Karłowicz interpreted by Szczecin Philharmonic & Bergmann

Works by Mieczysław Karłowicz were performed by the Karłowicz Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in Szczecin with conductor by Rune Bergmann for performances in Szczecin (17 January) and Wrocław (18 January).

The Szczecin Philharmonic’s “Grandioso” series continued on 17 January with a program including Karłowicz’s Serenade for string orchestra and his two symphonic poems: Episode at a masquerade and Stanisław and Anna Oświecim. On 18 January, Polish opera singer Małgorzata Walewska performed songs by Mieczysław Karłowicz in orchestral arrangement at the National Forum of Music in Wrocław.

Mieczysław Karłowicz’s innovative music language of harmony and orchestration resulted in some of the most colorful orchestral music ever written. Among these orchestral works is Stanisław and Anna Oświecim, influenced by a painting by Stanisław Bergman, which tells the story of the unfortunate incestuous relationship of the title siblings. Another is Episode at a Masquerade, a work that was finished by conductor and composer Grzegorz Fitelberg after Karłowicz’s promising international career ended in February 1909 when he was killed by an avalanche while hiking Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy. In Episode at a Masquerade, two ex-lovers unexpectedly meet during a ball—the man is represented by a catchy theme while the woman is represented by a sensual and slightly melancholic theme. The song ends with sadness and resignation.

The core of Karłowicz’s oeuvre was his symphonic works, but he also wrote several songs that reflected the melancholy aesthetic of the era. While they were written for voice and piano, the concert on 18 January introduced their orchestral versions, as orchestrated by composer Piotr Moss.

[Sources: polmic.pl, polmic.pl]