Polish Music Center Newsletter Vol. 7, no. 9
Warsaw Autumn 2001: September 21-29
The program of the 44th International Festival of Contemporary Music, Warsaw Autumnhas recently been announced (September 21- 29, 2001). The Festival includes numerous fascinating items and world premieres – thus proving its high rank as one of the main “new music” events of the world. During late 1980s and early 1990s the Festival was perceived as diminishing in international stature: after the fall of the Berlin Wall it lost its relevance as the musical meeting place of the East and the West. Thanks to the efforts of its artistic director, composer Tadeusz Wielecki, and new sources of financial and organizational support, the festival now recovered its lustre and a new formula as a presentation of the most innovative and ambitious artistic projects, including multimedia, installations, and traditional symphonic concerts. The quality of the festival events is so high that it is difficult to get tickets to many events (this was true of last year’s events and will be soon of this year).
The concerts are particularly popular among university, college and high school students (age group of ca. 16-28 years) to whom an additional promotional campaign is addressed. Masterminded by the Festival’s director, Tadeusz Wielecki, the student-oriented promotion includes events in schools, meetings with composers and performers, and a special brochure with accessible explanations about each of the concerts and the highlights of the program. The brochure is widely distributed and available for free. As a result, the audience includes intelligent and inquisitive youth, not just new music professionals (the problem with older institutions of this kind).
The main thematic strands in the program are listed on the brochure’s cover: a performance of all the Symphonies by Russian composer, Galina Ustvolskaya, the world premiere of a newly commissioned opera by Martijn Padding (a rising star on the Dutch new music scene) about the mystical writer Swedenborg, and a presentation of the youngest generation among Polish composers including Marzena Komsta, Aleksandra Gryka, Michal Talma-Sutt, Katarzyna Arnhold, Katarzyna Glowicka, Bartlomiej Krha, and Agata Zubel. Their compositions are mostly world premieres and belong in the group of 18 world premieres in the program of the festival. There are also fifty six Polish premieres and whole concerts often include entirely new programs without “rehashing” the standard repertoire. This uncompromising bias towards the truly new and innovative, as well as the “young” appeals to the adventurous public of young intelligentsia; only selected “elder statesmen” of Polish new music are included in the program – featuring such classic works as Lutosławski’s Jeux venitiens of 1961, Tomasz Sikorski’s For Strings, and Henryk Górecki’s Old Polish Music of 1969.
Well known names from Polish music are also represented with world premieres of Paweł Szymanski’s Film Music, Eugeniusz Knapik’s Up into the Silence, Aleksander Lasoń’s A Little Book for Clarinet and Strings, and Witold Szalonek’s Poseidon and Medusa. There are Polish premieres of Elżbieta Sikora’s Piano Concerto, Hanna Kulenty’s Drive Blues, and a whole range of international classics, such as Galina Ustvolskaya’s Symphonies, and Iannis Xenakis’s Dammerschein.
The festival includes a concert of prize winners of the 5th International Witold Lutosławski Composers’ Competition, and two new operas, by Martijn Padding (The Land of Ulro I), and Paweł Mykietyn (Ignoramus and Madman). The concerts are placed in various locations, including the National Library, the Concert Studio of the Polish Radio, the National Theater and Opera, art galleries, and churches. This arrangement follows the one used last year; the “dispersion” of the events into the city, outside of the “ivory tower” of artistic institutions was welcomed with a great critical acclaim.
The tradition of enriching the program with a range of fringe events also continues. Among the fringe events of the festival are a special concert dedicated to the “generation Stalowa Wola” (Lason, Knapik, Krzanowski), organized by PWM who also presented the launch of a nes study of Andrzej Panufnik, written by Beata Bolesławska. In addition there will be a concert of the Young Circle of the Polish Composers’ Union; an exhibition on Polish Composers of the 20th century, and an exhibition on the late composer Ernst Krenek sponsored by the Ernst Krenek Institut in Vienna and Wiener Stadt-und Landesbibliothek. For more information visit the festival’s web site: http//www.warsaw-autumn.art.pl or send e-mail to the office: email@example.com
Paderewski Celebration In Toronto
The Celebrity Symphony Orchestra, Toronto, presents a concert entitled “The Polish Heart” and scheduled for October 27 at 7 p.m. at the St. Paul’s Church, 227 Bloor St. E. The Celebrity Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Andrzej Rozbicki, with two outstanding Polish soloists: pianist Piotr Paleczny and mezzo-soprano Magdalena Idzik. The almost all-Polish program will feature the music of Paderewski, Chopin, Moniuszko, Oginski, Kilar and Elgar, and promises to be an historic event for Toronto and Polonia. The concert is a tribute to one of the most outstanding Poles of the 20th century – Ignacy Jan Paderewski – on the 60th anniversary of his death. It is being organized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland and the Celebrity Symphony Orchestra in Toronto. The CSO is also planning lectures and exhibitions to celebrate his achievements.Tickets to the Gala will go on sale at Polimex (416) 537 3496, Pekao (416) 588-1397, Husarz (905) 277-5171, Gazeta (416) 531-3230 at the beginning of September. For additional information please call 416-567 1278. The program includes:
- K. Oginski: Polonaise
- I. J. Paderewski: Three Songs. Magdalena Idzik, Soprano
- I. J. Paderewski: Piano Concerto in A minor for Orchestra and Piano. Piotr Paleczny, piano
- W. Kilar: Orawa for strings
- S. Moniuszko: Aria from the Opera The Haunted Manor. Magdalena Idzik, Soprano
- E. Elgar: Concert Overture “Polonia” (dedicated to I.J.Paderewski)
- S. Moniuszko: Mazurka from the Opera “The Haunted Manor”
Paderewski was an unmatched piano virtuoso, an ardent statesman for the freedom of Poland, and a generous-hearted, kind-spirited human being. He began his American concert career in 1891 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He was immediately hailed as a poet and praised for his artistic vision; critics described his performances as possessing “glittering brilliance of execution”, “complete rhythmic awareness” and “outstanding re-creative originality”. His extravagantly romantic and mesmerizing stage appearance combined with his outstanding performances captured the American imagination for more than thirty years. On February 10, 1892 he made his Canadian debut in Montreal and two days later in Toronto. At this time, he met the famous Canadian engineer Casmir Gzowski, an immigrant from 1842, builder of numerous railroads and bridges including the renowned International Bridge on the Niagara River. Paderewski made the transition from musician to statesman in 1915 when he returned to America from an international tour with a mission to raise funds for Poland and campaign for its freedom.
On January 8, 1918, his dream came true when President Wilson outlined before Congress a program for peace including Poland’s independence. Paderewski was named Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1922 he returned to his concert career and made a second Carnegie Hall debut. Paderewski toured internationally, donating money from his concerts to the war-torn people of Europe, to charities in Poland, and to unemployed musicians. He helped hundreds of struggling artists and became the benefactor of a whole generation of brilliant pianists. In addition, he helped to organize and sponsor many musical competitions. When he died in New York in June 1941, thousands crowded St. Patrick’s Cathedral for his funeral, and almost 35,000 lined the streets outside. He was buried as a hero at Arlington Cemetery, remaining there until 1992 when his body could be returned to a free Poland. This year, 2001, has been designated by the Government of Poland as the ‘Year of Paderewski’.
Paderewski Tribute In NY: Reminder
If you are in New York in November be sure to attend the “Tribute to Paderewski” concert at Carnegie Hall sponsored by the Kosciuszko Foundation on November 4th. The Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk and artists Janusz Olejniczak (piano) and Anna Bajor (soprano) will present an all-Polish program featuring the music of Paderewski, Chopin, Moniuszko, and Kilar. They will be joined by the Paderewski Festival Singers, a New York choir especially formed for this occasion under the direction of Jan Sporek. For further information call Tom Pniewski, Director of Cultural Affairs at the Kosciuszko Foundation (212) 734-2130, or visit the Kosciuszko Foundation web site: http://www.kosciuszkofoundation.org.
Stanislaw Deja In Munich
On 14 September 2001 Polish pianist, Stanislaw Deja, will appear with a program of Piano sonatas by Mozart and Chopin in Munich at the Gasteig, small concert hall. Details about this performance may be found online http://www2.muenchenticket.de/8y2f631wkz1/vorstellung.jsp?id=48978
The program includes:
- Mozart: Piano Sonata in H-major KV 333
- Chopin: Piano Sonata in B-flat Minor Op. 35
- Mozart: Piano Sonata in D major KV 311
- Chopin: Piano Sonata in B minor Op.58
Jewish Studies Fellowships Available
Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania announces their Post-Doctoral Fellowships 2002-2003; Application Deadline November 15, 2001. The theme for this round of awards is JEWISH HISTORY AND CULTURE IN EASTERN EUROPE, 1600-2000.
For much of the modern period, the Jews of Eastern Europe constituted the human reservoir of Jewish civilization, the source of many of the currents that shape Jewish life even today. Scholars of literature and religion, historians, and experts in allied fields, stimulated in part by the new accessibility of long-hidden archival materials in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, have begun to re-envision East European Jewry and its place in modern Jewish history and culture. In 2002-2003, the CAJS will sponsor an interdisciplinary seminar devoted to assembling and placing in perspective the fruits of the new scholarship.
Among the possible questions the seminar will consider are: What are the limits of “crisis” as an explanatory model for individual and collective change among East European Jews? In what ways did East European Jewry remain a coherent entity across the periodic recastings of political boundaries in the region? What were the lines of influence between Jews and their mostly Slavic neighbors? The seminar will also consider neglected issues of gender and economic life among East European Jews. What historical contexts made possible the rise in Eastern Europe of Jewish cultural modernism, with the ideal of the emancipated (male or female) self at its center? How have the pioneering figures of Jewish scholarship in Eastern Europe, with their pronounced populist bent, shaped the field’s intellectual lineage? How can attention to the intersection of elite and popular culture illuminate such epochal developments as the rise of Hasidism as a mass movement, the political mobilization of the Jewish “silent majority” at the beginning of the 20th century, and the renewal of Jewish national identity in the USSR during the Cold War?
The Center invites applications from post-doctoral candidates in the humanities and social sciences. Outstanding graduate students in the final stages of writing their dissertations may also apply. Stipend amounts are based on a Fellows’ academic standing and financial need with a maximum of $32,000 for the academic year. A contribution may also be made towards travel expenses. Application deadline is November 15, 2001. Awards will be announced on January 15, 2002.
For more information and application forms contact Sheila Allen: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the program web site: http://www.cjs.upenn.edu/Program/2002-2003/announce.html
Shauris Chorale Has New Address
Please note that the Web Site of the Shauris Chorale (Polish Composers Page) has moved from http://www.ultranet.com/~ras/polishc.htm to http://www.scoinc.org/polishc.htm
Slavic Resources For Visual Art
A new site dedicated to visual arts in the Eastern Europe and Russia is found at www.artmargins.com. This is a wonderful publication source administered by Anna Sokolina, curator/scholar based in New York City.
Polish Songs Online
The number of web site with Polish music midi or MP3 files steadily increases. Over 40 Polish popular songs may be found in the form of MIDI files on the site: http://www.korn.com.pl/plecak_2.htm [BZ]
Slavic Books At Thornton Store In Oxford
Najnowsze Dzieje Jezykow Slowianskich – The Modern History of Slavonic Languages. Each of the Slavic languages is to be represented in a final collection by a single volume, written in the language it is describing. 10 volumes so far, the 11th on Polish in preparation.
LYNCH, H.F.B., – Armenia. Travels and Studies.[Khayats Oriental Imprints no 15]. In 2 volumes: Vol I, The Russian Provinces, and Vol II, The Turkish Provinces. New York, 1990 (3rd printing, with new introduction); xvi, 479, xii, 512pp; with 197 illustrations.
SLAVICA LUNDENSIA, several recent volumes, the latest being volume 19.
Ideas in Russia edited by Andrzej de Lazari. 5 volumes. Available so far: volumes 1 – 4.
In addition the bookstore offers the following general services:
- 2 to 3 weekly e-mail offers of second-hand, antiquarian and new/forthcoming Russian and other Slavic materials (books, cd-rom editions, etc.)
- Searching for out of print books in the field.
- About 10,000 Russian and 1000 Bulgarian titles at: http://ukbookworld.com/cgi-bin/search1.pl?s_i_DLR_ID=Thorntons&all=1 (use keyword “thornslav” to search the complete range)
- Slavica in Western languages at: http://www.thorntonsbooks.co.uk/indexslaviclists.html
- Subscriptions to most journals/periodicals/newspapers from Eastern Europe.
THORNTON’S OF OXFORD LTD – Booksellers and Publishers since 1835
Members of the ABA since 1907
11-12 Broad Street – Oxford – OX1 3AR – United Kingdom
Tel: (0)1865 242 939 Fax: (0)1865 204 021
Dissertation On Szymanowska
Sławomir Dobrzanski has completed his doctoral dissertation for DMA degree at the University of Connecticut. The dissertation, entitled Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831). Pianist and Composer presents an overview of the pianist-composer’s life and works.
The English edition of Zbigniew Skowron’s collection of essays about the aesthetics and compositional technique of Witold Lutosławski has finally appeared from Oxford University Press. The volume includes essays from the 1997 conference sponsored by the Polish Scientific Research Committee, and organized by the University of Warsaw, and F. Chopin Society.
Fourteen studies are divided into two parts. Part I, “Aesthetics” contains an overview by Zbigniew Skowron, study of contrasts in the composer’s sound world by Charles Bodman Rae, a study of “the visionary and the dramatic” by John Casken, research into “poetic and dramatic schemes in vocal instrumental works” by Benoit Aubigny and “the themes of night and death” by Maja Trochimczyk. Part II, “Style and compositional technique” presents studies by Steven Stucky (“change and constancy”), James Harley (“symphonic form”), Martina Homma (“twelve-tone rows”), Adrian Thomas (“Jeux venitiens”), Arnold Whittall (“Concertos for Cello and Piano”), Jadwiga Paja-Stach (” Works for solo instruments and piano”), Andrzej Tuchowski (“motion patterns in Livre pour orchestre and Symphony no. 4″), Irina Nikolska (“Chain 1 and Chain 3 – types of chain connections”) and Peter Petersen (“microtonality”).
Calendar Of Events
ENDING ON SEPTEMBER 17: Paderewski Exhibit. Rare photographs, documents, telegrams and some of Paderewski’s famous speeches. San Francisco Public Library. 100 Larkin St. 415-557-4277.
SEP 8: Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble of San Francisco and the Rozanie Polish Dance Group of Roseville. Full concert in Rocklin near Auburn. 510-540-0835.
SEP 9: Above ensembles at the annual Polish Festival in Roseville, CA.
SEP 14: Stanislaw Deja plays sonatas by Chopin and Mozart, 8 pm. Munich.
SEP 16: Arthur Rubinstein’s Chopin recordings from the 1930s. Radio Station KUSC 91.5 FM. 11:00 a.m.
SEP 21-29: “Warsaw Autumn” Int’l Contemporary Music Festival. Warsaw, Poland (see the beginning of Newsletter for more details).
SEP 23: Musica Camerata of Montreal. Music of Grazyna Bacewicz. Kosciuszko Foundation Chamber Music Series. 212- 734-2130.
SEP 23: Fifth Polish Festival in the South Bay area Featuring the Lowiczanie Folk Dance Ensemble. 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 10250 Clayton Road, San Jose. tel: 408-251-8490. www.polishfestival.com
SEP 30: Part II of Arthur Rubinstein’s Chopin recordings from the 1930s. KUSC 91.5 FM. 11:00 a.m.
Anne Midgette wrote a review of Anderszewski’s appearance at the “Mostly Mozart Festival” at the Lincoln Center in New York featuring the New York orchestral debut of Piotr Anderszewski, a widely acclaimed 32-year-old pianist from Poland. “An extremely fine player, Mr. Anderszewski performed the Haydn’s Concerto in D Major with a combination of precision and gentle limpidity, a purity of tone that expanded into clear crystalline cadenzas, retaining all the while the clean forms of the classical style. If there was a flaw, it was a slight self-consciousness in the hushed drawing out of, for instance, the second-movement cadenza, stretching the quietness envelope slightly too far. Ultimately, however, this is more a question of individual taste than a real criticism of a very fine performance.”For more information visit the site: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/15/arts/music/
Karol Szymanowski’s Violin Sonata in D minor, Op. 9 was performed in Bellingham, Washington by Andrzej Grabiec, violin and Timothy Hester, piano, on 6 August 2001. This small town is the location of the Western Washington University where the performance took place; Grabiec – who teaches violin at the University of Texas in Huston, is one of the most dedicated promoters of Polish music through his recordings, solo recitals, and appearances, and teaching.
Szymanowski’s music was also performed at the Skaneateles Festival in upstate New York on August 16th. The concert “Fiery Fingers: Paganini & Co.” included Works by Paganini, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Szymanowski, Busoni and Briccialdi (Kaler, violin; Russo, piano; Walsh, piano ). For more information visit www.skanfest.org
Pavel Nersessian included three Chopin Waltzes, Opus 64 in his recent recital at Zipper hall, Colburn School of Music, Los Angeles on 11 Aug.
The “Chopin Connection” at the Windham Festival in the Catskill Mountains in New York state featured jazz pianist Adam Makowicz and Russian pianist Volodymir Vynnytski, with the latter playing the original Chopin versions followed by jazz improvisations by Makowicz. The program concluded with both pianists at the keyboard.
Kevin Kenner and his piano teacher, Krzysztof Brzuza of San Diego gave joint piano masterclasses in Bydgoszcz, Poland (where the Paderewski Piano Competition is held) from July 25 to August 8. Afterwards they performed in concerts throughout Poland in August, with Paderewski and Chopin on the program.
20th Century Music Concerts
Moszkowski’s piano concerto was performed at the Methow, Washington music festival on 11 Aug. www.methow.com>
Henryk Gorecki’s famous Third Symphony was heard again with David Zinman and Dawn Upshaw. This time at the Aspen Music Festival on 19 August.
Lutoslawski’s Chain II was performed on 9 and 10 August in New Zealand (Auckland and Hamilton). Justine Cormack, violin and the Auckland Philharmonia.
by Wanda Wilk
Anderszewski’s “Diabelli Variations” Praised
Once again Anderszewski’s new disc in the news. It made the Top 20 Classical CD Chart in the BBC music magazine August 2001 issue. VIRGIN VC 5-45468-2.
Chopin And Scriabin Recordings
LIVE CLASSICS LCL 441. Chopin Polonaises and Scriabin. Sviatoslav Richter, piano.
LIVE CLASSICS LCL 431. Chopin, Haydn, Scriabin & Debussy. Sviatoslav Richter, piano.The two CDs are recordings of two concerts from the Oleg Kagan Musikfest in Germany in 1992. Music critic Misha Donat in the BBC Music Magazine recommends them both, even though there is a duplication of some of the repertoire, describing the pianist’s playing as “impressive” and “played with all the warmth and variety of colour Richter had at his disposal.”
Naxos has just released a multi-pack set of CDs with a book and spoken narrative, “Chopin. Life & Works.” Anton Lesser, piano. Written and narrated by writer Jeremy Siepmann.
Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater
CHANDOS 9937. Szymanowski: Stabat Mater, Symphony No. 3, Six Kurpian Songs. Russian State Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Capella. Valeri Polyansky, dir. for more information visit the site of the publisher, www.chandos.net.
Rozbicki’s Missa Festiva
ACTE PREALABLE issued a new CD, Kazimierz Rozbicki – Missa festiva for soloists, choir and orchestra with Magdalena Witczak, soprano; Katarzyna Suska, mezzo-soprano; Choir Iuventus Cantans; Henryk Stiller, choirmaster; Filharmonia Koszalińska Symphony Orchestra; Jerzy Kosek, conductor.
The CD may be ordered from Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Acte Préalable sp. z o.o.
skr. pocztowa 71 – 02-792 Warszawa 78 – Poland
A sample MP3 file of 1 Mb size available on request
Born This Month
- 1 September 1900 – Kazimierz WILKOMIRSKI, cellist, conductor, teacher (died in 1990)
- 5 September 1924 – Krystyna MOSZUMANSKA-NAZAR, composer
- 6 September 1916 – Tadeusz DOBRZANSKI, composer and conductor
- 7 September 1943 – Elżbieta STEFAŃSKA, harpsichordist
- 9 September 1921 – Andrzej DOBROWOLSKI, composer (died in 1989)
- 9 September 1923 – Andrzej BACHLEDA, tenor
- 13 September 1896 – Tadeusz SZELIGOWSKI (died 10 January 1963), composer
- 14 September 1937 – Jan ASTRIAB, composer
- 14 September 1914 – Michal SPISAK, composer (died 29 January 1965, Paris)
- 16 September 1895 – Karol RATHAUS, composer, pianist (died 21 November 1954, New York)
- 16 September 1891 – Czeslaw MAREK, composer, pianist
- 18 September 1919 – Edward BURY, composer and theory teacher
- 18 September 1928 – Adam WALACINSKI, composer and music critic
- 18 September 1883 – Ludomir RÓŻYCKI (died 1 January 1953), composer
- 19 September 1938 – Zygmunt KRAUZE, composer and pianist
- 22 September 1940 – Edward BOGUSLAWSKI, composer
- 23 September 1912 – Irena PFEIFFER, composer, conductor.
- 24 September 1914 – Andrzej PANUFNIK (died 27 October 1991), composer
- 30 September 1942 – Andrzej DUTKIEWICZ, pianist and composer
- 30 September 1947 – Jan OLESZKOWICZ, composer
Died This Month
- 13 September 1977 – Leopold STOKOWSKI (born 18 April 1882), conductor and composer
- 15 September 1895 – Jan KLECZYNSKI (b. 8 June 1857), pianist and music critic
- 15 September 1944 – Bronislaw WOLFSTAHL, composer, pianist, conductor (b. 22 July 1883)
- 18 September 1857 – Karol KURPINSKI (b. 6 March 1785), composer and conductor
- 26 September 1944 – Seweryn BARBAG (b. 4 September 1891), musicologist.
- 29 September 1954 – Alfred GRADSTEIN (born 30 October 1904), composer, and social activist
- 27 September 1943 – Wacław GIEBUROWSKI (born 6 February 1878), priest, choral conductor and musicologist
- 28 September 1939 – Halina SZMOLC-FITELBERG (born 25 December 1892), dancer (Diaghilev ensemble, Grand Theatre)
- 28 September 1956 – Walerian BIERDAJEW, conductor and teacher (b. 7 March 1885)
- 29 September 1861 – Tekla BADARZEWSKA-BARANOWSKA (b. 1834), composer of “The Maiden’s Prayer”