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„Warschau, Großes Theater – Nationaloper:  Das besonderes Konzert mit der Musik von drei polnischen Komponisten: Penderecki, Górecki und Lutosławski unter der Leitung von Krzysztof Penderecki und Bassem Akiki „. (29.11.2014)

Penderecki _fot.Marcin_Oliva_Soto
Krzysztof Penderecki. Foto: Marcin Oliva Soto

 By a strange coincidence, three of Poland’s preeminent composers from the second half of the 20th century share jubilees: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994), Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki (1933-2010) and Krzysztof Penderecki (b.1933). The concert at the National Opera in Warsaw, organised by the National Audio-Visual Institute on November 29 featured works by all three, two juxtaposed with pieces seemingly from entirely different universes: Krzysztof Penderecki’s  „Polymorphia“  and  „48 Responses to

Bassem Akiki. Foto: Marcin Oliva Soto

Polymorphia“ by Jonny Greenwood (from the rock band Radiohead);  Witold Lutoslawski’s „Musique funebre“ and „Reponse Lutoslawski“ by Bryce Dessner (another rock musician, from indie band The National), with a grand finale of Górecki’s Symphony No.3 „Symphony of Sorrowful Songs“, the solo sung by Beth Gibbons (founding member of the band Portishead, inventors of trip-hop).   Truly this was one of those occasions, when one does not really know what to expect, notwithstanding the lure of the great names; and although by now we all know that an unexpected combination with pieces by representatives of newer generations works, and how.  Hypnotic visualisations on the giant screen behind the orchestra could not detract from the music, nor the personalities on the stage of the National Opera, inevitably arousing some thought on the point of meeting or mergence of classical and „popular“ music (there are after all many among us who with equal composure will go to see a Wagnerian Ring Cycle as well as a gig by Rammstein!  Oddly enough, by the way, classical and rock the only kinds of music which are reported to aid concentration when driving. Not to forget, that in its time Gorecki’s Symphony No.3 turned out to be a popular chart-topper.). Maestro Penderecki took Beth Gibbons through the Sorrowful Songs, her voice lending a piercing new quality to the heartrending lament. No easy part fell to the conductor Bassem Akiki, first elegantly leading the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in „48 Responses to Polymorphia“, then in the world premiere of Bryce Dessner’s „Réponse Lutoslawski”“ the work that was commissioned by the National Audio-Visual Institute for the occasion.  The extraordinary evening closed with a deserved standing ovation. 

 Elżbieta Krajewska / Warszawa Poland“



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