Meyer’s Premieres And Reflections

Polish guitar virtuoso, Łukasz Kuropaczewski, gave a world premiere of Krzysztof Meyer’s Triptych for Guitar Solo at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York, on 23 July 2015. Just a few weeks later, on 3 August 2015, Kuropaczewski followed up with the European premiere of the Triptych at the 24th International Guitar Symposium in Iserlohn, one of the largest classical guitar festivals in Europe.

The composer, Krzysztof Meyer, provided the following description of his latest work:

I already wrote the Concerto for Guitar, Tympani and Strings for the outstanding Polish guitarist Łukasz Kuropaczewski. The Triptych for Guitar Solo is my second work for this interpreter. The titles of the movements: Fantasia, Aria and Impromptu furioso, refer to the characters of the individual movements.

I completed Triptych for Guitar Solo in December 2014. The piece is permeated by double contrasts: in terms of harmony, the guitar’s own mood and sound world are contrasted with my harmonic thinking. In terms of technique, on the other hand, performance gestures of the Flamenco tradition are contrasted with those of the practice of classical guitar playing. The dialogue between different harmonic and historical levels can thus be discovered through a complex, clearly demarcated discourse. The duration of the work is about fifteen minutes.

Following the European premiere of his Triptych, Meyer shared with the PMC the following observations:
We travelled first to Iserholn (a town in the Ruhr Valley) for a concert at a guitar festival. Iserholn is small and lovely town with a well-preserved historic centre, and the concert was held in one of the city’s historic churches. Together with my wife we came to hear the first European performance of my Triptych for Guitar Solo (the world premiere was held in New York a few weeks earlier). We wouldn’t have considered coming to this concert except for the fact that it was given by a fellow Pole, Łukasz Kuropaczewski who, as a virtuoso (and here I’m not exaggerating) is one of the world’s very best. Wonderful musicianship, faultless technique, and on top of everything, he is a wonderful human being. It was a very joyous evening for me.

Meyer and his wife, Danuta Gwizdalanka, then travelled to the Polish seaside resort of Sopot, where they attended the August 5 concert at the Sopot Classic Festival, featuring works by Krzysztof Penderecki, Eugeniusz Knapik and Stanisław Moryto as well as two works by the winners of the Krzysztof Penderecki Composing Competition, Michał Ziółkowski and Artur Słotwiński. Meyer’s impressions of Ziółkowski’s Opening Old Wounds and Słotwiński’s Gry miejskie [City Games] were quite positive:
[My visit in Sopot] brought several very nice meetings with my fellow composers who were staying there and in the evening I attended one of the Sopot Classic Festival concerts, where works by composers who won the Penderecki Composition Contest were presented. […] the works by two young composers sounded fresh, interesting and unconventional. It was a wonderful surprise!

[Sources: sikorski.de, guitarsymposium.de]