Friday, 10 April 2015 Leave a comment
Last November, the 21st to be exact, I visited the new and magnificent home in Katowice of NOSPR, the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra. The occasion was a performance of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony under the baton of the 91-year-old Stanisław Skrowaczewski.
It was a searing account, made all the more special because that very morning I had come across a programme from 1949 when Skrowaczewski had conducted the same work with the other Katowice orchestra, the Silesian Philharmonic. 65 years on, and still going strong.
I hope that in 2080 someone will come across the programme of NOSPR’s 6th Festiwal Prawykonań (Festival of Premieres, 17-19 April 2015) and make a similar connection with a performer or composer being featured in this edition. The big change is that all the concerts will take place in the orchestra’s new home, barely ten minutes’ walk from Henryk Mikołaj Gorecki’s home. The siedziba, as it’s called in Polish, not only includes the main symphony hall but the equally fine acoustics of the chamber hall.
Back in 2013, I listed the repertoire of the 5th Festival. This year, such is the diversity and extent of Polish composition that 75% of the names are different. This biennial event is a great initiative, arguably the most important showcase for new Polish concert music. It demonstrates the cultural significance of publicly-funded bodies like radio orchestras (Radio France take note). I do not know the schedule of live or deferred broadcasts planned by Polish Radio Dwójka (PR2).
The ensembles featured include Camerata Silesia, conducted by Anna Szostak, Orchestra Muzyki Nowej (New Music Orchestra), conducted by Szymon Bywalec, NOSPR conducted by Alexander Humala, Szymon Bywalec and José Maria Florêncio, Kwartludium, Kwartet Śląski (Silesian Quartet) and the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Marek Moś.
Here’s this year’s repertoire, in alphabetical order by composer:
** World premiere * Polish premiere
• Rafał Augustyn: String Quartet no.3 ‘Monadologia’**
• Zbigniew Bagiński: String Quartet no.5**
• Zbigniew Bargielski: Hierofania 2 for orchestra**
• Marcin Błażewicz: Visions for soprano, violin and piano**
• Marcin Bortnowski: ku dźwiękom nocy for string quartet and accordion**
• Stanisław Bromboszcz: Air for instrumental ensemble and electronic media**
• Roman Czura: Piano Concerto ‘Kraftfelder’**
• Jacek Domagała: Elegia for voice and ensemble**
• Zofia Dowgiałło: Kompozycja z ruchomym tłem for orchestra**
• Cezary Duchnowski: Symfonia zbiorów for instrumental groups and electronics**
• Grzegorz Duchnowski: W malinowym chruśniaku for soprano and piano**
• Jan Duszyński: Sfex for accordion and cello**
• Mikołaj Górecki: Elegia for cello and string orchestra**
• Marek Grucka: Retaeh for piano, strings and percussion**
• Maciej Jabłoński: Symphony no.6 ‘Oneirophrenia’ for orchestra, electronics and multimedia**
• Zaid Jabri (Syrian composer living in Kraków): Beati Pacifici for soprano and piano*
• Justyna Kowalska-Łasoń: która wszystko tworzy, wszystko ochrania for mixed choir of soloists, chamber orchestra and live electronics**
• Hanna Kulenty: Trumpet Concerto no.3**
• Sławomir Kupczak: white over red for mixed choir**
• Andrzej Kwieciński: erschallen for double bass and orchestra**
• Krzysztof Meyer: Muzyka świata i półcienia for orchestra*
• Piotr Moss: go where never before for choir and instrumental ensemble*
• PRASQUAL (aka Tomasz Prasqual): Muqarnyas for accordion and two orchestras in six spatial groups**
• Zbigniew Słowik: The Motor Poem (Quo vadis homine) for orchestra**
• Joanna Szymała: Clarinet Quintet**
• Sławomir Wojciechowski: …play them back for ansambl and electronics**
• Emil Bernard Wojtacki: Zefiro torna for soprano and orchestra**
• Artur Zagajewski: Mechanofaktura**