The first in the series of December online concerts of the Krakow Philharmonic, which took place on 6 December 2020 at 6.00 p.m., was organized to celebrate the 87th birth anniversary of Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki. During the retransmission on the Philharmonic’s YouTube channel, the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir under the baton of Antoni Wit will perform works by Rafał Janiak, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki, who is no longer among us.
The evening opened with the world premiere of Rafał Janiak’s piece with a significant title Postscriptum 8’37 “≈8 (.) 6 … in memoriam Krzysztof Penderecki. The composer wrote on the score:
“Instead of using words, I try to sketch with sound a private portrait … The score below is a tribute to the Master, which I had the honour to meet personally. It is therefore a “biographical work” in which, like in the cinema, threads from the composer’s life are intertwined with the history of his native country. I have included in my piece numerous quotes from his music – some will certainly be immediately readable, while others are deeply processed and camouflaged in the thicket of sounds. 6 seconds – one year in a life – 8’37” – 86 years of precious time for Polish culture…”
The musicians performed Krzysztof Penderecki’s diploma composition Epitaphium Artur Malawski in memoriam, Symphony No. 6 “Chinese Songs”, the choral work O gloriosa Virginum, Agnus Dei composed in response to the passing of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, and the dramatic lament Stabat Mater. Audiences also listened to Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Totus Tuus for mixed choir a cappella, which was performed during the pope John Paul II’s third pilgrimage to his native country. Górecki’s best-known sacred choral piece commemorates the tenth anniversary of the composer’s passing.