On June 24, the 48th J. K. Mertz Guitar Festival in Bratislava brought us world premieres of music written for classical guitar by renowned Polish and Slovak composers.

The concert featured a combination of guitar, flute, and string quartet. Polish guitarists Marek Nosal and Jakub Moroźiński performed on stage with musicians from Slovakia—Ondrej Veselý (guitar), Veronika Vitázková (flute), and the Mucha Quartet (string quartet).

In the first half of the concert, Ondrej Veselý and the Mucha Quartet performed works for guitar and string quartet (including two premieres) by Slovak composers Petr Machajdík, Lukáš Borzík, and Jana Kmit’ova, along with guitar miniatures by Scandinavian composers Suilam and Sørensen. 

The second half was dedicated exclusively to Polish composers. First, Marek Nosal and Jakub Moroziński performed in a guitar duo music by Marek Pasieczny (b. 1980), Feliks Horecki (1796-1870), Ignacy Sierakowski (ca. 1770-1850), and the world premiere of the newest piece by Gerard Drozd (b. 1955): Prelude and Fugue, Op. 204 No. 10. Then, the concert finished with the world premiere of Jacek Rabiński‘s Sextet “Iguaçu” for flute, guitar, and string quartet. Rabiński is a Polish composer based in Berlin. The premiere itself was a great example of a collaboration between Polish and Slovak artists—Marek Nosal, Veronika Vitázková, and the Mucha Quartet. “Iguaçu” was a three-movement piece composed in 1998, however the work didn’t have its official premiere until 2024.

According to Rabiński:

The piece is in what I call Absolute Tonality and is based on the sounds of Aeolian A minor. Duration: approx. 13′. I added the title “Iguaçu” later after playing the guitar part to a friend who associated my music with the famous Iguaçu Falls, located between Argentina and Brazil. I dedicated the piece to the flautist Shelly Kupferberg, with whom I made a lot of music at the time, playing both my own and foreign compositions, as well as improvising a lot. Shelly currently works as a freelance editor and presenter for Deutschland Kulturfunk and hosts daily live radio broadcasts. Apart from semi-amateur performances at home, the work has not been officially premiered so far.

[Source: jkmertz.com, polmic.pl]