The 14th edition of the Witold Lutosławski “Łańcuch” [Chain] Festival is being held from January 28 to February 12, 2017 at Polish Radio’s Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw. The program of the 2017 edition of the “Chain” Festival places side by side two of the greatest musical personalities of 20th century Polish culture: Lutosławski and Szymanowski. The idea is to highlight their similarities and differences, and to harmonize them, in terms of both musical genres and expressive features.
In addition to Lutosławski and Szymanowski, the2017 Festival program includes compositions by Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Anton Webern, Gabriel Fauré and Alexander Zemlinsky, interpreted by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestrajoined by the Krakow Philharmonic Choir, Iwona Sobotka and Andrzej Lampert conducted by Alexander Liebreich; the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra with Giedrė Šiaulytė (harp) and Maksymilian Lipień (oboe) under Mare Moś; the Silesian Quartet; the Chain Ensemble directed by Andrzej Bauer; the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra with Olga Pasiecznik under Renato Rivolta; as well as many other excellent ensembles and soloists.
One of the highlights of this year’s Festival is the third concert, presenting chamber music by Lutosławski and Szymanowski on February 5. The repertoire selected for this concert is presented in a dualistic fashion, in which each piece by Lutosławski corresponds to a work by Szymanowski: two lullabies for violin and piano, two song cycles to poems by Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna, two arrangements of Niccolò Paganini’s caprices, and two masterpieces of the violin literature which also were joined by composer-performer duos— Lutosławski’s Partita as a work inspired and performed by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and Szymanowski’s Myths. Three Poems, Op. 30, which were created as a result of close relationship with violinist Paweł Kochański. The program will end with Variations on a Theme of Paganini (1941), which were frequently played by the piano duo of Witold Lutosławski and Andrzej Panufnik in the cafes of Nazi-occupied Warsaw. The score of these Variations was the only one of their over 200 transcriptions to survive WWII intact (see www.lutoslawski.org.pl for more details on the history of the Lutosławski-Panufnik duo and the Variations).
Performers for the evening will be Joanna Freszel (soprano), Mariusz Rutkowski (piano), Katarzyna Krzyżanowska (mezzosoprano), Łukasz Chrzęszczyk (piano), Tanja Becker-Bender (violin), Péter Nagy (piano), and the Ravel Piano Duo (Agnieszka Kozło, Katarzyna Ewa Sokołowska).
Read the full program at www.lutoslawski.org.pl.