obliged to write a work for the next edition of the Musica Polonica Nova Festival.

In addition to Agata Zubel and Not I, the following composers and their works were finalists in the competition: Cezary Duchnowskiacc++ca; Jerzy KornowiczWielkie Przejście; Marcin Stańczyk Sighs; and Artur ZagajewskiStabat Mater. All of the finalist works will be performed by the Wrocław Philharmonic, Łódź Philharmonic, Świętokrzyska Philharmonic in Kielce, and the Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej.

[source: pwm.com.pl ]

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GLORIA ARTIS FOR ADRIAN THOMAS

gorthomas.jpgAdrian Thomas, a leading authority on Polish music, was recently awarded the Golden Gloria Artis medal for his outstanding contribution to the study and promotion of Polish music. Poland’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Witold Sobków, decorated Professor Thomas at London’s Royal Festival Hall at a ceremony accompanying the world premiere of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Symphony No. 4 by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and maestro Andrey Boreyko.

Adrian Thomas and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki at the piano
in the home of PMC founders Wanda and Stefan Wilk
during USC’s Górecki Autumn celebration in October 1997.

Since the beginning of the 1970s, Professor Thomas has distinguished himself as musicologist, composer, conductor, lecturer, broadcaster and author of several books on Polish composers, including Górecki, Lutosławski, Bacewicz and Panufnik as well as Polish Music Since Szymanowski—a 2005 publication providing a broad overview of the major trends in Polish contemporary music.  Thomas has also provided several entries on Polish music for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and New Grove Dictionary of Opera, as well as countless program notes for concerts and CD booklets.

Besides the Gloria Artis medal, Adrian Thomas has been recognized with the Polish Composers’ Union Award in 1989, the Order of Merit for Polish Culture given by the Polish Government in 1996 and the Lutosławski Society medal in 2005.

[Sources: thenews.pl , cardiff.ac.uk]

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2014 FRYDERYK AWARDS

The voting results of the 1,200-member Polish Phonographic Academy were announced on April 24 during the gala award ceremony at the Sala Kongresowa in Warsaw. An honor similar to the American Grammy Awards, the 2014 Fryderyk trophies were awarded in 34 categories of popular, classical and jazz music.

Winners in Classical Music:

  • Artist of the Year: Piotr BECZAŁA
  • Album of the Year in Choral, Oratorio, and Opera: baritone Andrzej DOBBER – “Arias” (DUX 0959)
  • Album of the Year in Early Music and Baroque: harpsichordist Wladyslaw KŁOSIEWICZ – “Francois Couperin – Pieces de clavecin” (polskieradio.pl)
  • Album of the Year in Chamber Music: saxophonist Paweł GUSNAR  “Saxophone Varie” (with pianist Julia SAMOJŁO, harpist Zuzanna ELSTER, harpsichordist Alina RATKOWSKA, and organist Jan BOKSZCZANIN  (DUX 0992)
  • Album of the Year in Symphony and Concert Music: “Kilar: Angelus | Exodus | Victoria” (DUX 0966)
  • Album of the Year in Contemporary Music: Marian BORKOWSKI – “Choral Works” (DUX 0995)
  • Solo Recital Album of the Year: Katarzyna BUDNIK-GAŁĄZKA – “Viola Recital” (DUX 0932)
  • Album of the Year for Best Polish Music Abroad:  Rafał BLECHACZ – “Chopin: Polonaises” (Deutsche Grammophon)

Winners in Jazz:

[Source: zpav.pl]

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OPERA OSCAR FOR POLAND

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The second International Opera Awards took place on April 7, 2014 in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. Highlights of the evening included a surprise performance from Male Singer of the year, winner Stuart Skelton. Intended to be an honor similar to the ‘Oscars’ for film, the annual ‘Operas’—as they are unofficially called by audiences—are global in scope and awarded in 21 categories, offering a unique chance to compare international achievements in opera.

The Warsaw National Opera’s production of The Merchant of Venice by forgotten pianist Andrzej Czajkowski (left) is the year’s best premiere in the opera world, according to the awards. The jury awarded the prize for the first performance of the piece at the Bregenzer Festspiele, which was co-produced by the Warsaw National Opera and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute

Other Poles were also in the running for awards at this prestigious competition. The Merchant of Venice competed with the famousQudsja Zaher by Paweł Szymański in the category of world premiere. Tenor Piotr Beczała also fought for the audience award. In addition, director Krzysztof Warlikowski was nominated in the best premiere category for his production of Kobieta bez cienia [Woman without a Shadow]. Baritone Andrzej Dobber was also nominated in the category of CD release for operatic recital entitled “Arias” (DUX 0959).

[Source: culture.pl, bregenzerfestspiele.com, operaawards.org]

 

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NEWS

GÓRECKI’S FOURTH LAUDED

The Symphony No. 4 of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki was given its World Premiere on April 12 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The London Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Andrey Boreyko. This posthumously-premiered work was commissioned by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with generous support from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and Zaterdag Matinee Amsterdam. It will be presented again by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and at the Zaterdag Matinee concert series in Amsterdam during the 2015/2016 season.

Written for orchestra, organ and piano, Górecki’s Fourth bears the subtitle Tansman Episody, and was inspired by Andrzej Wendland, the organizer of the Aleksander Tansman Festival in Łódź. Its premiere was originally scheduled for April 2010 at the Royal Festival Hall’s Polish Year Festival, but Górecki was unable to finish the work due to ill health. After his death, the score was orchestrated by Górecki’s son, Mikołaj, according to the book recently published by PWM, Górecki. Portret w pamięci[Górecki, A Portrait from Memory].

The April 12 premiere elicited much positive press coverage, especially in England, several examples of which are listed below.

Ben Lawrence, writing for The Telegraph, stated:

Those expecting the serenity of [Górecki’s] Third may have been disappointed, but this swansong turned out to be extraordinary: playful, dramatic and tender.” Summarizing the concert, Mr. Lawrence decreed Górecki’s Fourth, “… an ambitious, hypnotic work,” adding that the work “… acts as a meditation by Górecki on the many styles he adopted and developed during a long and successful career.

Another web review at www.thesprout.co.uk related:

Goosebumps and tears abound for the opening and closing, as brass, drums and organ deliver terrifying and positively electrifying repeated chords. The noise here was almost verging on a sort of oriental music.

The string writing is certainly not as moving as in [Górecki’s] Third, but an intimate duet for cello and piano evokes the same as in Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Bizarre circus-like music even finds its way into this work, framing the said cello number. It is certainly a well-played juxtaposition on the composer’s behalf. I’d like to think that the audience enjoyed it. Some would have been shocked by it (a handful walked out). Many people giving ovations and a mass of applause. Conductor Andrey Boreyko (who was stellar all evening), very touchingly placed a bouquet of flowers he was handed onto the sheet music for the work, in a tribute to Górecki. An image to stay with me for some time…

Writing for The Guardian, George Hall focused on the emotional impact of the work, stating:

Massive and violently contrasting blocks of ideas dominate the four-movement, 40-minute span; multiple repetitions of the opening chordal sequence, interspersed by almighty blows on three bass drums, are characteristic. (Verdi needed just one for his Dies Irae.) An expressive solo cello, later joined by a violin, both floated over a soft piano accompaniment, form the still chamber-like centre of the otherwise manically vigorous scherzo. The extremity of such individual ideas and the replacement of any sense of development by sheer repetition give the Symphony a rough-hewn, monumental feel.

[Sources: pwm.com.pl, telegraph.co.uk, thesprout.co.uk, theguardian.com]

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GÓRECKI’S FOURTH INSPIRES DEEPER INVESTIGATION

The recent World Premiere of Górecki’s Fourth Symphony continues to invite comments and analyses from various quarters. Many interesting details emerge, especially pertaining to the role of Górecki’s son, Mikołaj, in completing and successfully helping to introduce his father’s unfinished work to the public. Read more at commdiginews.com/entertainment/revisiting-gorecki-part-2.

Also of interest is an extensive interview with Maestro Andrey Boreyko, who conducted the World Premiere of Górecki’s Fourth. Read it at commdiginews.com/entertainment/revisiting-gorecki-part-3.

[Source: commdiginews.com]

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FESTIVAL PREMIERES IN MAY

 Many new works by Polish composers will receive their world premieres at festivals in Poland during the month of May. Below is a list of the premieres at prominent Festivals.

Warsaw Music Encounters (May 10-17):
Premiering soloists: Agata Szymczewska, Jarosław Bręk, Łukasz Długosz, Marek Bracha, Magdalena Bojanowicz, Leszek Lorent, Maciej Bogumił Nerkowski, Grzegorz Skrobiński

Works premiered:

 

  • debski_sm.jpgKrzesimir Dębski: (pictured at right): Altruitki, Rajzefiberki and others for mixed choir a cappella to poems by Wisława Szymborska (2014)
  • Zbigniew PenherskiFour Pieces without Words for mixed choir a cappella (2014)
  • Alicja GronauThe Struggle Between Winter and Summer for mixed choir (2014)
  • Anna Ignatowicz-GlińskaSkotopaska 1: Małmazja shines  for mixed choir a cappella (2014)
  • Benedykt KonowalskiPianist Fikus – humorousballade for mixed choir a cappella (2014)
  • Maria PokrzywińskaCztery figliki  for choir a cappella to poems by Mikołaj Rej (2014)

 

  • oleszkowicz.jpgJan Oleszkowicz (pictured at right): The Beyond  for mixed choir a cappella (2014)
  • Antoine Busnoys (ca. 1430-a.1492): Fortuna disperata
  • Marchetto Cara (ca. 1465-1525): Chime dara piu pace
  • Bartolomeo Tromboncino (ca. 1470-d.1534): Per dolor me bagno il viso
  • Josquin Desprez (c.1450-1521): Mille regretz
  • Philippe Verdelot (ca.1480-ca.1530): Igno soave
  • Philippe Verdelot: Madonna per voi ardo
  • Anon., (pub. 1576): Une jeune fillette
  • P.R. dit Sandrin (ca. 1490-d. 1560): Doulce Memoire
  • The Mud CavaliersTrees, Birds, Gardens – Cavaliers in Eden. Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Musical performance to poems by Josif Brodski and William Blake (2013)
  • Andrzej PanufnikTriangles for 3 flutes and 3 cellos (1971-72)

 

Codes Festival (May 14-18):

 

[Source: wsm.art.pl, codes-festival.com]

 

 

 

 

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ŁUKASZEWSKI PREMIERES

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Paweł Łukaszewski’s Ego sum pastor bonus for mixed choir a cappella was world-premiered in Kraków on April 24 by the Ealing Abbey Choir led by Christopher Eastwood. The same ensemble also gave a London premiere of Łukaszewski’s work on May 11. Composed in January 2014, Ego sum pastor bonus celebrates the recent canonization of John Paul II. It was commissioned from the composer by the Ealing Abbey Choir and Christopher Eastwood.

[Source: pwm.com.pl]

Lamentations (2011), another Łukaszewski work for mixed choir a cappella, had its world premiere on April 06, 2014 in the Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York City. Held as a part of the Church’s “Lamentatio” concert series, the performance featured the Choir of Trinity Wall Street with Michael Zaugg, guest conductor.

[Sources: lukaszewski.org.uk, trinitywallstreet.org]

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VARSOVIA CELEBRATES ITS 30th!

 

Sinfonia Varsovia 2014.jpgThe May 11 Gala concert at the Grand Theatre in Warsaw celebrates the 30th anniversary of Sinfonia Varsovia. Established in 1984, this well-known ensemble began as Studio Polish Chamber Orchestra and gave its first concerts under the baton of Yehudi Menuhin.

The May 2014 Varsovia Gala features Panufnik’s Suita staropolska, two of Vivaldi’s Sinfonias, and Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor—Andres Mustonen served as both soloist and conductor for the this portion of the program. After the intermission, the orchestra presented Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major. This portion of the program is conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki, and soloists include oboist Arkadiusz Krupa, clarinetist Aleksander Romański, bassoonist Zbigniew Płużek and Tomasz Bińkowski, French horn.

 [Source: pwm.com.pl, teatrwielki.pl]

 

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STANKIEWICZ AND OLESZKIEWICZ PERFORM KILAR AND YOUNG

 

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Young | Kilar

The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles invites everyone to a special tribute concert of music composed by Wojciech Kilar and Victor Young. Their works will be performed by two extraordinary Polish jazz musicians: Kuba Stankiewicz (piano) and Darek Oleszkiewicz (jazz bass). The concert will take place on the eve of the 25th Anniversary of the First Free Elections in Poland.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014 | 8:00 pm
Staniekiewicz and Oleszkiewicz perform Kilar and Young
Fowler Museum at UCLA Westwood Campus
308 Charles E. Young Dr. N, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Directions and parking: fowler.ucla.edu  

 

Stankiewicz1.jpgKuba Stankiewicz is said to be among the very best of Polish pianists. His album entitled Spaces was nominated for the Prize of Wroclaw Music Award and the 2013 Fryderyk Award for Best Jazz Album of the Year. The pianist made his professional debut with the Jan "Ptaszyn" Wróblewski group and the Zbigniew Namyslowski ensemble (1985 - 1987) with whom he recorded two albums: Open and Song of Innocence.  From 1987 until 1990 he studied at Berklee College of Music (diploma in piano performance) and toured across the USA with "The Artie Shaw Orchestra".

In May 2009, he received a doctorate/Ph.D. title at the Academy of Music in Wroclaw, Poland. His professional knowledge has been also acknowledged by Apple (Apple Certified Logic Pro 9).

OleszkiewiczDarek2.jpgDarek "Oles" Oleszkiewicz was born on February 20, 1963 in Wroclaw, Poland. At the age of five, Darek began his music education at the State Music School in Wroclaw. In 1983, he was the most awarded musician at the Jazz Juniors in Krakow. Later that year, Darek was invited by Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski, a jazz legend in Poland, to join saxophonist's quartet on tour.

In 1989, he received a full scholarship from California Institute of the Arts and began studies with the legendary bassist Charlie Haden. After graduation in 1992, he accepted a teaching position at the Institute. In 2002, Darek was offered another teaching position at the University of California in Irvine, where he currently works today. Aside from his teaching duties, Darek has been very active as a performer and became one of the most sought after bass players on the West Coast. "Oles" had the opportunity to perform and record with the greatest masters in jazz, and has recorded approximately 100 albums and performed hundreds of concerts throughout America, Europe and Asia. In 2003, Darek was also nominated to Fryderyk's Awards in Poland in the category "Jazz Musician Of The Year". In 2005, he was voted the "Best Acoustic Bassist" in the Jazz Top readers’ poll in Jazz Forum European Magazine. 

Photo: Daniel Sheehan at eyeshotjazz.com

[Source: press release, en.chopin.nifc.pl, losangeles.msz.gov.pl]

 

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POLISH MUSIC CONVENTION

 

IMIT_logo.jpgThe second Convention on Polish Music was held at the National Library in Warsaw on May 12-14, 2014. Organized by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT), Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) and the Polish Music Council (PRM), the convention’s agenda included discussions on the future of music in Poland as well as setting goals and formulating strategies for the upcoming changes in musical infrastructure. A special report on traditional music in Poland, prepared by a group of authors under the editorship of Weronika Grozdew-Kołacińska, was also presented for discussion among the delegates.

[Sources: pwm.com.pl, zkp.org.pl]

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PACIORKIEWICZ IN SIERPIEC

paciorkiewicz_tadeusz.jpgThe Płock Symphony Orchestra led by Jakub Chrenowicz devoted its May 11 concert to Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz and music by other 20th century composers. A Sierpiec native, Paciorkiewicz was represented on the program with his Violin Concerto and his Concerto for Viola and Orchestra. Other works featured on the program include the Polonaise and Orawa by Wojciech Kilar, two works by Witold Lutosławski (Tryptyk śląski and the Paganini Variations), and closing with a rousing finale, Taniec Harnasiów by Karol Szymanowski.

[Source: pwm.com.pl, Photo: pwm.com.pl]

 

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OLDEST POLISH OPERA PERFORMED IN BYDGOSZCZ

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Photo: PAP/Jakub Kamiński

The rarely-performed Cud mniemany czyli Krakowiacy i Górale [An Apparent Miracle or The Cracovians and the Highlanders] is the first example of Polish opera, composed by Jan Stefani to a libretto by Wojciech Bogusławski. Premiered in Warsaw in 1794 to a wild public reception, it was the first Polish work to prominently use folk melodies, dances and customs. Written in a Mozartean style with numerous entr’actes deftly mixing national themes and the entertaining plot centered on the virtues of rural life, it was staged only three times before Russian censorship closed the production. Nonetheless, its impact was clear and lasting on such composers as Maria Szymanowska, Frederic Chopin and Stanisław Moniuszko.

The Bydgoszcz Opera Festival revisited this exciting item in the Polish opera repertoire, presenting it on May 8 on stage at Opera Nova. Performers include the National Dance Ensemble Mazowsze, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this year. More information about the Bydgoszcz Opera Festival at: www.opera.bydgoszcz.pl.

[Source: opera.bydgoszcz.pl, Photo: polskieradio.pl]

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FOUR-PART HARMONY

 

Czteroglos.jpgEntitled Czterogłos [Four-part harmony], a series of concerts held on April 29, May 7, May 14 and May 17 commemorating the 80th anniversary of Karol Szymanowski’s visit in Katowice. Music by Szymanowski and other composers specifically linked to the Katowice Music Academy is featured, performed by some of the foremost musicians in Poland.

The first three programs in the series featured works by Bolesław Szabelski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, and Eugeniusz Knapik in addition to Szymanowski. On April 29, mezzosoprano Urszula Kryger and pianist Grzegorz Biegas gave a recital of works for voice and piano; on May 7, the Silesian Quartet (Szymon Krzeszowiec and Arkadiusz Kubica, violins, Łukasz Syrnicki, viola, and Piotr Janosik, cello) performed string quartets; and on May 14, the Silesian Quartet joined the New Music Orchestra and soloists in various large and small formations. During the final concert on May 17, the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra is joined by the Choir of the Silesian Philharmonic and soloists soprano Iwona Hossa, alto Ewa Marciniec, and baritone Adam Kruszewski to perform a historical reconstruction of the original program Szymanowski led in 1934, with works by Stefan Marian Stoiński, Hector Berlioz and Szymanowski.

For details on all programs in the series, visit www.miasto-ogrodow.eu/strona/czteroglos_program.

[Source: pwm.com.pl, miasto-ogrodow.eu]

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JACEK KASPSYZYK IN CLASSICAL MUSIC

 

kaspszyk-jacek_new.jpegIn its April issue, the prestigious British monthly Classical Music Magazine printed an article with the attention-grabbing title “King Jacek,” dedicated to Maestro Jacek Kaspszyk. Author Kimon Daltas, presents the work and figure of Warsaw Philharmonic’s artistic director on the basis of an interview that he conducted with Maestro Kaspszyk in March.

The full text of the article is available for reading at fundacjafilharmoniiwarszawskiej.pl.

[Source: filharmonia.pl ]

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PANIC DUO PERFORMS DĘBSKI

On Friday, May 16, violinist Pasha Tseitlin and pianist Nic Gerpe will present a program of music by Wolfgang, Manson, Neumeister and Patterson. Known as the “Panic Duo,” the artists will also feature Krzesimir Dębski's Sonata for Violin and Piano, which they world-premiered at the Polish Music Center’s Paderewski Lecture-Recital in October 2013.

Concert details, including websites and ticket information, are listed below and on www.panicduo.com Fans of the Panic Duo can also "Like" them on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PanicDuo

Friday, May 16, 2014 | 7:30 PM
Presenting works by Wolfgang, Manson, Neumeister, Patterson and Dębski
California State University Los Angeles, Music Hall
Free Admission
Further Information: calstatela.edu

[Source:  facebook.com]

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GRZEGORZ NOWAK WITH THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC

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Maestro Grzegorz Nowak presents two exciting programs in London in early May. His first concert includes Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with violin soloist Ju-Young Baek, and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4. A few days later on May 10, Nowak and the Royal Philharmonic present an all-Tchaikovsky concert, featuring such war horses as the Capriccio Italien, Polonaise from Eugene Onegin, The Nutcracker Suite, the 1812 Overture and the iconic Piano Concerto No. 1 with virtuoso pianist, Peter Donohoe.  

[Source: press release]

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CHOPIN FOR ALL FREE CONCERT SERIES

micah-mclaurin.jpgYoung emerging American pianist Micah McLaurin will be making his debut with the All-Chopin program. He will be joined by the Miami Virtuosi String Quartet in a special arrangement of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Micah has distinguished himself at several international competitions and won 1st Prize in Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition in 2010. He has performed to great critical acclaim as soloist with many orchestras and was the youngest of eight pianists chosen worldwide to participate in the prestigious Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland in the summer of 2011.

 

Saturday, May 17, 2014 | 3:00 PM
Chopin for All Free Concert Series Presents Micah McLaurin
Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
Free Admission

Sunday, May 18, 2014 | 3:00 PM
Chopin for All Free Concert Series Presents Micah McLaurin
Granada Presbyterian Church, 950 University Drive, Coral Gables
Free Admission

Information at: chopin.org, or call the Chopin Foundation’s office at (305) 868 – 0624.

[Source: chopin.org]

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MELLOW POLISH PERCUSSION

lira_instrumentalists.jpgThe Board of Directors of the Lira Ensemble invites you to attend the Mellow Polish Percussion concert held at the Lake Shore Campus of Loyola University Chicago. This concert will feature the instrumentalists of the Lira Symphony, with comments on Polish percussion by composer Marta Ptaszyńska, who is the Head of Composition at the University of Chicago.

Please RSVP by Friday, May 23 by calling 773-508-7040. Free parking is available in the main garage with complimentary shuttles.  This event benefits the Lira Ensemble, a federally recognized charity.  A portion of your ticket price is tax deductible - a receipt will be provided for tax purposes.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 | 7:00 PM
Mellow Polish Percussion
Palm Court, Mundelein Center for the Fine & Performing Arts
1020 West Sheridan Road, Chicago
Admission: $100.00; tickets will be held at the door

A Cocktail & Canapé Reception will be held at 6:00pm. The concert will begin at 7:00pm, and a Sit-Down Buffet Supper will follow at 7:45pm.

[Source: liraensemble.org, facebook.com]

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UPCOMING EVENTS BY WARSAW PHILHARMONIC

warsaw_philharmonic_s.jpgSaturday, 17 May 2014 | 6:00 PM
Edward Elgar 80th Death Anniversary - Richard Strauss 150th Birth Anniversary
Jacek Kaspszyk – conductor, Pieter Wispelwey – cello, Bridgitte Hahn - soprano
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Jasna 5,Warsaw
Admission: 50, 45, 40, 35, 25 PLN
Information: filharmonia.pl

 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | 7:00 PM
Early Music Concert
Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr – conductor, harpsichord
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Jasna 5,Warsaw
Admission: 150, 130, 110, 90, 80 PLN
Information: filharmonia.pl

Thursday, 22 May 2014 | 6:00 PM
Great Symphonies
Polish “Sinfonia Luventus” Orchestra, Wojciech Semerau-Siemianowski – conductor,
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Jasna 5,Warsaw
Admission: 25, 20 PLN
Information: filharmonia.pl

Saturday, 31 May 2014 | 6:00 PM
Symphonic Concert Closing the 2013/2014 Season
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Jacek Kaspszyk – conductor, Yulianna Avdeeva – piano, Tomasz Warmijak – tenor, Henryk Wojnarowski – Choir Director
Admission:  90, 80, 70, 60, 50 PLN
Information: filharmonia.pl

 

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PANUFNIK AND KOLBERG YEAR 2014
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GLORIA ARTIS FOR LADY PANUFNIK

LadyPanufnik+Zdrojewski_Gloria Artis.jpg

Lady Camilla Panufnik and Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski in Warsaw, 15 April 2014

“It’s difficult to find ambassadors who work so diligently and with such uncommon dedication for Polish culture as Lady Camilla Paunfnik in London. You embody everything that we treasure the most, and your own art gives us much happiness and admiration. This source of esteem and pride is not only steadfast, it’s also long-lasting. I would like to sincerely thank you and ask you to continue being active.”

With these words Bogdan Zdrojewski, Poland’s Minister of Culture and National Heritage, presented the Golden Gloria Artis medal to Lady Camilla Panufnik, who was visiting Warsaw in mid-April in connection with her husband’s centenary celebrations. For many years, Lady Panufnik has been a tireless advocate and impresario of Sir Andrzej Panufnik’s music. During the months leading up to the Sir Andrzej’s centennial, Lady Panufnik was in the forefront of organizing performances of Sir Andrzej Panufnik’s works on numerous concerts and festivals throughout the British Isles and the European continent. Lady Camilla has also spearheaded the revised publication of her late husband’s memoirs, for which she wrote an extensive afterword, covering the last few years of Sir Andrzej’s life.

In conjunction with the London Symphony Orchestra, Lady Panufnik initiated the Panufnik Young Composers Scheme, a program enabling young composers to study with acknowledged masters.

A professional photographer and writer, Lady Panufnik is also a recipient of the Lutosławski Year Medal, which she received in Warsaw during the Eleventh Łańcuch Festival in 2014.

[Source: mkidn.gov.pl]

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PANUFNIK ON PANUFNIK

PanufnikAutobiographia1.jpg

 In addition to composing music, Sir Andrze j Panufnik also wrote two autobiographies: Composing Myself, published by Methuen in London in 1987 and an earlier volume, Impulse and Design in My Music, published by Boosey & Hawkes in 1974. 

In connection with the Panufnik centenary, his widow Lady Camilla had written an extensive closing chapter to Composing Myself, and this newly revised version is scheduled for publication in England in August 2014. In the meantime, the Polish version of Composing Myself, titled Panufnik—Autobiografia was just published by Marginesy Publishers in Poland.  Translated by Marta Glińska and Beata Bolesławska-Lewandowska, the hardcover edition was unveiled in Warsaw on April 9.

[Source: marginesy.com.pl]

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PANUFNIK AT WARSAW ENCOUNTERS

 

Panufnik_pl.jpgA new website, dedicated to Sir Andrzej Panufnik, was unveiled in Warsaw on May 16 by Beata Bolesławska-Lewandowska, a noted Panufnik expert. The address is: panufnik.polmic.pl

A concert performance of Panufnik’s Piano Trio Op. 1 accompanied the event and the performers included violinist Janusz Wawrowski, cellist Magdalena Bojanowicz, and pianist Bartłomiej Kominek. The Warsaw Musical Encounters concerts were presented in various venues across Warsaw, including the Lutosławski Studio and the Royal Castle, May 10-16. In addition to presenting several compositions by Panufnik, the programs also featured music by Zbigniew Bujarski, Zbigniew Bagiński, Jerzy Bauer, Krzesimir Dębski, and Zbigniew Penherski, among others.

[Source: pwm.com.pl]

 

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PANUFNIK CENTENARY MAY CELEBRATIONS

 

panufnik-centenary2014.jpg2014 marks the centenary of acclaimed Polish composer Sir Andrzej Panufnik. Throughout the year many exciting events have been scheduled around the world. Leading orchestras, conductors, chamber groups and soloists and radio stations in several countries and continents are planning Panufnik performances, education events and lectures which will be announced on the dedicated centenary page. The centenary celebrations in the UK—where Panufnik spent half of his life in exile from Communist-controlled Poland—began in February 2014.

For a complete list of future Panufnik performances, visit www.boosey.com. If you would like your Panufnik centenary performances listed in the Boosey web calendar please email details to composers.uk@boosey.com.

Visit Boosey’s Panufnik Centenary page or panufnik.com to explore and listen to his music, learn more about the composer, and get news on the centenary.

International concerts celebrating Panufnik this month include:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 | 8:00 PM
Sonora Around Panufnik Project Re:Musica Festival in Pristina, Kosovo
Panufnik: Piano Trio
Anna Maria Staśkiewicz, violin/Bartosz Koziak, cello/Jakub Tchorzewski, piano
Info: sonoramusic.eu, remusicafestival.com

Friday, May 23, 2014 | 7:30 PM
Filharmonia Narodowa, Warsaw, Poland
Panufnik: Heroic Overture, Piano Overture
Maciej Grzybowski, piano / Warsaw Philharmonic / Lukasz Borowicz
Info:  filharmonia.pl

Saturday, May 24, 2014 | 6:00 PM
Filharmonia Narodowa, Warsaw, Poland
Panufnik: Heroic Overture, Piano Overture
Maciej Grzybowski, piano / Warsaw Philharmonic / Lukasz Borowicz
Info: filharmonia.pl

Saturday, May 24, 2014 | 6:00 PM
University Hall, Poznań, Poland
Panufnik: Piano Concerto
Ewa Pobłocka, piano / Poznań Philharmonic / Marek Pijarowski
Info: filharmoniapoznanska.pl

Phil_Arad.jpgSaturday, May 24, 2014 | 7:00 PM
Arad State Philharmonic, Arad, Romania
Panufnik: Dreamscape, Piano Trio
Bartosz Koziak, Jakub Tchorzewski; Anna Maria Staskiewicz, Bartosz Koziak, Jakub Tchorzewski
Info: filarmonicaarad.ro

Monday, May 26, 2014
Krakow Academy of Music, Krakow, Poland
Panufnik: String Quartet No.1 / String Quartet No. 2 Messages / String Quartet No.3 Wycinanki
Krakow Academy of Music
Info: amuz.krakow.pl

[Sources: newsletters.polishculture.org.uk, panufnik.com]

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MAZURKAS OF THE WORLD CELEBRATES KOLBERG

MazurkasoftheWorld2014.jpg

Traditional Polish folk and dance music is a living form of Poland’s natural heritage which exerted a major influence on European and global culture. The Mazurkas of the World Festival collects and shares folk music traditions and it celebrated the 200th birthday of Oskar Kolberg, the father of Polish and European ethnomusicology. The festival took place from April 21-26.

The 2014 Festival was devoted to the wealth of tradition that Kolberg chronicled. His monumental, eighty-volume work The Folk is a treasure trove full of melodies, rhymes, and stories reflecting over 500 years of culture. The Territories of Kolberg’s Republic listed in his work were presented in three concerts: The Northwest, The Northeast and The Southeast. All of them came together during the festival’s Dance Night (date). A fourth concert focusing on The Southwest will take place on November 28-30 during the fall edition of the Festival.

The Festival also held the Stara Tradycja [Old Tradition] competition on Tuesday, April 22 in the Mazovia Regional Center of Culture and Arts in Poland. The competition seeks to promote young instrumentalists and vocalists who attempt to include traditional Polish folk music into contemporary culture.

MazurkasoftheWorld2.jpg

[Source: en.poland.gov.pl , festivalmazurki.pl] 

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KOLBERG ON DISPLAY 

Kolberg_Instruments.jpgOskar Kolberg’s artistic, scholarly and editorial achievements are exhibited at the Warsaw Central Agricultural Library until May 27. His interests in Polish and Slavic folk culture, the early years in Przysucha and studies in Warsaw as well as his last years spent in Kraków are depicted on several large-size displays, showing rare and fragile original documents that are not available for public viewing. Co-produced by the Institute of Music and Dance, this exhibit is also on display at the Łowicz Museum through May 19 and can be accessed at: www.muzeum-radom.pl

Another interesting exhibit organized by the Chopin National Institute, links Kolberg and Chopin and can be seen at the Żelazowa Wola manor house, Chopin’s birthplace and now a museum. Running through the end of November 2014, the exhibit presents folk instruments that the young Chopin encountered during his travels around Polish countryside. All exhibited items are accompanied by commentaries and descriptions of folk customs taken directly from Oskar Kolberg’s writings.

.[Source: kolberg2014.org.pl]

 

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FESTIVALS

GAUDE MATER FESTIVAL 2014

gaudemater2014.jpg

The Gaude Mater Festival in Częstochowa opened with a world premiere performance of Missa Corpus Christi by Łukasz Farcinkiewicz (b. 1981). Completed in 2011, Farcinkiewicz’s Missa is scored for soprano, baritone, mixed choir and orchestra. Solists Magdalena Rucińska and Maciej Nerkowski and the Cardinal Wyszyński University Choir were accompanied by the Orchestra Nova et vetera led by maestro Michał Sawecki. The concert was held at the Jasna Góra basilica on May 1 at noon.

Noted Israeli cantor, Israel Rand and the Choir of the White Swan Synagogue in Wrocław were heard in two concerts—at the Częstochowa Philharmonic on May 2 and in the newly-opened concert hall in Bełchatów on May 4. Born in 1963 in Tel-Aviv, Izrael Rand studied and performed in Israel before serving as Lead Cantor at the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, New York during the years 1995-2006. 

Sacred music from Georgia was heard on May 2 at the St. Jacob-the-Apostle church in Częstochowa. The program featured the Anchiskhati Mens’ Choir in a repertoire of sacred Georgian music.

On Sunday, May 4, the ACM Gospel Choir from the United Kingdom presented a program at the Cultural Center Auditorim in the city of Radomsko. Also that evening at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Katowice, Orkiestra Historyczna performed 18th century works by Amandus Ivanschitz preserved at the Jasna Góra Monastery library. The same program was repeated at the Jasna Góra basilica on May 6.

[Sources: gaudemater.com]

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SUMMER CONCERTS AT GROCHOWSKIEJ

sinfonia-varsovia_grochowskiej2014.jpg

The fourth edition of the Summer Concerts on Grochowskiej [Letnich Koncertów na Grochowskiej] Festival will run from May 10 – August 6, 2014 in Warsaw. As every year during this time, the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra invites audiences every Saturday and Sunday for intimate concerts in its hall at ul. Grochowskiej 272. All concerts are free!

This year’s concert series will present outstanding artists of the younger generation, including: Anna Maria Staśkiewicz (violin ), Marek Bracha , Tomasz Ritter (piano), Marcin Zdunik, Dominik Płociński (cello), Marianna Bednarska (marimba ) and Piotr Przedbora (guitar). Also performing are Sinfonia Varsovia Foundation grantees and project participants from the elite Academy Sinfonia Varsovia: Stanisław Podemski (violin) and Izabela Berdy (oboe). Soloists also include members of the Sinfonia Varsovia, including section leaders Marcel Markowski (cello) and Katarzyna Budnik- Gałązki (viola), who was awarded the 2014 Fryderyk “Solo Recital Album of the Year” for Viola Recital (DUX 0932). The Festival also presents chamber music ensembles, including Ravel Piano Duo, Flute o'clock, Haniszewska-Kandulski Duo, proModern, FMO Piano Trio and Aperto Trio.

As is tradition, concerts of the Festival will be preceded by talks given by Poland’s foremost musicologists and music critics, including: Michał Bruliński, Mariusz Gradowski, Karolina Kolinek-Siechowicz, Agata Kwiecińska, Piotr Maculewicz, Agata Mierzejewska, Agnieszka Topolska and Jan Topolski.

Polish composers represented during the Festival include: Karol Szymanowski, Witold Lutosławski, Piotr Perkowski, Paweł Mykietyn, Tomasz Jakub Opałka, Dariusz Janus, Maurycy Moszkowski, Roman Palester, Fryderyk Chopin, Władysław Zołotariew, Leszek Bogdanowicz, Henryk Wieniawski, Marek Pasieczny, Zofia Dowgiałło, Edward Sielicki, Aleksander Kościów, Alicja Gronau, Andrzej Panufnik, Roxanna Panufnik, Aleksander Tansman, Władysław Szpilman, and Ignacy Zalewski.

For a full listing of programs, visit www.sinfoniavarsovia.org or www.polmic.pl.

[Sources: sinfoniavarsovia.org, najlepszeimprezy.eu, polmic.pl]

 

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DISCOGRAPHY
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NEW FROM DUX

PolskaMuzyka.jpegPolska Muzyka Wiolonczelowa – Polish Cello Music
Featuring cellists: Anna Armatys, MichałMichal DąbekDabek, Monika Gernot, Karolina Jaroszewska, Jan Kalinowski, Aleksandra Lelek, Marcin MączyńskiMaczynski, Marta Nagawiecka, Franciszek Pall. Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska
Performing music by composers: Lutosławski, Bujarski, Jabłoński, Tansman, Meyer, Hans, Penderecki
DUX 0925

[Source: dux.pl]

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NEW FROM EMI

MPD_Wielecki.jpgMuzyka polska dzisiaj: Tadeusz Wielecki [Polish Music Today]
Wielecki Tadeusz
EMI Music Poland 14837395

Born in 1954 in Warsaw, Tadeusz Wielecki was trained as a composer and a double-bass player. He studied composition with Włodzimierz Kotoński, Isang Yun and Klaus Huber. He also participated in the New Music Courses in Darmstadt presenting recitals of music for double-bass including his own works and pieces composed by him by other Polish composers. Since 1999, Wielecki has served as the artistic director of the International Festival of Contemporary Music.

[Source: empik.com] 50XChopin.jpg

50 X Chopin
3-disc box set of 50 influential Chopin works
Vladimir Ashkenazy — piano, Nikita Magaloff – piano, Zoltán Kocsis – piano, Claudio Arrau – piano, Jorge Bolet – piano, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal conducted by Charles Dutoit
EMI Music Poland 14809804  

[Source: empik.com]

Kisielewski-Utwory.jpgKisielewski: Utwory fortepianowe [Works for Piano]
Danse vive (1939), Preludium i Fuga (1942-43), Toccata (1943), Kaprys wiejski (1951), Moto perpetuo (1953), II Sonata (1955)
EMI Music Poland 14822414  

Performed by renowned pianist Lisak Magdalena, songs composed by Stefan Kisielewski are arranged in chronological order to track the development and transformation of the composer’s style.

[Source: empik.com]

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‘MUSIC OF THE SOUL’ FROM ANNA JURKSZTOWICZ

jurksztowicz_poza-czasem.jpgPoza czasem - Muzyka duszy [Out of Time – Music of the Soul]
Music composed by Thomas Barquee, Anna Jurksztowicz, Krzesimir Dębski, Marek Żebrowski, Snatam Kaur, and W.A. Mozart
Anna Jurksztowicz – vocals; Thomas Barquee – keyboards, vocals, bass; Simone Sello, Zoran Todorovic – electric and acoustic guitars; Emanuele Arnone – orchestration, additiona programming and engineering; Sheela Bringi – bansuri, flutes; Girish – percussion, drums, tablas; Pratyush Banerjee – sarod; Lisa Liu – violin; Maksim Velichkin – cello
Polskie Radio PRCD 1759

The latest musical project by Polish singer Anna Jurksztowicz is a contemplative exploration of ‘music of the soul’ from many different countries and traditions. The album is a result of her collaboration with Californian music producer Thomas Barquee, who has produced albums for such singers and yogis as Snatam Kaur, among many others, for the American record label Spirit Voyage. The album includes spiritual songs in Polish, Sanskrit, Gurmukhi, and German, with music composed by Thomas Barquee, Anna Jurksztowicz, Krzesimir Dębski, Marek Żebrowski, Snatam Kaur and W.A. Mozart.

According to journalist Małgorzata Kalicińska, the newest album by this renowned artist of pop and classical music “invites us to journey inside ourselves” and is made with “mastery, finesse and a great love for humankind” (see full review on polskieradio.pl). 

Visit www.youtube.com for samples of tracks from the album.

[Sources: polskieradio.pl, youtube.com, annajurksztowicz.pl]

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NEW ZUBEL ON KAIROS

ZUBEL_COVER.JPGAGATA ZUBEL - NOT I
Agata Zubel - voice; Clement Power - conductor; Klangforum Wien; liner notes by Adrian Thomas
Labyrinth (2011) for voice and four instruments; Aphorisms on Milosz (2011) for voice and instrumental ensemble; Shades of Ice (2011) for clarinet, cello and electronics; NOT I (2010) for voice, instrumental ensemble and electronics
Kairos Records 0013362KAI (2014)

“The figure of the composer-performer is rarer today than it was in past centuries, and that of the composer-vocalist rarer still. The Polish composer and singer Agata Zubel (b.1978) is one such rarity. Her special talents were recognised when she received the top award at the 60th UNESCO International Composers’ Rostrum in May 2013 for NOT I (2010). Zubel’s experience as a performer has undoubtedly had a bearing on her understanding of vocal production and of the relationship between voice and ensemble.”—Adrian Thomas

[Sources: kairos-music.com, onpolishmusic.com]

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RECENT PERFORMANCES & EVENTS
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GOMÓŁKA AND ŁUKASZEWSKI AT USC

Caruso_Center.jpgThe USC Recital Choir performed two works by Polish composers—Nunc Dimittis by Pawel Łukaszewski and Super Flumina Babylonis by Mikołaj Gomółka—on their April 29 recital at the USC Caruso Catholic Center Church. Graduate choral conducting student Anna O'Connell led the choir in Łukaszewski’s and Gomółka’s works. Other graduate students James Laff, Jason Saunders, and Krysta Sorensen also conducted works by Bach, Mozart, Saunders, and Tavener.

[Source: facebook.com/events]

 

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KAROL LIPINSKI
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A PORTRAIT OF A POLISH VIOLINIST
By Tyrone Greive

The late January 2014 theft of the Stradivarius violin in Milwaukee served to highlight not only a famous violin but also its namesake, Karol Lipiński (1790-1861), Poland’s foremost virtuoso violinist in the first half of the 19th century.

An outstanding performer in solo, chamber ensemble and orchestral concertmaster capacities, Lipiński was among the early players who attempted to convey the composer’s intentions rather than pattern his performance style after the frequently musically shallow technical displays of then prominent virtuosos. Besides his own works, Lipiński’s repertoire often included music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and prominent French and German composers of the time. Lipiński possessed a unique deep, full sound and powerful bowing technique that allowed a wide range of expression and an unusual degree of instrumental lyricism, which he attributed to his studying and playing the cello during his early years. His virtuosity was always used to highlight the music rather than the playing itself. Performing to frequent great acclaim throughout Europe, Lipiński’s friends and fellow performers included Berlioz, Chopin, Glinka, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer, Clara and Robert Schumann (who dedicated his Carnival to Lipiński), Spohr, Wagner as well as the poet Adam Mickiewicz.

Largely self-taught and constantly developing throughout his career, Lipiński began his studies with his amateur-violinist father, who conducted noblemen’s orchestras in Radzyń (near Lublin), where Karol was born, and Lemberg (Lwów), the capital of the Austrian Partition also called Galicia. Lemberg not only remained the home of Lipiński’s family until 1839, but it and Dresden, were the only two cities where Lipiński held permanent positions in 1810-14 and 1839-61, respectively. Lipiński was a modest man throughout his life, and he was consistently devoted to his wife and 7 or 8 children. In 1861 he retired and moved to Urłów (near Lemberg), where he died.                                    

Much of Lipiński’s enduring fame is based on his long-term association with the legendary Italian Nicoló Paganini (1782-1840). The two violinists developed a close friendship in Piacenza in 1818, when they performed both together and separately to “equally great applause” in two joint concerts. Perhaps, most remembered is when both performed in Warsaw during the 1829 festivities associated with the crowning of Russian Czar Nicholas I as king of Poland and they became the object of an extended debate in the Warsaw press as to which of the now widely famous artists was the better player. How these two truly great violinists were able to be rivals and yet remain good friends lies in how each had a unique approach that the other not only respected but also admired. Supposedly, when Paganini was asked whom he considered to be the greatest violinist, he replied, not wanting to mention himself, “I do not know who the first may be, but assuredly the second is Lipiński.”

Another frequently printed story is Lipiński’s personal reminiscence of how he acquired his famous Stradivari violin. While in Milan, he went to see a Signor Salvini, a then elderly but highly regarded former student of Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770), the greatest violinist of his time and, within overall violin history, a major contributor in terms of playing technique, teaching and violin compositions. On the first day, Lipiński received a “very kind reception” from Salvini and, after introductions, the Pole played music by Weber and Beethoven. Continuing in the words of Count von Krockow’s brief overview of the Lipiński’s life published in the January 1896 issue of the Violin Times, “after hearing me for about a quarter of an hour, [the old gentleman] got up, looked intently first at me, and then my violin, and cried out ‘Basta.’ This ‘enough’ made me tremble, for I concluded from it that he had formed an unfavorable opinion of my playing. But I was somewhat reassured when Signor Salvini said to me in the most kindly manner: ‘Come and see me again to-morrow morning at ten o’clock.’ […]

On the next day, with much fear and hesitation, I went to Signor Salvini’s house at the appointed time. He received me with much cordiality, and before I had unfolded my music he said, ‘Please give me your violin.’ I handed it to him, and was amazed to see him grasp it firmly by the neck and strike it with all his might on the edge of the table, on which it fell, smashed to atoms. But with the greatest coolness and tranquility the old gentleman then opened a violin-case which was on the same table, and carefully taking from it a violin, said to me, ‘Try this instrument!’

I took it, and after I had played […] Beethoven […], Salvini held out his hand to me, and said with some emotion, ‘You, […] Herr Lipinski know how to use such an instrument and to give expression to its hidden power […]. You alone are a worthy follower of Tartini; therefore take this violin as a present from me, and at the same time as a souvenir of Tartini.’ Amazed, but supremely delighted, I warmly thanked him for this superb and costly gift, on which I afterwards played with and in emulation of Paganini.”

Throughout his career Lipiński was also active as a teacher. Two boys he mentored in 1848, Joseph Joachim and Henryk Wieniawski are now considered to be among the most important violinists of the 19th century. Indeed, in terms of playing approach, Lipiński can be considered the predecessor of Wieniawski (1835-1880), Poland’s most famous violinist, who also dedicated his early famous Polonaise in D Major, Op. 4 to Lipiński. The Karol Lipinski and Henryk Wieniawski International Competition for Young Violinists that takes place in Lublin every three years serves to perpetuate the memory of both violinists.

Lipiński was also a composer, but the only work that was played to any extent after his death was his Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major (Concerto militaire), Op. 21. While even this work was rarely played during the 20th century, Lipinski’s music seems to be garnering more interest now, especially his violin concertos, caprices, impromptus and variations.

An extensive account of Karol Lipiński’s life and career can be found in Józef Powroźniak’s well-researched Lipiński in either Polish (1970) or English translation (1986).

 

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GreiveTyrone.jpg

Tyrone Greive is professor emeritus of violin at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he taught for 34 years. He also has performed widely and frequently as recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician and orchestral concertmaster. Greive’s research has included examination of Polish violin repertoire as well as the history of the instrument in Poland. His articles about Polish violin music have appeared in Strings, The Strad, Journal of the Violin Society of America, American String Teacher, The Violexchange, The Instrumentalist and The Polish Music Journal. The recipient of several research grants and a 1997 Stefan and Wanda Wilk Prize for Research in Polish Music sponsored by the Polish Music Center at USC, his performance editions of Polish violin music, often created from manuscripts housed in Polish libraries, have been published by PWM Editions in Poland and Hildegard Publications and International Music in the US. Along with pianist Ellen Burmeister, Tyrone Greive has recorded Polish Romantic Music of late 19th and 20th Centuries and The Polish Tradition for the Albany CD label.

Professor Greive’s former teacher, Cuban violinist Angel Reyes, had borrowed the Lipiński Strad for an important early solo appearance with the Havana Symphony in 1942.                                                                                       

 

 

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ANNIVERSARIES
BORN THIS MONTH:
  • 2 May 1846: Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (d. 23 July 1909), composer
  • 2 May 1913: Florian DABROWSKI, composer and teacher
  • 5 May 1819: Stanislaw MONIUSZKO (d. 4 June 1872), composer - Father of Polish Opera
  • 12 May 1805: Jan Nepomucen BOBROWICZ (d. 2 November 1881), guitarist and composer
  • 17 May 1943: Joanna BRUZDOWICZ, composer living in France, 2003 PMC Paderewski Lecturer
  • 18 May 1905: Wlodzimierz ORMICKI, composer, conductor, music theoretician
  • 20 May 1903: Jerzy FITELBERG (d. 25 April 1951), composer, son of the famous conductor
  • 20 May : Juliana GONDEK, Polish-American mezzo-soprano and vocal pedagogue
  • 28 May 1836: Jan KARŁOWICZ (d. 14 June 1903), father of composer Mieczysław
  • 29 May 1903: Marian NEUTEICH (d. 1943, Warsaw), composer and cellist
  • 31 May 1932: Boguslaw MADEY, conductor and composer
  • 31 May 1913: Irena GARZTECKA (d. 14 November 1963), composer and pianist

DIED THIS MONTH:

  • 1 May 1948: Marcel POPLAWSKI (b. 1882), composer and teacher, studied law and engineering before turning to composition
  • 4 May 1896: Józef SIKORSKI (b. 1813), composer and music theorist
  • 6 May 1892: Nikodem BIERNACKI (b. 1826), violinist and composer
    8 May 2012: Roman TOTENBERG (b. 1911), violinist
  • 10 May 1964: Hanna SKALSKA-SZEMIOTH (b. 29 April 1921), composer, student of Sikorski
  • 13 May 1958: Eugeniusz MOSSAKOWSKI (b. 1885), opera singer (baritone)
  • 21 May 1848: Felix JANIEWICZ (b. 1762), violinist, conductor, and composer
  • 21 May 2007: Adam FALKIEWICZ (b. 4 Jan 1980), composer
  • 23 May 1957: Alicja SIMON (b.1879), musicologist
  • 25 May 1917: Edward RESZKE (b. 1853), opera singer (bass), brother of Jan
  • 31 May 2006: Franciszek WYBRAŃCZYK (b. 28 May 1934), co-founder and former director of the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, organizer and promoter of Polish and European music

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Copyright 2014 by the Polish Music Center

Send your comments and inquiries to: polmusic@thornton.usc.edu
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Newsletter Editor [interim]: Natalie Kozlowski
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg
Translation Assistance: Marek Żebrowski

Contributions from:
Tyrone Greive, Marek Żebrowski

Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM,
Nowy Dziennik
, Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw, Polish American Journal,
Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP, infochopin.pl, Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza

Formatting by Krysta Close, May 15, 2014.


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