Since its creation in 2004, Kwartesencja Festival has represented not only the essence of the most beautiful, intimate chamber music-making, but also the answer to the question of what the modern world sounds like. The last concert of this year’s edition will be held online on 11 December 2020, featuring music by Krzysztof Penderecki and the premiere of Aleksander Nowak‘s String Quartet No. 3.
Krzysztof Penderecki’s first quartet dates from the time when the composer broke into the heart of the world’s avant-garde. Knocks, scattered noises, thickets of string sounds all cry out to be passed through your own experience. Similarly, disturbing murmuring sequences and violent attacks in the Second Quartet, written at the peak of youthful popularity, somewhat reminiscent of electronic music of the time. Penderecki’s Third Quartet is a strange combination. A lookback that accompanied him from an aesthetic breakthrough in the mid-seventies, the obsessive verification of the community of values and ideas that are to bind the European culture together. A personal tone that returns in bitter, persistently repeated motifs and in nostalgic adagio melodies.
What will String Quartet No. 3 of Aleksander Nowak be like? The composer does not seem to be particularly concerned with stylistic labels, so closely related to time, and thus transient. One thing is certain: he is an artist who builds a very personal vision of the world, not without a sense of humor and contact with reality. Distinguished critic Andrzej Chłopecki compared his debut to the beginnings of Krzysztof Penderecki’s career, recognizing Nowak’s creative attitude as “life-writing.”