NOSPR Celebrates Szabelski

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (b. 1933, Czernica near Rybnik) | © Photo by Gerry Hurkmans, Amsterdam 1997
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki | © Photo by Gerry Hurkmans, Amsterdam 1997

On November 6, NOSPR and conductor Szymon Bywalec will be joined by pianists Anna Górecka (daughter of H.M. Górecki) and Joanna Galon-Frant for a carefully crafted concert program celebrating composer and pedagogue Bolesław Szabelski (1896-1979). The program will include Karol Szymanowski’s Nocturne and Tarantella, Op. 28 (orch. Grzegorz Fitelberg), Szabelski’s Suite for Orchestra, Op. 10 and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Songs of Joy and Rhythm, Op. 7.

From the program notes by Marcin Trzęsiok:

Outstanding works of Bolesław Szabelski (1896-1979) are waiting for their renaissance. As a student of Karol Szymanowski, and also a teacher of Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, he was an important link in the chain of tradition of Polish music. In Katowice he is remembered as one of the first professors of the Conservatory of Music, where he taught from the moment of its foundation (1929). His compositional work began under the sign of Neoclassicism then quite unexpectedly, in the late period (under the influence of Gorecki), opened to the currents of the avant-garde. You rarely hear the whole Suite for orchestra (1936), despite the fact that one of its parts—the Toccata—had gained such great popularity at one time so great that it remains the composer’s calling card in the concert hall.

The Nocturne and Tarantella, Op. 28 (1915) is one of the most popular works of Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937). This is due to a conscious reference to the virtuoso tradition of the nineteenth century (there are echoes of the Scherzo-tarantella of Henryk Wieniawski), spiked with the qualities of his own distinctive style of violin writing (in the same year he composed his famous Myths). The piece is also influenced by the music of the Mediterranean, with clear allusions to Spanish, gypsy and Italian idioms. It was orchestrated by Grzegorz Fitelberg in 1937.

Songs of Joy and Rhythm, Op. 7 (1956, rev. 1960) are considered the first major work of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933-2010). The title refers to a poetic verse by Julian Tuwim, from his early volume Czyhanie na boga. His epiphanic vision: the revelation of “a billion universes” suffered “under the umbrella of the stars” (“I come to myself / To the great joy and a great rhythm”). Here Górecki marks the mood misterioso. Two pianos and a small orchestra with a percussion section persist in a state of vital ecstasy, unleashing primal energies—although the musical material has been inferred from the phrase of a plainsong chant (Bogurodzica?).

Sunday, November 6, 2016 | 12 p.m.
120th Anniversary Concert: Bolesław Szabelski

NOSPR Concert Hall and Chamber Hall
plac Wojciecha Kilara 1, 40-202 Katowice, Poland
Admission: 10-30 zl
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