Maestro Wojciech Milewski will close the 20th season of the Summerville Orchestra with Odwieczne pieśni [Eternal Songs], a symphonic triptych by Mieczysław Karłowicz, in concerts on May 17 and 18. Entitled “A Summerville Celebration” and performed just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, the concert program will also include Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute and a world premiere of a work written for the Summerville Orchestra by Colorado composer, Chris Pilsner.

About the Eternal Songs

Written over the span of about a year and a half and finished in February 1906, this large-scale symphonic work was premiered on 21 March 1907 by the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Grzegorz Fitelberg. The title page of this work bears a motto, “Oto staję przed Wami, by zanieść skargę na los swój!” [Here I stand before you to protest my fate!” Each movement of the Eternal Songs carries an emotive and poignant title—beginning with Pieśń o wiekuistej tęsknocie [The song of eternal longing], followed by Pieśń o miłości i śmierci [The song of love and death], and closing with Pieśń o wschechbycie [The song of eternal being].

It is generally accepted by various Karłowicz scholars that this music comes from the composer’s love and awe experienced during many of his solo hikes in the Tatra mountains. In fact, Karłowicz reflected on his source of inspiration in one of his essays:

Without a doubt, the Eternal Songs are a very personal statement by a composer who only a few years after the premiere of this exceptional work died in an avalanche accident in early February of 1909, only a few weeks after a triumphant presentation of the Eternal Songs at the Warsaw Philharmonic on 22 January 1909. Remembering this occasion decades later, one of the audience members and later a Warsaw Philharmonic conductor, Józef Oźmiński, wrote:

Eternal Songs became one of Karłowicz’s most often programmed works, with at least five performances in the U.S. since 1945, according to the data supplied by the Polish Music Publishers [PWM]. Another performance of this magnificent work by Maestro Milewski and the Summerville Orchestra at their Summers Corner Performing Arts Center just north of Charleston, South Carolina, will take place on May 17 and 18.

Concert Details

This exceptional concert will take place under the Honorary Patronage of his Excellency Marek Magierowski, the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in the United States. In his letter to Wojciech Milewski, Music Director of the Summerville Orchestra and Charleston Opera Theatre, Ambassador Magierowski, wrote:

May 17 and 18, 2024
‘A Summerville Celebration’ feat. Maestro Wojciech Milewski in Karłowicz’s Eternal Songs
Summers Corner Performing Arts Center
318 Gnarly Oak Lane, Summerville, SC, USA
Tickets & Info: or call: 843. 873. 5339.

[Sources: press release,]