The world premiere of Zygmunt Krauze’s Poem of Apollinaire for speaking pianist and 12 instruments took place in Warsaw on June 26, performed by Orkest de ereprijs with the composer at the piano under the baton of Wim Boerman. The piece was commissioned by the Association of Polish Composers [Związek Kompozytorów Polskich] and was staged during the Concert of Seven Premieres capping the 70th anniversary of ZKP.
Zygmunt Krauze describes Poem of Apollinaire in the following words:
In his poem of 1918, ‘The Pretty Redhead,’ Guillaume Apollinaire included a dramatic appeal to the critics, or even the authorities, for understanding towards seeking artists. This appeal is a cry for freedom of artistic speech. This poem has accompanied me since my childhood. It is always current.
Fragments of the poem are present in this work. They are expressed by a musician playing a detuned piano—my favorite instrument. The solo part forms an opposition against the instrumental ensemble. It has a changeable and provocative character. However, the part of the ensemble is stable, untouched, bereft of expression.
The work was composed at the initiative and commissioned by the Association of Polish Composers [Związek Kompozytrów Polskich] in order to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Many of us, members of ZKP, remember discussions and situations in which we raised the issue of the freedom of artistic speech. This is what Apollinaire fought for 100 years ago.
On September 17 in Szczecin, the world premiere of Preludia do Bukolików by Zygmunt Krauze will be conducted by Ewa Strusińska, featuring soloists Jakub Haufa and Adam Siebers – violin, Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka – viola, and Andrzej Bauer – cello. The composition was commissioned by the International Youth Lutosławski Orchestra, and the composer will also hold lectures and practical classes for orchestra members in conjunction with the concert. Run by the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin since 2013, ILYO is intended to give young musicians the opportunity to perform contemporary music, with a particular emphasis on Witold Lutosławski’s works.
ILYO’s format and emphasis is helpful to understanding Krauze’s Preludia do Bukolikówand its remarkable construction. With this piece, the composer lets the performers decide about the final formal structure of the Preludes. They can be performed along with Lutosławski’s Bukoliki or as an individual piece. Considering the fact that Bukoliki are available in a few arrangements, the number of combinations is significant. In addition to performing both the new Krauze piece and its corresponding Lutosławski work, they will also perform Lutosławski’s Partita (arranged for violin and orchestra with piano obligato), Interludium for orchestra, and Łańcuch II. Dialog for violin and orchestra.
This is what Zygmunt Krauze, who is also a pianist himself, says about his inspiration from Witold Lutosławski:
These four orchestral Preludes refer not only to Lutosławski’s Bukoliki, but also to his other compositions where he used quotations from Polish folk music. Preludes can be performed as an individual piece as well as in a combination with Bukoliki, even played interchangeably: Bukolik – Prelude – Bukolik – Prelude and so on.
I have in my music collection a copy of Bukoliki by Lutosławski. On the cover I wrote the year 1957. This is when I played this – initially in school concerts, and then in concerts for the public. Even today I perform his Folk Melodies (Melodie Ludowe). This is why, when I composed the Preludes, I naturally used other folk music composed by Lutosławski, at the same time as I was careful not to resign from my own musical language. By doing this I wanted to show my respect for the composer, who means so much in Polish music.
Preludia do Bukolików was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the “Collections” Program, under the Priority “Composing Commissions,” which is implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT).
September 17, 2016 | 7:00 p.m.
Krauze Premiere by Int’l Youth Lutosławski Orchestra
Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic
ul. Małopolska 48, 70-515 Szczecin, Poland
Info & Tickets: filharmonia.szczecin.pl