|Polish Music Newsletter|
KULENTY FEATURED AT ‘MUSIC @ RUSH HOUR’
The music of Dr. Hanna Kulenty (right) will be featured during the Music @ Rush Hour student performance series on September 27 at 5 p.m. at Ramo Recital Hall on the USC campus. USC Thornton doctoral candidates Alexander Zhu, piano and Xander Knecht, violin, will perform works by the renowned Polish composer, who will be present for the concert and work with the students in rehearsal. A leading figure on the contemporary music scene, Dr. Kulenty is a laureate of the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers and her works were championed by such ensembles as the Kronos Quartet and the Dutch ensemble ‘de ereprijs’, among others. Dr. Kulenty will also speak about and perform her own music during the concert, including her 2016 solo piano composition, Smokey One. Other Kulenty works on this program will include Drive Blues for piano solo and Still Life with a Violin for violin solo. Organized by the Polish Music Center, this program will also include Karol Szymanowski’s Mythes, Op. 30 for violin and piano.
2017 PADEREWSKI LECTURE-RECITAL AT USC
Polish composer and professor at the Kraków Music Academy, Marcel Chyrzyński, will lecture on the creative process and his composition methods for the PMC’s annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital on Sunday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m.in Newman Recital Hall on the USC campus. A student of Marek Stachowski and Krzysztof Penderecki, Chyrzyński’s works have been championed by pianist Marek Szlezer and cellist Jan Kalinowski, members of the Cracow Duo and his colleagues at the Kraków Music Academy. In addition to directing the Department of Composition, Interpretation and Musical Education, Professor Chyrzyński also leads the Kraków chapter of Polish Composers’ Union. His talk will be followed by West Coast premieres of Chyrzyński’s chamber music, performed by artists from Poland and Southern California. Admission is free for this event and it will be followed by a reception with the artists.
2017 PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL: SAVE-THE-DATE
Co-organized by the Polish Music Center, the annual Paderewski Festival takes place in Paso Robles from November 2-5, 2017. The programs will feature a variety of local and international artists in several beautiful locations. Café Musique, a favorite Central Coast musical ensemble, will launch this year’s musical celebrations of Paso’s most famous resident and property owner with a concert of popular music at Cass Winery on Thursday, November 2. Friday events take place at the Park Ballroom in Paso’s historical downtown and include a 2 p.m. piano master class and a 7 p.m. concert. For Saturday, November 4, the action moves to the magnificent Paso Robles Inn, the place Paderewski called home whenever he visited Paso. A 4 p.m. concert will feature winners of this year’s Youth Piano Competition and a 7:30 p.m. Gala Concert.
An additional attraction at this year’s Gala will be the award ceremony for the “Paderewski Cycle” Musical Theater Project, organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (IAM). Videos of selected excerpts from the winning entries will be screened before the Gala Concert and IAM Director, Krzysztof Olendzki, will be on hand to present the awards. FoP and Patron level ticket holders will also get the chance to meet Mr. Olendzki and hear a World Premiere performance of one of the Paderewski Cycle finalists in an exclusive event on Sunday morning at Epoch Winery. Wine tasting from sponsoring wineries will accompany all musical events.
NEW PMC VIDEO ON YOUTUBE
Attention all fans of Polish avant-garde music! The first video of the PMC Spring 2017 concert, which was performed by the terrific gnarwhallaby ensemble, has been uploaded to our YouTube channel. Entitled “Exploring the Avant-Garde”, the March 25 concert presented works by Witold Szalonek, Krzysztof Meyer, Hanna Kulenty, Bogusław Schaeffer, Tadeusz Wielecki, Zygmunt Krauze and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. The entire event was expertly filmed by Adam Borecki, but the footage from three cameras must be edited first, and so far we have uploaded only Witold Szalonek’s wild Improvisations sonoristiques. In the coming weeks, the remaining works on this program will be shared with the world audience via YouTube.
Please visit www.youtube.com now and continue looking for more exciting repertoire to come on line.
AN ABUNDANCE OF FRIENDS…
How nice it is to have friends and be appreciated! The month of September began with visitors flocking to PMC and bearing gifts for our library. First came Professor Maciej Staszewski from the Łódź Music Academy. A virtuoso guitarist and composer, Prof. Staszewski presented us with his CD recording, Fantasía Ibérica (DUX 1336), featuring solo guitar works by Antón Garcia Abril, Carlos Suriñach, Joan Manén, Fernando Lopes-Graça, Regino Sainz de la Maza, as well as his own works, including Invocación, Alcázar, and Sonitus Noctus. We also received Prof. Staszewski’s score of Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra and two other scores published in the series “Nowa Muzyka Łodzi” [The New Music in Łódź]: Trio No. 1 for Violin, Cello and Piano by Jerzy Bauer, Accende lumen sensibus per organo, and a collection of works for choir a cappella by Jerzy Bauer, Krzysztof Grzeszczak and Sławomir Kaczorowski.
From a large gift bag that Prof. Staszewski brought to us from Poland also emerged a CD published by the Łódź Music Academy commemorating Prof. Stanisław Firlej, a legendary cellist, on his 70th birthday. This rare album features Chopin’s complete works for cello and piano, including his early Polonaise Op. 3, Grand duo concertant, and the late Sonata, Op. 65. Recorded with pianist Anna Wesołowska-Firlej, this disc also has works by Popper, Tchaikovsky and Dvořak. Finally, we also received two fascinating brochures from Prof. Stachowski: The Palace of Music—a lavishly illustrated story of the Poznański’s neo-Baroque residence that now houses portion of the Łódź Music Academy, and Study in Łódź—a handbook of useful information for foreign students wishing to explore this fascinating city, the second largest in Poland.
Professor Staszewski’s was brought to PMC by another guitarist, Thornton School of Music doctoral student (and a virtuoso guitarist in his own right), Tomasz Fechner. Tomasz actually coordinated Prof. Staszewski’s visit in Los Angeles and his recording sessions in Santa Monica. As readers of this Newsletter may already know, Tomasz is eager to promote all things Polish, especially when it comes to guitar music!
Next, we had a chance to meet a young filmmaker and researcher, Maja Baczyńska (above), who came to the PMC to inspect materials on Polish musicians active in California in connection with her doctoral thesis. Maja is particularly interested in Bronisław Kaper and Henryk Wars, as well as in Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (and his visit at USC), Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Wojciech Kilar, and others. We were happy to open our doors and electronic archives, and share documents, photographs, manuscripts, published scores, press clippings and recorded interviews on file.
Ms. Baczyńska also came in bearing gifts, including her films, Prawykonanie [Premiere] and Dyrygent-rezydent [Conductor-in-residence]. Premiered in March 2015, these two films were produced by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT) as part of their promotion of young artists in Poland. Next came another DVD, this one with a documentary Miła, Padnij! [Drop Down, Darling!], also directed by Maja Baczyńska.
Continuing to reach into her purse, Ms. Baczyńska then pulled out a huge stack of CDs, some of which she produced jointly with Maria Peryt during her stint at Warner Classics/Poland. Thus, we received a 2-volume set of 39-45, presenting music written during the years of World War II by Witold Lutosławski, Aleksander Tansman, Karol Rathaus, Andrzej Panufnik, Grażyna Bacewicz, Tadeusz Kassern, Stefan Kisielewski and Ludomir Różycki in performance by Sinfonia Varsovia. Another 2-volume set, Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, features a wide selection of choral works written between 1958-2014, including Dies Illa, Hymn do św. Daniła, Hymn do św. Wojciecha, Psalmy Dawida, as well as Stabat Mater, Veni Creator, Agnus Dei or De profundis , among others. Performers on these discs—jointly produced by Warner Classics, Filharmonia Narodowa, Polish Radio II, Presto, and Ruch Muzyczny, among others—include the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Warsaw Boys’ Choir and soloists Johanna Rusanen, Agnieszka Rehlis, and Nikolay Didenko.
Thanks to Ms. Baczyńska’s family connections, we also received several CDs featuring Bogna Lewtak-Baczyńska, a polymath artist, painter, theatre director, composer, author and performer—and our guest’s mother. The first is a 2-CD set “Reduta Ordona” [Ordon’s Redoubt] that features selections of poetry by leading Polish and foreign authors set to Baczyńska’s original musical accompaniment and also sung by her. Another CD, “Zaklęty Ogród Wyklętych i Wyrzuconych” [The Magic Garden of the Cursed and Rejected] features settings of poems her ancestor, Kamil Baczyński as well as those by Lewtak-Baczyńska in her own musical setting for a chamber ensemble and voice. Finally, there is a CD, “Wypominki—Szkice” [Recollections—Sketches], a live concert recordings of her own music and Lewtak-Baczyńska’s covers of music by Moniuszko, Ogiński, Kilar, Konieczny, Długosz, Niemen, with classic texts by Mickiewicz, Baczyński, Norwid, Niemcewicz, Tuwim, Osiecka as well as the author-performer’s own verse.
Another of Maja Baczyńska’s relatives, her sister, Dagny Baczyńska-Kissas, is a young pianist and composer as well as dancer. A 2004 graduate of the Chopin Academy in Warsaw, her piano repertoire is quite varied, focusing on Chopin as well as selected contemporary composers, including Witold Rudziński, Rafał Stradomski, Jarosław Siwiński, and her own works. A live CD recital we received includes a selection of Chopin’s Polonaises as well as Baczyńska-Kissas own take on that genre, including Polonez Amare Patriam, Polonez Rex Polonia, and other Polish-themed works.
As always, we are most grateful to our supporters for their generous gifts, which we will share with students, faculty and researchers of Polish music. Thank you! Dziękujemy!
WARSAW AUTUMN 2017: PREMIERES
The iconic festival of contemporary music, Warszawska Jesień [Warsaw Autumn], celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Held in various venues around Warsaw from September 15-23, 2017 during several concerts per day, this year’s programs will examine and illustrate the phenomenon of the avant-garde. Works by the composers who were part of the original avant-garde will be juxtaposed with the composers whose works came about in the decades following the first Warsaw Autumn Festival, held sixty years ago.
Leading Polish and foreign ensembles will be heard during this year’s Festival, including the National Polish Radio Orchestra directed by Alexander Leibrecht, the National Philharmonic with Jacek Kaspszyk, Experimentalstudio des SWR from Freiburg, the EWCM Orchestra led by Rüdiger Bohn, as well as the Tempo Reale from Florence, Les Percusions de Strassbourg, and Nostri Temporis.
During concerts with such titles as the “Musica Electronica Antiqua et Nova - Electronic Marathon,” and “electro|impro night – concert of Polish Composers’ Union – Youth Circle,” world premieres of works by Polish composers will be performed. These premieres are listed below (click on the dates of each premiere for more details:
Sept 18, PWM Edition: Dariusz Przybylski - Dawn; Jan Oleszkowicz - Ściany płaczu [Wailing Wall] (KOTEL); Weronika Ratusińska-Zamuszko (left) - Trio for Viola, Cello and Piano; and Edward Sielicki - Mazurkas for Piano Quartet
Sept 22, Fryderyk Chopin University of Music: Aleksandra Kaca - Motion blur; Teoniki Rożynek -The most satisfying music; Żaneta Rydzewska - Folla II; Rafał Ryterski - di/am/sy/od
This year’s Festival program also includes several premieres of sound installations and projects by Polish artists, held at the following locations:
MUSIC OF THE SOUL: NOWOWIEJSKI 2017
2017 marks the 140th anniversary of the birth of Feliks Nowowiejski, a Polish composer, conductor, organist, teacher and choirmaster, and “Co mi w duszy gra?” [What plays in my soul?] is a cycle of concerts dedicated to works by Nowowiejski. Held on September 16 at the Franciscan basilica in Katowice, the next concert in this cycle is organized under the title “Poland and her history.” The concert will features the Poznań Chamber Choir joined by baritone soloist Radosław Góra and organist Jakub Pankowiak. In addition to works by Nowowiejski, the program will include works by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Andrzej Koszewski, Marek Raczyński, Michael McGlynn, Mikołaj Gomółka, and Maurice Duruflé.
The Poznań Chamber Choir is currently considered the best such ensemble in Poland, as recognized with L’Orphée d’Or by the Académie du Disque Lyrique in Paris in 2013 and the Fryderyk Award nomination for the 2-CD set of music by Pasquale Anfossi. Choir was founded in 2005 by Bartosz Michałowski, who at that point served as assistant to the legendary Prof. Stefan Stuligrosz. Maestro Michałowski now serves as choir director for the National Philharmonic.
THE SEPTEMBER CONCERTS IN POLAND
The first September Concert was held in New York City in 2002 as a small-scale, local event. Its scope and influence had steadily risen since that time, and now this project encompasses almost the entire globe. Concerts under the “September Concert” rubric are meant to promote peace and humanitarian activism through music. The September Concert is based on three basic tenets: freedom for organizations representing various constituencies, representation of universal cultural heritage, and promotion of non-profit artistic events. Musicians participating it these concerts face no age, religious, national or gender barriers or restrictions, and music is heard in places where people meet—from parks and schools to churches and hospitals, as well as in shopping centers, cafés, art galleries and bookstores. All concerts are free and open to the public and both performers and organizers provide their services free of charge.
This year’s September Concert cycle in Poland opened on September 2 with a spotlight on works by Tadeusz Szeligowski, featuring flute and chamber music. Karol Szymanowski was the composer highlighted at the September 8 concert at the Poznań City Hall, performed by soprano Maria Jaskulska-Chrenowicz and pianist Elżbieta Spychała. On September 20 at the Poznań Musical Salon, a concert entitled “A Musical Journey in the Footsteps of Feliks Nowowiejski” will feature the students of the Chopin Music School in Olsztyn.
IUVENTUS IN PLAY: BRAHMS & LUTOSŁAWSKI
The Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra opens its 2017/2018 Season with a September 16 concert at the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw. Maestro Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk will lead the ensemble in two large works that are also warhorses of the concert repertoire: Brahms’s Violin Concerto Op. 77 with violin soloist Jakub Jakowicz and Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra.
Since 2008 Sinfonia Iuventus has collaborated with a number of outstanding Polish conductors, including Gabriel Chmura, Kazimierz Kord, Jan Krenz, Antoni Wit and Monika Wolińska. The orchestra also toured the festival circuit throughout Poland, Austria, China, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Italy. They also recorded a number of CDs for Universal Music, Accord, DUX, Polish Radio, Albany Records, and TVP Kultura. Recently, Sinfonia Iuventus’s collaboration with Krzysztof Penderecki led to a complete recording of his symphonies as well as his Clarinet and Flute concertos. Since 2009, the orchestra has joined the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (FENYO).
PREVIEW: 2017 POLISH FILM FESTIVAL L.A.
On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, the Gala Opening of the 18th Annual Polish Film Festival Los Angeles will take place in Hollywood. At this star-studded gala, both Polish and American moviemakers, actors and industry professionals will walk the red carpet at Hollywood's legendary Egyptian Theatre and view a screening of The Art of Loving. Story of Michalina Wislocka [Sztuka kochania. Historia Michaliny Wislockiej] by Maria Sadowska, as well as enjoying performances by musical guests and Polish delicacies from Turek catering. The Gala Opening is an extravagant start to a nine-day-long celebration of Polish Cinema from October 19 - 26, 2017, with screenings happening all over Los Angeles: at the Laemmle's NoHo 7 and Monica Film Center; in the Armer Theatre at Cal-State University Northridge; and at Leavey Library and the Max Kade Institute at the University of Southern California.
To secure an invitation to the Gala Opening on October 18, please make tax-deductible contribution to Polish American Film Society. Details are available at www.polishfilmla.org.
[Sources: press release, polishfilmla.org]
KORYFEUSZ AWARD NOMINEESS
The nominees for the 7th edition of the ‘Koryfeusz’ Polish Music Awards have been announced. Organized by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT), the ‘Koryfeusz’ Award was created in 2011 on the initiative of the music community in order to recognize its most outstanding members. It is a distinction intended to honor individual artists, performers, musicologists, critics, journalists, humanists, researchers, animators, promoters and cultural managers, as well as groups of artists, institutions, artistic events and a variety of projects that are creative, animated and educational. ‘Koryfeusz’ Awards are given to artists holding Polish citizenship or to Polish institutions operating in Poland and abroad in the categories of: Personality of the Year, Musical Event of the Year, Debut of the Year and Honorary Award.
Competing for the title of Koryfeusz “Personality of the Year” will be: soprano Joanna Freszel, saxophonist Paweł Gusnar, pianist, composer and arranger Nikola Kołodziejczyk, pianist Szymon Nehring and composer Artur Zagajewski. (pictured above, L-R)
The “Music Event of the Year” will be chosen from among the four following nominees: the 7th Festival of Premieres – Polish New Music Festival; the release of the double album Quo vadis Feliks Nowowiejski; Grammy Award for Penderecki conducts Penderecki vol. 1 (Warner Music Poland); world premiere of Alexander Tansman's opera Golden Fleece at the Łódź Grand Theater.
The title of the “Debutant of the Year” will go to one of the following young musicians: percussionist Marianna Bednarska, conductor Paweł Kapuła, saxophonist Kuba Więcek, or flutist Marianna Żołnacz.
Public voting for the Debut of the Year category will be open from September 15-19 at www.koryfeusz.org.pl. During the same time period, the award’s Electoral College—consisting of rectors of music academies and universities, directors of musicology institutes, music journalists, representatives of music trade associations and organizations, and previous winners—will select the laureates in the remaining three categories, as well as the Honorary Award winner, via secret ballot.
On October 1, the International Day of Music, winners of the 2017 Koryfeusz Awards will be announced at the Koryfeusz Award Gala – “Róbmy swoje” held in the W. Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw. Gala performers will include guitarists Marek Napiórkowski and Artur Lesicki, pianist Piotr Latoszyński and a jazz ensemble featuring Dominik Bukowski - vibraphone, Krzysztof Herdzin - piano, Michał Barański - double bass, and Paweł Dobrowolski and Sebastian Frankiewicz – drums, joined by the Polish Radio Orchestra and all conducted by Krzysztof Herdzin and Maciej Koczur. The Gala program will feature the premiere of Zygmunt Konieczny's Piano Concerto, which was commissioned by the Film and Jazz Music Foundation and co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the framework of the "Composing Commissions" program implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance. The Award Gala will be streamed live online starting at 6:00 p.m. local time at www.koryfeusz.org.pl and www.polskieradio.pl.
WRATISLAVIA CANTANS 2017
The 52nd edition of the prestigious ‘Wratislavia Cantans’ Festival takes place in Wrocław from September 7-17 under the title “Recitar cantando,” and this year’s edition will feature several anniversaries as well as diverse programming choices. The Festival will celebrate the 450th birthday of Claudio Monteverdi, 250th death anniversary of Philipp Teleman, and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which brought a great deal of changes to music, especially to the choral and vocal repertoire.
In addition to remembering international masters of vocal music, Polish vocal music from 19th through 21st centuries will also be on the program, including fragments from Freski by Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil, as well as Sonety miłosne by Tadeusz Baird and a rare performance of Stanisław Moniuszko’s cantata Widma [Apparitions], based on Part II of Adam Mickiewicz’s drama, Dziady [The Forefathers].
More information and a full Festival schedule is available at: www.nfm.wroclaw.pl/wratislavia-cantans-2017.
ŁÓDŹ FOUR CULTURES FESTIVAL
There is no other festival in Łódź that is so recognizable and, at the same time, so Łódź-related, so deeply-rooted in the history of the city as the Łódź Four Cultures Festival, which is held this year from September 8-17, 2017 under the theme of “the Alphabet of Dialogue.” Events are centered in the Old Town, which was the cradle of Łódź, but are also presented in many other spots of the city; in the far Widzew (Wi-MA), in Górna (the Central Museum of Textiles), in Polesie (the Wytwórnia Club), in Bałuty (the Dialogue Center) and in Śródmieście (the New Theatre, OFF Piotrkowska). Events will be filled with music, theatre and film, as well as literature and visual arts.
Throughout its 15 year history, the Four Cultures Festival (previously known as the Dialogue of Four Cultures Festival) has been managed by various people and institutions, and this year’s organizer is the Marek Edelman Dialogue Center. Thanks to this festival, it is known throughout Poland that Łódź was and still remains a multicultural city co-created by Poles, Jews, Germans and Russians.
For the full program of this fascinating Festival, visit: www.4kultury.pl.
‘MUZYKA NA SZCZYTACH’ 2017
The 9th International Festival 'Muzyka na szczytach' [Music on the Heights] closes on September 16 with a concert presented by the Kwadrofonik ensemble and vocalist, ethnomusicologist and poet, Adam Strug. Kwadrofonic members, percussionists Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala and Miłosz Pękala and pianists Emilia Sitarz and Bartłomiej Wąsik, presented Requiem ludowe [A Folk Requiem]. The program also included Tryptyk rzymski [A Roman Triptych], a poem by Pope John Paul II that was read by famous Polish actor, Jerzy Trela.
The Festival began on September 9, with a concert featuring works by Paweł Mykietyn , Edward Elgar and Beethoven performed by Sinfonietta Cracovia with flute soloists Łukasz Długosz and Agata Kielar-Długosz. Festival venues in the charming mountain resort of Zakopane included the Holy Cross Church, Miejsce Cinema and the Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz Theatre.
The photo gallery from this year’s edition can be found at: www.muzykanaszczytach.com.
[Sources: press release, muzykanaszczytach.com]
BEETHOVEN IN SILESIA?
Yes! The little Silesian town of Głogówek has big musical ambitions and, for well over a dozen years now, it has hosted world class musicians during its own Beethoven Festival. Actually, the town has musical history that reaches back to the mediaeval era, with such composers as Mikołaj z Koźla, Bartłomiej Pękiel, Georg Brikner, Johannes Selatzek, and Gerhard Strecke associated with this picturesque little town in the Opole Voivodship of the Upper Silesia. Głogówek’s illustrious tradition also includes one of the most important documents in early music, the Glogauer Liederbuch, a compendium of sacred and secular songs as well as of instrumental music that dates from 1480.
The Beethoven connection—such as it is—stems from Beethoven’s stay at the City’s castle during the Fall of 1806, where he was able to complete his Fourth Symphony. He presented it to Franz Joachim Wenzl Oppersdorf, the castle’s owner and the dedicatee of Beethoven’s Op. 60.
Held September 2-9, this year’s festival features several works by Ludwig van Beethoven as well as music by Mieczysław Karłowicz, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Karol Szymanowski, Mikołaj Górecki and Roxana Panufnik. The performers included Aleksandra Bugaj, Jakub Kuszlik, Anna Malesza, Julianna Petzuch, Adam Tomaszewsi, Trio 123 K from Slovenia, String Trio Leopoldinum, the Opole Philharmonic Orchestra led by Przemysław Neumann, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum led by Tomasz Tomaszewski, and the Amadeus Polish Radio Orchestra led by Agnieszka Duczmal-Mróz.
ORGANS OF CENTRAL WARSAW
The 18th annual Festival “Organy Środmieścia” [City Center’s Organs] began in Warsaw on September 3 and will continue through October 22. Launched in 2000 by a Warsaw-based organist Przemysław Kapituła, during most Sundays in September and October the audiences can listen to several concerts in the heart of Poland’s capital. The central area of the city has several churches with excellent instruments, including the organs in the Cathedral of St. John in the Old Town, the Military Church, and the main nave of St. Martin’s Church.
This organ festival in Warsaw seeks to spotlight the rich instrumental heritage of the city by bringing the best local performers as well as featuring Italian organ virtuosos this year. This year’s programs will include works by Karol Szymanowski, Feliks Nowowiejski and Mieczysław Surzyński and will be augmented by lectures and leaflets detailing the history and capabilities of the instruments used for the programs.
IN PRAISE OF NEW LAKS CD BY MESSAGES
Szymon Laks String Quartets
The recent recording for DUX label by the Messages String Quartet of three strings quartets by Szymon Laks brought a cascade of great reviews to this excellent chamber group from southern Poland. Writing for the prestigious Ruch Muzyczny monthly, Magdalena Dziadek favorably compared the recording by Messages to that of the renowned Silesian Quartet, noting that:
Lynn René Bayley in The Art Music Lounge gave a shout out to the Messages’ recording already in the arresting headline, “Hear Laks’ String Quartets Bounce and Glisten!” The review again favors the Messages Quartet’s interpretation of Laks’ quartets as compared to the ARC Ensemble, noting that, “… it’s a delightful reading of Laks’ quirky score. I found myself absolutely captivated by Messages’ suave yet witty interpretation from start to finish. […] Messages plays with plenty of energy, but their instruments also glisten. What a pleasure it is to just bask in their sound!”
Under the title, “La vie est courte, l’art est éternel,” Dominique Lawalrée in her review for Crescendo Magazine noted that the Laks’s Strings Quartets No. 3, 4 and 5 are “magnificently played by the Messages Quartet,” adding that “this high quality music is worthy of discovering, especially when it’s well played and recorded.”
Describing the recent DUX release of Laks’ string quartets the French website Clic Musique! finds that, “The young Messages Quartet ladies play all three of them with elegant bowing, well-etched rhythms, and with a sense of color that makes these quartets brothers of quartets by Tansman or Hindemith, the music of the pure fantasy realm.”
Finally, the blog Klasyczna Płytoteka [Classical Disc Library] sums up the description of Laks’ quartets with the statement, “As far as the interpretation, there are no deficiencies to speak of, but there is a lot to say about the sensitivity and involvement of the Messages Quartet in the task of bringing Laks’ music to the listeners. It’s a good thing that the ladies took up this rarely-performed repertoire.”
NEW MUSIC BY MEYER
Krzysztof Meyer – Works for Choir and Orchestra
Krzysztof Meyer – New Chamber Music
Released in the past few months, these new recordings by DUX records feature large works for choir and orchestra as well as some of the newest chamber works by Krzysztof Meyer. A student of Stanislaw Wiechowicz, Krzysztof Penderecki and Nadia Boulanger, Meyer is a highly lauded composer, receiving an honorable mention at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris as well as the Officer Order of Polonia Restituta from the government of Poland, among other awards. He is also a sought-after pedagogue who recently retired from the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, and a well-regarded writer and biographer.
BORN THIS MONTH:
Send your comments and inquiries to: email@example.com
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg
Translation Assistance: Marek Żebrowski
Tomasz Fechner, Wladek Juskiewicz, Marek Żebrowski
Sources of information:
Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM, Nowy Dziennik,
Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw, Polish American Journal, Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP,Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza
Formatting by Thuy Le, September 14, 2016
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