New Release: Polish Heroines of Music

Polish Heroines of Music
Elżbieta Sikora (b. 1944): Sonosphère V. Wanda Landowska; Hanna Kulenty (b. 1961): Aisthetikos; Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969): Contradizione; Agata Zubel (b. 1978): In the Shade of an Unshed Tear
Orchestre Pasdeloup, Marzena Diakun – cond.
Anaklasis (29 Jan 2021)

Women have long represented a distinctive voice in Polish music. The excellent achievements of present-day Polish female composers and their eminent predecessors are worthy of being noticed and highlighted. In recognition of this, on 29 January 2021 the Anaklasis label released ‘Polish Heroines of Music,’ an album comprising orchestral works by Elżbieta Sikora, Hanna Kulenty, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Agata Zubel.

This most recent album in the “Sounds” series is the result of cooperation between PWM Edition and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, with the aim to create and disseminate a new canon of music by Polish female composers by promoting Polish culture worldwide. The third project participant is the French Orchestre Pasdeloup—France’s oldest continually performing orchestra (est. 1861), currently headed by Marianne Rivière—which recorded four pieces by outstanding Polish women artists. The orchestra is led on this album by Maestra Marzena Diakun.

Elżbieta Sikora’s piece Sonosphère V. Wanda Landowska, included on the CD, combines acoustic tradition with electric modernity. The mastery of French jazz guitarist Misja Fitzgerald Michel—whose virtuosic electric guitar solo conjures up, in accordance with the composer’s intentions, the nervousness and sound color of Jimi Hendrix’s playing—will leave no one indifferent. Hanna Kulenty’s Aisthetikos brings us in contact with metaphysical trance and musical surrealism. This work is interpreted here by excellent soloists: saxophonist Bartłomiej Duś and pianist Magdalena Duś, who premiered the piece less than a year ago at the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic in Kielce.

Contradizione is a classic work for chamber orchestra by the eminent composer and violin virtuoso Grażyna Bacewicz, who also was a proficient pianist and writer. Agata Zubel’s In the Shade of an Unshed Tear attempts to explore the possibilities of a Beethoven orchestral work in the language of contemporary music. This album features the world premiere recording of this composition.

Watch a 5 minute clip about the ‘Polish Heroines of Music’ project at vimeo.com/484523182. More album information at: www.anaklasis.pl.

[Source: press release, polmic.pl]