Spotlight Concert: PMC Manuscript Collection

The second festival Polska Muzyka Odnaleziona [Discovered Polish Music] is happening in Warsaw between November 26 and December 10. In four separate concerts, a great variety of repertoire will be presented in several venues all around Warsaw. The opening concert on Nov. 26 at features choral and organ works by Polish Benedictine nuns from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Dec. 3 concert at the Royal Łazienki Palace will present forgotten trios for violin, cello and keyboard instruments as well as songs from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

A day later, on Dec. 4 also at the Łazienki Royal Palace, compositions from the Polish Music Center’s extensive Manuscript Collection will be heard. Zygmunt Stojowski’s Sonata for Cello and Piano—a work dedicated to Stojowski’s friend, Ignacy Jan Paderewski—will be performed by the Cracow Duo of cellist Jan Kalinowski and pianist Marek Szlezer, who have long championed this fine work. Pianist Julia Samojło (pictured below) will give the world premiere of Roman Ryterband’s 24 Variations for Piano, a work written in Switzerland during World War II. The manuscript of this monumental set of variations was donated to the Polish Music Center earlier this year by the composer’s widow, Clarissa, and her daughters—Diana Eisele and Astrid Ryterband. This concert will be rounded out with several American compositions of Henryk Wars (known in the U.S. as Henry Vars), including solo piano pieces Sunrise in Manhattan and Lady with the French Poodle as well as songs for voice and piano, Sleep, My ChildI Remember, and Never Say You’ll Never Fall in Love. Written by Wars in the late 1940s and early 1950s in Los Angeles, these works were part of a huge donation of mostly orchestral works to the PMC by the composer’s widow, Elizabeth Wars, in 2005. It will be their Polish premiere—and likely their first hearing in Europe as well.

PMC Dir. Marek Żebrowski and pianist Julia Samojło with Maestro Krzesimir Dębski after a performance of the Wars Concerto at the Poznań Philharmonic on May 6, 2010

Organized by the National Center of Culture, the Festival closes on Dec. 10 with a concert of pastorals from the Old Polish Commonwealth. More information at nck.pl/polska-muzyka-odnaleziona.