On Friday, December 4, the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw will perform a program including works by Andrzej Panufnik, Wojciech Kilar, and W.A. Mozart, as well as the Polish premiere of a 2008 work by Austrian composer Kurt Schwertsik. The soloist for the first Polish performance of Schwertsik’s Now you hear me, now you don’t, Op. 102 – concerto for marimba and strings will be renowned British percussionist Colin Currie. For the performance of Panufnik’s Concertino for timpani, percussion and strings, Currie will share the soloist’s platform with Warsaw Phil resident timpanist (and former PMC Project Assistant) Daniel Kamiński. Also on the program are two excellent works for string orchestra: Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik in G Major, KV 525 and Kilar’s Orawa.
From the Philharmonic’s website:
Andrzej Panufnik penned his striking Concertino for Timpani, Percussion and Strings (1980) for a competition organized by the London Symphony Orchestra for novice percussionists. The author himself spoke about the idea behind the piece: In this work I wanted to take a fresh look at percussion and to emphasise especially the expressive, even the singing quality of the instruments […] my intention was to compose a test of true musicianship: to demonstrate quality of sound, precision and above all an understanding of the musical content of the work, its poetic element.
A percussion idiophone – the marimba – will be the main character of Kurt Schwertsik’s recital. Following a period of avant-garde experimentation, this Austrian composer (born in 1935) turned to tradition and started writing accessible and tonal pieces, often bearing humorous titles, as is the case with his concerto Now you hear me, now you don’t from 2008.
Wojciech Kilar composed his Orawa in 1986. Frequently described as a summation of the Tatra Mountain themes in the composer’s oeuvre, it rapidly took Polish and international concert halls by storm. The title of the piece refers to the geographical borderland between Poland and Slovakia as well as to the river that flows though this region. The effervescent character of the work is paralleled by a pared down approach to the musical material, so characteristic of the composer’s late works. Orawa was inspired by the sound of highlander bands.
Due to current restrictions, there will be no audience present during the concert, however the performance will be broadcast live online. Tickets to watch the livestream are available for purchase here.