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calendar of events Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 1

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

1

Ewa Bogusz-Moore (photo: Radek Polak)
Ewa Bogusz-Moore
(photo: Radek Polak)

Contemporary music in Poland. What is it like? Where is it headed? Who is making it? When heatedly debating these questions, we tend to look for references, continuity, rationalizations or, conversely, simple statements of: “I like it / I don’t like it.” Contemporary music evokes complex emotions among its listeners, albeit frequently limited to the narrow group of those attending a given work’s (premiere) performances. One of the main difficulties of new compositions is their transience, often amounting to a single performance. Thus, the recognition of the multi-layered character of the musical scene or the attempt to examine these phenomena poses a problem not only to the people closely related to the Polish musical milieu but also to the international audience.

It is with great hope and anticipation that I present you with the first

issue of the Polska Music Now annual. The magazine aims to become

a starting point to explore the specificity of the Polish musical scene.

The events listed in the calendar and the essays on selected topics will, as I hope, help outline the directions of development and dynamics of contemporary classical music in Poland.

Ewa Bogusz-Moore

manager Polska Music Programme Adam Mickiewicz Institute

3 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

essays

essays

Content

5 – 29.

Calendar of Events 2012/13

essays essays Content 5 – 29. Calendar of Events 2012/13 33. Daniel Muzyczuk From Ghetto to

33.

Daniel Muzyczuk

From Ghetto to Explosion and Back?

39.

Monika Pasiecznik

Globalization and Identity

45.

Maria Peryt

Polish Music and Its Local and Global Market Potential

53.

Katarzyna Gardzina-Kubała

Large Stage Forms

61.

Filip Lech

Composer Collider

67.

Piotr Jan Wojciechowski

Commisioned Compositions

75.

Lisa Jakelski

New Music in Poland, Now and Then:

Reflections on the History of the Warsaw Autumn Festival

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

4

Calendar of Events Overview of major events in the past eighteen months, based on information

Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events Overview of major events in the past eighteen months, based on information submitted

Overview of major events in the past eighteen months, based on information submitted in surveys taken by Polish opinion-forming circles connected with contemporary music.

January

Eugeniusz Rudnik (courtesy of Polish Music Information Center)
Eugeniusz Rudnik
(courtesy of Polish Music Information Center)

_CD

“Re:PRESS”

performer: DJ Lenar publisher: Bôłt Records (Poland)

Musical archeology and the art of the record player: sound miniatures inspired by works by Eugeniusz Rudnik, pioneer

of Polish electroacoustic music.

boltrecords.pl

eugeniusz-rudnik-culture.gu.ma

music. boltrecords.pl eugeniusz-rudnik-culture.gu.ma _magazine Glissando no. 19 “Polska Music – Junge

_magazine

Glissando no. 19 “Polska Music – Junge Komponisten aus Polen auf Deutsch”

publisher: Glissando supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Poland)

A special, German issue of the magazine

on new music, featuring a comprehensive presentation of Polish composers born after 1970. Supplemented with the recordings

of presented works.

glissando.pl

with the recordings of presented works. glissando.pl 7 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 _concert

7 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

_concert

Krzysztof Penderecki

performers: Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir (Poland) place: Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland)

Composer Bible, a monographic concert

devoted to the work of Krzysztof Penderecki,

is organized as part of the Composer Portrait

cycle hosted by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. Its program featured Psalms of David, Hymn to St. Adalbert, Hymn to St. Daniil, Three Chinese Songs, Cieszyn Choral, Jacob’s Awakening and Kadish.

krzysztofpenderecki.eu

Jacob’s Awakening and Kadish. krzysztofpenderecki.eu February _CD “Debussy – Szymanowski” performer:

February

_CD

“Debussy – Szymanowski”

performer: Rafał Blechacz (pianist) publisher: Deutsche Grammophon (Germany)

The recording was recognized in April 2013 with the Fryderyk Award in the Album of the

Year Category: Classical Music. The Fryderyk Award is the only such award given in Poland by the Society of Audio and Video Producers and the Polish Recording Academy.

blechacz.net

zpav.pl/fryderyk

the Polish Recording Academy. blechacz.net zpav.pl/fryderyk Tomasz J. Opałka (photo: courtesy of the artist) _award
Tomasz J. Opałka (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Tomasz J. Opałka
(photo: courtesy of the artist)

_award

Witold Lutosławski scholarship

laureate: Tomasz J. Opałka (composer) founder: The Witold Lutosławski Society (Poland)

The prestigious scholarship from the Witold Lutosławski Society is given annually upon the recommendation of the jury for the purpose of pursuing further musical studies abroad. 2012 winner, Tomasz J. Opałka, is

a composer of classical and film music, a

laureate of a scholarship of the Berlinale Talent

Campus, Berlin 2011, and also a teacher and activist in musical circles.

lutoslawski.org.pl/

tomaszjakubopalka.com

listen: soundcloud.com/tomaszopalka

tomaszjakubopalka.com listen: soundcloud.com/tomaszopalka calendar of events April Andrzej Chłopecki © Beata

calendar

of

events

April

Andrzej Chłopecki © Beata Chłopecka
Andrzej Chłopecki
© Beata Chłopecka

_festival

28 th Festival Musica Polonica Nova

artistic director: Andrzej Chłopecki director: Andrzej Kosendiak place: Filharmonia Wrocławska, Wrocław (Poland)

The Festival reaches beyond referencing the names of well-known Polish composers. More than half of the works are world premieres. In this edition, one thematic thread that was especially evident in commissioning works related to the opus of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki.

musicapolonicanova.pl

the opus of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. musicapolonicanova.pl _magazine PRESTO no. 1 editor: Kinga Anna Wojciechowska

_magazine

PRESTO no. 1

editor: Kinga Anna Wojciechowska publisher: Redwood Project (Poland)

The popular-science magazine brings its readers closer to classical music. It’s the first publication of this profile in Poland.

teatrwielki.pl

first publication of this profile in Poland. teatrwielki.pl _CD “Meadow Quartet – Unexpected” performer:
first publication of this profile in Poland. teatrwielki.pl _CD “Meadow Quartet – Unexpected” performer:

_CD

“Meadow Quartet – Unexpected”

performer: Meadow Quartet publisher: Multikulti Project (Poland)

An attempt to create a platform for divergent influences of contemporary chamber music, jazz, improvised music, film music, and a fundamental common denominator of traditional Jewish music. (meadowquartet.com)

denominator of traditional Jewish music. (meadowquartet.com) Reaching for the Jewish modes is like a plunge into

Reaching for the Jewish modes is like a plunge into deep waters by young ensembles. Unless you’re strong, it’s easy to drown. […] It’s a sign that such a phenomenon is worthy of further study. (jazzarium.pl)

meadowquartet.com

worthy of further study. (jazzarium.pl) meadowquartet.com _CD “Quaardvarktet – Debutee” performer:

_CD

“Quaardvarktet – Debutee”

performer: Quaardvarktet publisher: Quaardvarktet (Poland)

Enriched by the participation of a trumpeter Paweł Południak, the Aardvark Trio self-published their debut album as the Quaardvarktet. In this eclectic project of linking genres, the young instrumentalists are looking for new and hybrid versions of “contemporary jazz.”

_opera

“Oresteja”

composer: Agata Zubel director: Maja Kleczewska libretto: Aeschylus conductor: Wojciech Rodek organizer: Teatr Wielki – National Opera, Warsaw place: Teatr Wielki – National Opera, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Teatr Wielki – National Opera

The “dramato-opera” project seeking to redefine stylistic boundaries in a cycle called Terytoria [Territories], presenting the most important contemporary musical works alongside the debuts of music by Polish composers. Oresteja is a controversial juxtaposition of ancient tragedy with

contemporary texts designed to help in examining the “family archetype.”

prostoomuzyce.pl

quaardvarktet.bandcamp.com

archetype.” prostoomuzyce.pl quaardvarktet.bandcamp.com calendar of events Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13
archetype.” prostoomuzyce.pl quaardvarktet.bandcamp.com calendar of events Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

calendar

of

events

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

8

May

_composition

String Quartet no. 5

composer: Hanna Kulenty performers: Kronos Quartet premiere: De Doelen, Rotterdam (The Netherlands) commissioned by: Kronos Quartet

For the second time, Kronos Quartet commissioned Hanna Kulenty to write a work for string quartet. Her String Quartet No. 4 (A Cradle Song) has been performed by Kronos over twenty times across the world, including Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall in New York.

hannakulenty.com

kronosquartet.org

Hall in New York. hannakulenty.com kronosquartet.org May-August Sounding the Body Electric © Piotr Tomczyk

May-August

Sounding the Body Electric © Piotr Tomczyk
Sounding the Body Electric
© Piotr Tomczyk

_exhibition

“Sounding the Body Electric. Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1957-1984”

curators: Daniel Muzyczuk, David Crowley place: Museum of Art, Łódź (Poland)

Experimental music and “sound art” presenting

a wide spectrum of trends in Eastern Europe for the first time since 1989.

of trends in Eastern Europe for the first time since 1989. Everything that was collected is

Everything that was collected is admirable for

its timeliness, constructivist zeal, conscious use of modern techniques in art, and utopian sweep.

– Monika Pasiecznik

June

in art, and utopian sweep. – Monika Pasiecznik June _festival Music Installations Festival “A Friendly

_festival

Music Installations Festival “A Friendly Match”

curator: Paweł Mykietyn organizer: New Theatre, Warsaw (Poland) place: Królikarnia, Warsaw (Poland)

A symphony performed by 111 bicyclists, a piano

speaking with a human voice, and music heard

from the deep. (nowyteatr.org)

Krzysztof Kaczka
Krzysztof Kaczka

_award

Global Music Awards – The Excellence Award

laureate: Krzysztof Kaczka (flautist) organizer: Global Music Awards place: La Jolla (USA)

The performer was awarded, together with percussionist Nicholas Reed, for the recording Nostalgy: Chopin for Flute and Marimba. The jury was especially impressed by the originality of the transcriptions.

pearlflutes.com/161

thegma.net

of the transcriptions. pearlflutes.com/161 thegma.net July _award Kranichstein Music Prize distinction laureate:

July

_award

Kranichstein Music Prize distinction

laureate: Jagoda Szmytka (composer) founder: 46. Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt organizer: Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt (Germany)

The award is given for composing or performing a work of “exceptional quality and strength of expression.” For Travelers like Angels and Vampires performed by the Ensemble BESIDES is an apotheosis of the physicality of musical instruments and performance art as an occupation. (jagodaszmytka.com)

internationales-musikinstitut.de

jagodaszmytka.com

internationales-musikinstitut.de jagodaszmytka.com Jagoda Szmytka (photo: courtesy of the artist) _award
Jagoda Szmytka (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Jagoda Szmytka
(photo: courtesy of the artist)

_award

Kranichstein Music Prize distinction

laureate: Wojtek Blecharz (composer) founder: 46. Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt organizer: Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt (Germany)

K’an for steel drum and 130 mallets (a part of the opera, Transcryptum, premiered in May of 2013 as part of “Project P”)

, premiered in May of 2013 as part of “Project P”) By the sheer force of

By the sheer force of their talent, these composers [Szmytka i Blecharz] have entered the international arena. They took two of the total of five prizes. Hundreds of composers from all over the world competed for these awards. – Monika Pasiecznik

internationales-musikinstitut.de

wojtek-blecharz-culture.gu.ma

wojtek-blecharz-culture.gu.ma Eugeniusz Morawski (photo: courtesy of National Digital
Eugeniusz Morawski (photo: courtesy of National Digital Archives )
Eugeniusz Morawski
(photo: courtesy of National Digital Archives )

_CD

“Eugeniusz Morawski:

Symphonic Poems”

composer: Eugeniusz Morawski publisher: CD Accord (Poland)

A new album with three symphonic poems

(to texts by Cervantes and Poe), performed

by Sinfonia Varsovia led by Monika Wolińska. Eugeniusz Morawski is a notable but underrated composer, painter, lecturer and pedagogue, active during the first half

of the 20 t h century, who only recently began

of

the 20 th century, who only recently began

An idea to bring contemporary music

to

be duly recognized.

to

the people. A cultural event as an antidote

to

a sporting event. Pleasant, picnic-like format.

– Karol Nepelski

nowyteatr.org/pl/event/mecz_towarzyski

– Karol Nepelski nowyteatr.org/pl/event/mecz_towarzyski _CD “Kilar: Classical and Film Music” composer:

_CD

“Kilar: Classical and Film Music”

composer: Wojciech Kilar publisher: Sony Music/RMF Classic (Poland)

The two-CD album presents the best-known themes from film soundtracks such as Dracula, Death and the Maiden, The Promised Land, as well as heretofore unpublished works inspired by folk music from Southern Poland.

wojciechkilar.pl

by folk music from Southern Poland. wojciechkilar.pl eugeniusz-morawski.gu.ma cdaccord.com.pl msl.org.pl 9

eugeniusz-morawski.gu.ma

cdaccord.com.pl

wojciechkilar.pl eugeniusz-morawski.gu.ma cdaccord.com.pl msl.org.pl 9 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine

msl.org.pl

9

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

calendar

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events

calendar

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events

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

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August

_performance

“Harnasie”

composers: Karol Szymanowski, Wojciech Kilar organizer: Mieczysław Karłowicz Association (Poland) place: International Festival of Chamber Music “Muzyka na Szczytach”, Krokwia Place, Zakopane (Poland)

A dance spectacle inspired by Wojciech

Kilar’s symphonic poem, Krzesany, and Karol Szymanowski’s ballet-pantomime, intended

to introduce elements of folklore into the high

culture of the theatre.

elements of folklore into the high culture of the theatre. An example of interdisciplinary approach, with

An example of interdisciplinary approach,

with performers from across Poland invited to present various dance styles and methods.

– Janusz Wawrowski

karlowicz.org

dance styles and methods. – Janusz Wawrowski karlowicz.org Transatlantyk 2012 ©Tomasz Opasiński _festival
Transatlantyk 2012 ©Tomasz Opasiński
Transatlantyk 2012
©Tomasz Opasiński

_festival

Transatlantyk Festival

director: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek place: Poznań (Poland)

An interdisciplinary festival, linking the cinema and musical performances, seeking to inspire discussion about the social context of film and music. Accompanied by a prestigious open film scoring competition, the festival draws talent from across the world.

transatlantyk.org

draws talent from across the world. transatlantyk.org 1 1 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 Paweł

11 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

Paweł Łukaszewski © Mariusz Makowski
Paweł Łukaszewski
© Mariusz Makowski

_composition

Symphony no. 3

“Song of Angels”

composer: Paweł Łukaszewski performers: Maris Sirmais (conductor), the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the National Choir of Latvia

premiere: 15 th International Sacred Music Festival, St. Peter’s Church, Riga (Latvia)

An oratorio in two parts based on the Ethiopian Book of Enoch in a new Latin translation, as well as the analogous studies from Catholic Church documents. Paweł Łukaszewski is a choral music composer as well as the founder and leader of the excellent Musica Sacra choir. Three CD recordings featuring his works have been released by Hyperion Records.

lukaszewski.org.uk

hyperion-records.co.uk

Hyperion Records. lukaszewski.org.uk hyperion-records.co.uk August-November Katarzyna Krakowiak © A.

August-November

Katarzyna Krakowiak © A. Taraska-Pietrzak/Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź
Katarzyna Krakowiak
© A. Taraska-Pietrzak/Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź

_award

13 th International Biennale for Architecture distinction

laureate: Katarzyna Krakowiak (artist), Michał Libera (curator) founder: International Biennale for Architecture, Venice (Italy)

The sound sculpture Making the Walls Quake as if They Were Dilating with the Secret Knowledge of Great Powers shown at the Polish Pavilion was noted as an exceptional architectural presentation in the category of auditory experience.

presentation in the category of auditory experience. Here is the proof that one doesn’t need to

Here is the proof that one doesn’t need to be

a composer in order to create a musical work

of great merit for the listeners. It’s enough

to interpret the sound creatively and place it in a particular context to have an engaging and challenging composition for the audience. – Jacek Plewicki

labiennale.org/en

krakowiak.hmfactory.com

– Jacek Plewicki labiennale.org/en krakowiak.hmfactory.com calendar of events September _festival Sacrum Profanum

calendar

of

events

September

_festival

Sacrum Profanum

artistic director: Filip Berkowicz organizer: Kraków Festival Office (Poland) place: Kraków (Poland)

This edition of the interdisciplinary festival included a noteworthy series of concerts presenting young Polish composers, such as Aleksander Nowak, Marcin Stańczyk, Cezary Duchnowski, Agata Zubel, Sławomir Kupczak, and the Polish Icons project, featuring DJ reinterpretations of classical pieces.

sacrumprofanum.com

aleknowak.com

marcinstanczyk.com

duchnowski.pl

zubel.pl

kupczak.com.pl

listen: soundcloud.com/duchnowski listen: soundcloud.com/marcinstanczyk listen: soundcloud.com/s-awomir- koliber-kupczak

listen: soundcloud.com/s-awomir- koliber-kupczak _festival 5 t h Film Music Festival artistic director:

_festival

5 th Film Music Festival

artistic director: Robert Piaskowski organizer: Kraków Festival Office, Kraków (Poland), RMF Classic Radio (Poland) place: Kraków (Poland)

Single-themed concerts and film music retrospectives as well as film and music spectacles done with flair and care regarding technological innovations.

fmf.fm

flair and care regarding technological innovations. fmf.fm calendar of events Wojtek Blecharz (photo: courtesy of the

calendar

of

events

Wojtek Blecharz (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Wojtek Blecharz
(photo: courtesy of the artist)

_composition

“Means of Protection” for female voice, cello, and prepared accordion

composer: Wojtek Blecharz performers: Anna Radziejewska (voice), Magdalena Bojanowicz (cello), Maciej Frąckiewicz (prepared accordion) premiere: 55 th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland) commissioned by: 55 th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music (Poland)

Inspired by the case of Annette Messager, a musical catalogue of safety features as seen by a mind enslaved by the persecution complex. The composition is designed to “inspect” the operatic means of expression. (warszawska-jesien.art.pl)

the operatic means of expression. (warszawska-jesien.art.pl) This emotion-filled contemporary composition is also a

This emotion-filled contemporary composition is also a demonstration of compositional techniques that can be easily understood by an average listener. – Jacek Plewicki

wojtek-blecharz-culture.gu.ma

warsaw-autumn.art.pl

listen: soundcloud.com/wojtek-4/ means-of-protection

listen: soundcloud.com/wojtek-4/ means-of-protection Tadeusz Wielecki (photo: courtesy of the artist) _festival
Tadeusz Wielecki (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Tadeusz Wielecki
(photo: courtesy of the artist)

_festival

55 th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music and the 2 nd Youth Warsaw Autumn Festival

artistic director: Tadeusz Wielecki organizer: Polish Composers’ Union (Poland) place: Warsaw (Poland)

Voice in its diverse applications was the common denominator in this edition of the festival: voice as a performing medium in music and the analysis of the human voice – as an expressive means in contemporary music form.

warsaw-autumn.art.pl

means in contemporary music form. warsaw-autumn.art.pl _festival HMG Festival 2012. 2 n d International Henryk

_festival

HMG Festival 2012. 2 nd International Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Festival of Contemporary Music

artistic director: Michał Kwiatkowski organizer: Fundacja Pro Musica Nova (Poland) place: Kraków (Poland)

The list of performers includes some of Poland’s best chamber musicians – the Royal String Quartet, the avant-garde performance group Muzyka Centrum Duo (Marek Chołoniewski, Kazimierz Pyzik) and the Silesian Philharmonic Choir.

hmgfestival.pl

promusicanova.pl

muzykacentrum.krakow.pl

Philharmonic Choir. hmgfestival.pl promusicanova.pl muzykacentrum.krakow.pl Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 1 2

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

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Agata Zubel (photo: press releases)
Agata Zubel
(photo: press releases)

_composition

“Not I” for soprano, chamber ensemble and electronics

composer: Agata Zubel performers: Agata Zubel (voice), Klangforum Wien (Austria) premiere: Festival Sacrum Profanum, Kraków (Poland) commissioned by: Kraków Festival Office (Poland)

A composition based on the motives from

Samuel Beckett’s experimental monologue.

the motives from Samuel Beckett’s experimental monologue. Drama and exceptional vocal techniques, maturity of style

Drama and exceptional vocal techniques, maturity of style and a profound interpretation of Samuel Beckett’s text outstandingly performer by the composer.

– Maciej Jabłoński

zubel.pl

klangforum.at

en.biurofestiwalowe.pl

Jabłoński zubel.pl klangforum.at en.biurofestiwalowe.pl 1 3 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 Maciej

13 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

Maciej Jabłoński (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Maciej Jabłoński
(photo: courtesy of the artist)

_composition

“Księżycowy Pierrot”

composers: Maciej Jabłoński, Przemysław Fiugajski performers: Sławomir Pacek (actor), Szymon Bywalec (conductor), Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej premiere: 55 th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland) commissioned by: 55 th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music (Poland)

The work was designed as a modern, multi- layered collage, both in terms of content (lack

of self-acceptance, alienation, frustration,

politically incorrect thinking, and personality disorders), and form (parallel video narration, spatial, and multimedia dimensions).

maciej-jablonski-culture.gu.ma

przemyslaw-fiugajski.gu.ma

warsaw-autumn.art.pl

September-December

_festival

“Contemporary Music Does Not Bite”. Series of educational meetings

organizers: Polish Association of Contemporary Music place: Lokal Użytkowy, Warsaw (Poland)

A cycle of conversations with authors about

the character, traits and goals of contemporary

music. In this edition, among the invited composers were: Rafał Augustyn, Sławomir Czarnecki, Hanna Kulenty, Alicja Gronau and Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil.

Kulenty, Alicja Gronau and Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil. A unique opportunity to directly meet contemporary composers

A unique opportunity to directly meet contemporary composers of various generations.

– dr Iwona Lindstedt

October

of various generations. – dr Iwona Lindstedt October _festival Unsound Festival curators: Mat Schulz,

_festival

Unsound Festival

curators: Mat Schulz, Małgorzata Płysa organizer: Fundation Tone – Music and New Art Forms place: Kraków (Poland)

Poland’s most adventurous festival focused on vibrant electronic, experimental, independent and club music scenes from all around the world, with a sister event in New York. Fundation Tone has also produced Unsound in Tbilisi, Minsk, Kyiv, Prague, Bratislava.

Unsound in Tbilisi, Minsk, Kyiv, Prague, Bratislava. _CD “Górecki: Miserere” composer: Henryk Mikołaj

_CD

“Górecki: Miserere”

composer: Henryk Mikołaj Górecki performers: Los Angeles Master Chorale publisher: Decca Classics (UK)

Górecki’s Miserere is at once universal and particular, restrained yet impassioned,

transcendental yet human

laid bare across a vast temporal canvas, and the challenge is to communicate and project its

large-scale architectural span. Previous recordings

have managed to do this

exuded such physical warmth and beauty as in this performance by the Los Angeles Master Chorale directed by Grant Gershon. – Pwyll ap Siôn, Gramophone

This is simplicity

but rarely have they

ptmw.art.pl

hannakulenty.com

unsound.pl

sczarnecki.republika.pl

hannakulenty.com unsound.pl sczarnecki.republika.pl deccaclassics.com calendar of events calendar of events
hannakulenty.com unsound.pl sczarnecki.republika.pl deccaclassics.com calendar of events calendar of events

deccaclassics.com

unsound.pl sczarnecki.republika.pl deccaclassics.com calendar of events calendar of events Kwartludium (press

calendar

of

events

calendar

of

events

Kwartludium (press releases)
Kwartludium
(press releases)

_festival

Ad Libitum Festival

artistic director: Krzysztof Knittel organizer: Polish Music Council Foundation (Poland) performers: Kwartludium place: Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (Poland)

A festival devoted to improvised music,

promoting an atmosphere of collaboration and a search for new means of expressions through marathon concerts and workshops.

ad-libitum.pl

csw.art.pl

marathon concerts and workshops. ad-libitum.pl csw.art.pl _composition “Stojąc z daleka” composer: Ignacy

_composition

“Stojąc z daleka”

composer: Ignacy Zalewski performers: Varsoviae Regii Cantores Cham- ber Choir and The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession Children’s Choir, Warsaw (Poland) premiere: New Music Festival, The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Varsoviae Regii Cantores Association and Choir (Poland)

The first part of the triptych by a young composer (born in 1990) dedicated to God’s

expressions of faith. The composition is constructed as a dialogue between the choirs:

of doubters and the innocent.

ignacy-zalewski.gu.ma

listen: soundcloud.com/ignacyzalewski vrc.art.pl

listen: soundcloud.com/ignacyzalewski vrc.art.pl _concert New Music Festival performers: Varsoviae Regii

_concert

New Music Festival

performers: Varsoviae Regii Cantores Chamber Choir (Poland) organizer: Varsoviae Regii Cantores Association and Choir (Poland) place: The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, Warsaw (Poland)

Besides the world premiere of Ignacy Zalewski’s work, Kamil Staszowski’s Messa dell’Uomo Moderno was also performed. This composition touches upon the role of faith in the life of modern man. It links an unusual group of instruments and freely-adapted forms with the “ossified” Latin liturgy of the Tridentine Mass. Piotr Tabakiernik’s Xopancuicatl [Spring Song] written to texts in the Nahuatl language with spoken elements and additional sound effects was performed at the end.

kamil-staszowski.gu.ma

piotr-tabakiernik.gu.ma

vrc.art.pl

kamil-staszowski.gu.ma piotr-tabakiernik.gu.ma vrc.art.pl _festival Festival NeoArte – New Music Spectrum organizer:

_festival

Festival NeoArte – New Music Spectrum

organizer: NeoQuartet place: Zatoka Sztuki, Sopot (Poland)

The festival’s remit is to promote the authors and performers of contemporary art, and places where such art is thriving. Contemporary applications of chamber music are especially favored. The festival is organized by NeoQuartet, one of the leading Polish string quartets specializing in contemporary music.

neoquartet.pl/festival

goo.gl/Wy9rdm

specializing in contemporary music. neoquartet.pl/festival goo.gl/Wy9rdm Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 1 4

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

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Michał Libera (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Michał Libera
(photo: courtesy of the artist)

_festival

Playback Play no. 6

curator: Michał Libera place: Warsaw (Poland)

A cooperative project among musicians

from various countries, inspired by American

traditions of blues and spoken word.

inspired by American traditions of blues and spoken word. Proof of the success of creating one’s

Proof of the success of creating one’s own myths

and narratives (like Susanne Burner’s Vanishing Point) or finding the forgotten ones (following the work of Alan Lomax) rather than concentrating on building yet another monument to something that’s obvious and well-known.

– Jacek Plewicki

boltrecords.pl

obvious and well-known. – Jacek Plewicki boltrecords.pl _festival 15 t h Silesian Days of Contemporary Music

_festival

15 th Silesian Days of Contemporary Music

organizer: Polish Composers Union, Katowice Section (Poland) performers: Jan Jakub Monowid (countertenor), José Maria Florêncio (conductor), NOSPR (Katowice) place: Katowice (Poland)

The festival’s goal is to present new music from the region juxtaposed against international repertoire of the 20th and 21st century. Besides music by foreign composers, works by Piotr Warzecha and Aleksander Lasoń—composers connected to the region of Silesia—were also performed.

November

Sławomir Kupczak (photo: courtesy of Warsaw Autumn)
Sławomir Kupczak
(photo: courtesy of Warsaw Autumn)

_composition

“Kapelusz”

composer: Sławomir Kupczak

performers: Karolina Głąb, Katarzyna Kubacka, Adrianna Kućmierz, Daniel Malchar, Marta Mazurek, Jan Sobolewski, Łukasz Stawowczyk, Weronika Wronka premiere: Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Teatralna, Kraków (Poland) commissioned by: Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Teatralna (Poland)

A radio broadcast based on Oliver Sack’s book,

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

_festival

aXes – Three Days of New Music

organizers: Academy of Music, Composition Department, Kraków (Poland), Deutscher Musikrat (Germany) place: Kraków (Poland)

Deutscher Musikrat (Germany) place: Kraków (Poland) Linking composition and performance workshops, conferences

Linking composition and performance workshops, conferences and presentations from various academic centers throughout Europe, and concerts featuring the world premieres of works by the youngest generation of composers performed by young new music ensembles (The Ukraine, Poland, Germany).

– Karol Nepelski

axes-new-music.gu.ma

Poland, Germany). – Karol Nepelski axes-new-music.gu.ma _festival XX AudioArt Festival organizers: Music of the

_festival

XX AudioArt Festival

organizers: Music of the Center. Artistic Association artistic director: Marek Chołoniewski place: Kraków (Poland)

The festival presents projects combining sound experiments with performance and installation. The Audio Art 2012 Festival saw the premiere of the Audiomat, an educational and promotional device in the form of a vending machine containing nothing but music. The Audiomat contained recordings (CSs, SD memory cards, download codes etc.) of selected artists with links to Kraków,

the Audio Art Festival and the Polish Association for Electroacoustic Music.

and the Polish Association for Electroacoustic Music. Attractive, contemporary musical-literary radio art, done

Attractive, contemporary musical-literary

radio art, done with flair for the genre.

– Michał Mendyk

An unusually-themed Festival, with performers from around the world, exploring the boundaries

of the art. Of sound and music, and interdisciplinary arts.

kupczak.com.pl

pwst.krakow.pl

– Karol Nepelski

audio.art.pl

listen: soundcloud.com/s-awomir- koliber-kupczak

listen: soundcloud.com/s-awomir- koliber-kupczak Piotr Orzechowski aka Pianohooligan (photo: courtesy of the
listen: soundcloud.com/s-awomir- koliber-kupczak Piotr Orzechowski aka Pianohooligan (photo: courtesy of the
Piotr Orzechowski aka Pianohooligan (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Piotr Orzechowski aka Pianohooligan
(photo: courtesy of the artist)

_CD

“Experiment: Penderecki”

performer: Piotr Orzechowski aka Pianohooligan (pianist) publisher: DECCA Classics/Universal Music Polska (Poland)

Atypical variations on Krzysztof Penderecki’s works by a jazz pianist, hailed as one of the most intriguing musical events of the year in Poland.

of the most intriguing musical events of the year in Poland. An unusual, path-breaking re-interpretation of

An unusual, path-breaking re-interpretation of Penderecki’s music. – dr Iwona Lindstedt

pianohooligan.com

deccaclassics.com

universalmusic.pl

listen: soundcloud.com/pianohooligan

universalmusic.pl listen: soundcloud.com/pianohooligan _award Prix France Musique – SACEM de la musique de film

_award

Prix France Musique – SACEM de la musique de film Award

laureate: Paweł Mykietyn (composer) organizer: Theatre Trianon, Paris (France)

Radio France and SACEM [French Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers] recognized Paweł Mykietyn’s score for Jerzy Skolimowski’s film, Essential Killing.

Mykietyn is also working on a Radio France commission for a work for the next edition of the competition.

culturepl-mykietyn.gu.ma

next edition of the competition. culturepl-mykietyn.gu.ma _composition “Sonatina for Orchestra” composer: Henryk

_composition

“Sonatina for Orchestra”

composer: Henryk Wars performers: Dariusz Tabisz (conductor), Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Dolnośląskiej premiere: Filharmonia Dolnośląska, Jelenia Góra (Poland)

The world premiere of a composition dedicated

to

Maurice Ravel, presented in celebration

of

Independence Day. Discovered in 2002,

the manuscripts of Sonatina and other compositional sketches from the years 1947- 1951 were given to the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California in 2005. (pwm.com.pl)

henryk-wars-culturepl.gu.ma

California in 2005. (pwm.com.pl) henryk-wars-culturepl.gu.ma _award ARBORETUM laureate: Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz

_award

ARBORETUM

laureate: Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz (composer) founder: Minister of Culture and National Heritage (Poland), President of Radom City (Poland) performers: Maciej Żółtowski (conductor), Radom Chamber Orchestra, Radom organizer: Radom Chamber Orchestra, Radom premiere: Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concert Hall, Complex of Music Schools, Radom (Poland)

A recurring competition for composers

for an original composition for strings that leads to a concert. Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz won the First Prize for his Prismatic shapes.

won the First Prize for his Prismatic shapes. The first prize was decided by the exquisite

The first prize was decided by the exquisite compositional technique manifested by such a young musician. He used a minute motif

to write a 10-minutes long composition, a truly rare feat. Very rare means overlap with a very intriguing form.

– Krzysztof Penderecki (gazeta.pl)

bartoszkowalski.com

– Krzysztof Penderecki (gazeta.pl) bartoszkowalski.com zkp.org.pl 1 5 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine

zkp.org.pl

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Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

calendar

of

events

calendar

of

events

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

16

Karol Nepelski © Jakub Falkowski
Karol Nepelski
© Jakub Falkowski

_CD

“Edena”

performer: Piotr Kurek publisher: Sangoplasmo Records (Poland)

The recording issued by Wrocław-based Sangoplasmo is an example of how discriminating an average listener can be. This amateur-composer works without any grants or a supporting community.

works without any grants or a supporting community. An interesting composer’s take on a refined sound

An interesting composer’s take on a refined sound and narrative in the form of synthesizer music. – Jacek Plewicki

piotrkurek.bandcamp.com

sangoplasmo.storenvy.com

listen: soundcloud.com/piotr-kurek

sangoplasmo.storenvy.com listen: soundcloud.com/piotr-kurek 1 7 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 December

17 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

December

_festival

X Brand New Music Festival

director: Szymon Bywalec organizers: Academy of Music in Katowice (Poland), Polish Composers’ Union. The Katowice Branch (Poland) place: Katowice (Poland)

Presentation of works by the young generation of composers, including Aleksander Nowak, Krzysztof Wołek, Karol Nepelski and Dobromiła Jaskot.

aleknowak.com/

krzysztofwolek.com

karolnepelski.com

jaskot.info

zkp.org.pl

listen: soundcloud.com/dobromila-jaskot/

zkp.org.pl listen: soundcloud.com/dobromila-jaskot/ _CD “Zarębski/Żeleński: Piano Quintet & Piano

_CD

“Zarębski/Żeleński: Piano Quintet & Piano Quartet”

composers: Juliusz Zarębski, Władysław Żeleński performers: Jonathan Plowright (pianist), Szymanowski Quartet publisher: Hyperion (UK)

Two important chamber music compositions by unduly neglected composers of the 19 th century, performed by a Polish-Ukrainian musical ensemble.

century, performed by a Polish-Ukrainian musical ensemble. Zarębski in particular is a gem largely hidden outside

Zarębski in particular is a gem largely hidden outside his native Poland … He composed the Piano Quintet in the last year of his life (1885) and … it rivals any other example of the genre. One of these days, it will be more widely recognised for the masterpiece that it is. – Adrian Thomas

hyperion-records.co.uk

that it is. – Adrian Thomas hyperion-records.co.uk Other 2012 Events: _CD “Witold Lutosławski Centenary

Other 2012 Events:

_CD

“Witold Lutosławski Centenary Edition. Gold Collection”

composer: Witold Lutosławski publisher: Polskie Nagrania (Poland)

The 8-CD box is an invaluable collection of recordings of Lutosławski’s compositions, including their unique Polish premieres performed by some of the greatest Polish artists and orchestras conducted by, among others, Lutosławski himself.

polskienagrania.com.pl

among others, Lutosławski himself. polskienagrania.com.pl _CD “Polish Radio Experimental Studio” publisher:
among others, Lutosławski himself. polskienagrania.com.pl _CD “Polish Radio Experimental Studio” publisher:
among others, Lutosławski himself. polskienagrania.com.pl _CD “Polish Radio Experimental Studio” publisher:
among others, Lutosławski himself. polskienagrania.com.pl _CD “Polish Radio Experimental Studio” publisher:

_CD

“Polish Radio Experimental Studio”

publisher: Bôłt Records (Poland)

A series of recordings—the first official

digital publisher with recordings made

at the legendary Warsaw studio.

with recordings made at the legendary Warsaw studio. Documents an important period in Polish 20 t

Documents an important period in Polish 20 th century music, retrieving forgotten musical experiments and composers.

– Ewa Schreiber

boltrecords.pl

experiments and composers. – Ewa Schreiber boltrecords.pl calendar of events 2013 January Hanna Kulenty ©Zosia Zija

calendar

of

events

2013

January

Hanna Kulenty ©Zosia Zija
Hanna Kulenty
©Zosia Zija

_composition

“E-motions” for accordion, string orchestra and percussion

composer: Hanna Kulenty performers: Eneasz Kubit (accordion), Ernst Kovacic (conductor), Wrocław Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum premiere: Wrocław Philharmonic, Wrocław (Poland)

premiere: Wrocław Philharmonic, Wrocław (Poland) Bravura performance of the accordion part by Eneasz Kubit

Bravura performance of the accordion part by Eneasz Kubit and the Wrocław Leopoldiunum Orchestra, precisely led by E. Kovacic. Rhythm, energy, dance – an excellent world premiere! – Izabela Duchnowska

hannakulenty.com

leopoldinum.art.pl

– Izabela Duchnowska hannakulenty.com leopoldinum.art.pl calendar of events Stolik (photo: press releases) _project

calendar

of

events

Stolik (photo: press releases)
Stolik
(photo: press releases)

_project

“Table Around Cage”

organizer: Karbido (Poland)

The Table is an audio performance of the Karbido experimental group, winner of the Best Fringe World Performance 2012 award, performed on a special, electroacoustic wooden table. This prototype instrument is a sound- producing object, made of several different instruments grouped under a tabletop, used as an instrument by performers.

under a tabletop, used as an instrument by performers. A new project, full of exceptional color

A new project, full of exceptional color and

dynamic narration. Besides the arrangements

of Cage’s works (including his string quartet

Four, for example), other compositions inspired

by Cage’s philosophy were also featured. – Izabela Duchnowska

karbido.com

were also featured. – Izabela Duchnowska karbido.com _composition “Sostenuto” for symphony orchestra

_composition

“Sostenuto” for symphony orchestra

composer: Paweł Szymański performers: Antoni Wit (conductor), Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra place: Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland)

The composition was dedicated to Witold Lutosławski to commemorate the centenary of his birth.

Lutosławski to commemorate the centenary of his birth. You always think such people will live eternally.

You always think such people will live eternally. Therefore, as he passed away – in the spirit of his last piece – so very SUBITO, it was difficult

to believe in it, as he was so very SOSTENUTO - Paweł Szymański (polmic.pl)

goo.gl/Wy9rdm

as he was so very SOSTENUTO - Paweł Szymański (polmic.pl) goo.gl/Wy9rdm Polska Music Now Annual Magazine

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

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Witold Lutosławski © George Newson/Lebrecht Music & Arts Photo Library (photo: from the booklet “Witold
Witold Lutosławski
© George Newson/Lebrecht Music & Arts Photo Library
(photo: from the booklet “Witold Lutosławski.Vocal works”,
Chan 10688)

_CD

“Lutosławski:

The Symphonies”

composer: Witold Lutosławski performers: Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor), Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra publisher: Sony Music Classical

Philharmonic Orchestra publisher: Sony Music Classical Esa-Pekka Salonen completed his cycle of Witold

Esa-Pekka Salonen completed his cycle of Witold Lutosławski’s symphonies last year (…) Released

for the first time as a set, they make the perfect tribute for this year’s Lutosławski centenary.

– Andrew Clements (theguardian.com)

centenary. – Andrew Clements (theguardian.com) Salonen’s unfussy direction captures its whimsy and

Salonen’s unfussy direction captures its whimsy and tragedy while ensuring that Lutoslawski’s

brilliant orchestrations come across with great lucidity.

– Jonathan Blumhofer (artsfuse.org)

with great lucidity. – Jonathan Blumhofer (artsfuse.org) 1 9 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

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January-February

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 January-February _festival Festival Chain X organizer: The Witold

_festival

Festival Chain X

organizer: The Witold Lutosławski Society (Poland) place: Warsaw (Poland)

The festival is organized annually by the Witold Lutosławski Society, which extends its care over the composer’s artistic legacy. The anniversary edition of the festival focused on the rarely performed works of Lutosławski and, for the first time, featured master courses in the interpretation of the composer’s output,

held by artists with close ties to Lutosławski.

lutoslawski.org.pl

artists with close ties to Lutosławski. lutoslawski.org.pl February Tomasz J. Opałka (photo: courtesy of the artist)

February

Tomasz J. Opałka (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Tomasz J. Opałka
(photo: courtesy of the artist)

_composition

“D.N.A. Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra”

composer: Tomasz J. Opałka premiere: Festival Chain X, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: The Witold Lutosławski Society (Poland)

The structure of this composition has been derived from the structure of the D.N.A chain.

The scales permute after 10, 11 and 12 bars respectively, which – following slight averaging

– shall correspond to the quantity of base pairs

per each turn of the helix in two-filament B-DNA, A-DNA, and Z-DNA formations. It is also a perverse reference to Lutosławski’s “chain,” albeit restricted to the composition’s name. This is a different chain and a composi- tion technique deviating from that of Lutosławski’s.

tion technique deviating from that of Lutosławski’s. Attractive-sounding and aesthetically different artistic

Attractive-sounding and aesthetically different artistic endeavor. The bass clarinettist Jadwiga Czarkowska is a discovery.

– Prof. Krzysztof Baculewski

tomaszjakubopalka.com

listen: soundcloud.com/tomaszopalka/ d-n-a-concerto-for-bass

soundcloud.com/tomaszopalka/ d-n-a-concerto-for-bass calendar of events _festival 1 s t Kilar Contemporary

calendar

of

events

_festival

1 st Kilar Contemporary Music Festival

curator: Monika Wolińska organizer: Gorzów Philharmonic place: Gorzów Philharmonic, Gorzów Wielkopolski (Poland)

Initiative of Poland’s youngest philharmonic, activating the local authorities and community through the promotion of major 20th century musical works.

wojciechkilar.pl

of major 20th century musical works. wojciechkilar.pl Marcel Chyrzyński © Ewelina Chyrzyńska (photo: courtesy
Marcel Chyrzyński © Ewelina Chyrzyńska (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Marcel Chyrzyński
© Ewelina Chyrzyńska (photo: courtesy of the artist)

_composition

“Ukiyo-e” for string orchestra

composer: Marcel Chyrzyński performers: Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra AMADEUS premiere: Poznań Musical Images, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

The piece was constructed to resemble the Japanese “deconstruction of a woodblock cut.”

the Japanese “deconstruction of a woodblock cut.” Where Europe admired marble monuments, built to outlive

Where Europe admired marble monuments, built to outlive generations of kings, Japan delighted in transience, which was to permeate all art. The emotional sensitivity of the Japanese, combined with sorrow and melancholy, stemmed from their encounters with elusiveness of external beauty. – Marcel Chyrzyński (pwm.com.pl)

marcel.ch.w.interia.pl

imit.org.pl

Chyrzyński (pwm.com.pl) marcel.ch.w.interia.pl imit.org.pl calendar of events Ewa Trębacz © Mark Haslam _composition

calendar

of

events

Ewa Trębacz © Mark Haslam
Ewa Trębacz
© Mark Haslam

_composition

“ANC’L’SUNR” spacial composition with orchestra in relief

composer: Ewa Trębacz performer: Marek Moś (conductor), Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra organizer: Polish Radio Program 2, Composers Association ZAiKS, Polish Composers’ Union premiere: Warsaw Generations XVI concert series, Studio Koncertowe Polskiego Radia im. W. Lutosławskiego, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

Ewa Trębacz is oriented towards experimental media, focusing on spatial aspects of the experience of a work of art, with a special focus on the two immersive techniques: ambisonics and stereoscopy.

on the two immersive techniques: ambisonics and stereoscopy. An exceptional idea for using recorded echoes from

An exceptional idea for using recorded echoes from various places and melding them into the orchestral texture. – prof. Krzysztof Baculewski

ewatrebacz.com

imit.org.pl

– prof. Krzysztof Baculewski ewatrebacz.com imit.org.pl _CD “Zikaron-Lefanai” performer: IRCHA Clarinet Quartet

_CD

“Zikaron-Lefanai”

performer: IRCHA Clarinet Quartet initiator: Mikołaj Trzaska publisher: Kilogram Records

The recording was awarded the 2012 “Record of the Year” in Poland by readers of the jazzarium.pl website. Mikołaj Trzaska was awarded “Musician of the Year” in the same competition.

awarded “Musician of the Year” in the same competition. An exceptional clarinet quartet presenting a modern

An exceptional clarinet quartet presenting a modern vision of Jewish music. – Bartek Chaciński

jewishfestival.pl

kilogram.pl

of Jewish music. – Bartek Chaciński jewishfestival.pl kilogram.pl Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 2 0

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_award

Grammy Award for the Best Classical Compendium

laureates: Krzysztof Penderecki (composer), Antoni Wit (conductor) founders: The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences NARAS (USA) performers: Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland) publisher: Naxos

The recording with a number of different compositions by Krzysztof Penderecki received the Grammy Award for the Best Compendium of Classical Music, joining the few Polish albums to have won this prestigious prize.

cdaccord.com.pl

grammy.com

krzysztofpenderecki.eu

filharmonia.pl

grammy.com krzysztofpenderecki.eu filharmonia.pl 2 1 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 March

21 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

March

Dariusz Przybylski © Michał Bryłka
Dariusz Przybylski
© Michał Bryłka

_composition

“Passio et Mors Domini Nostri Iesu Christi Secundum Ioannem”

composer: Dariusz Przybylski performers: Vokalensemble Phønix16, Timo Kreuser (director) premiere: The Holy Trinity Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession, Warsaw (Poland)

This composer and organist who is barely thirty years old, seems to be a Wunderkind of Polish contemporary music. He composes complex symphonic works where a “solid learning and gift for creating interesting, transparent and manifold formal designs” can be seen. (ruchmuzyczny.pl)

dariuszprzybylski.eu

can be seen. (ruchmuzyczny.pl) dariuszprzybylski.eu _performance “Pasja, czyli cała ta ch piosenka

_performance

“Pasja, czyli cała ta ch piosenka aktorska”

organizer: Sultan Hagavik and Friends place: A Revue of Actor’s Songs, Trend OFF, Wrocław (Poland)

The oldest Polish acting festival, featuring the Actor’s Song Interpretation Competition and the “Nurt OFF” avant-garde music performance competition. The jury awarded the prize to Sultan Hagavik i Przyjaciele for “progressivism, lightness, distance, and transcending the established modes of perception among the audience. For great rhythm, courage, breaking down taboos, and performance aesthetics. For disestablishing the mechanisms of reflection on arts and music. For energy and unpretentiousness. For their ‘off’ qualities.

a

and unpretentiousness. For their ‘off’ qualities. a Jacek Sotomski and Mikołaj Laskowski, two Wrocław-based

Jacek Sotomski and Mikołaj Laskowski,

two Wrocław-based composers, presenting a program of crazy improvisations with taped sound.

– Izabela Duchnowska

ppa.wroclaw.pl

with taped sound. – Izabela Duchnowska ppa.wroclaw.pl _composition “Wax Music” composer: Paweł Mykietyn

_composition

“Wax Music”

composer: Paweł Mykietyn premiere: Ars Musica International Contem- porary Music Festival, Brussels (Belgium) commisioned by: National Audiovisual Institute (Poland)

The composer combines the analog medium with digital transmission: Paweł Mykietyn transcribed electronic sounds for piano and a record player. Every single performance of this 23-minute long piece is unique, since record players produce sound from wax cylinders that are gradually degraded in the process.

wax cylinders that are gradually degraded in the process. This work links old and new technologies

This work links old and new technologies in an

unusual way. It commemorates the past and the fact that sound and its carrying media vanishes.

– Ewa Schreiber

nina.org.pl

culturepl-mykietyn.gu.ma

watch: ninateka-wax-music.gu.ma

culturepl-mykietyn.gu.ma watch: ninateka-wax-music.gu.ma calendar of events _performance The Noise Orchestra

calendar

of

events

_performance

The Noise Orchestra

performers: Orkiestra Hałasu organizer: Academy of Music. Electroacoustic Music Studio, Kraków (Poland) place: Contemporary Art Center Solvay, Kraków (Poland)

The concert of the Noise Orchestra followed the competition for building an intonarumori according to Luigi Russolo’s projects, celebrating the centenary of the Art of Noise.

sme.amuz.krakow.pl

the centenary of the Art of Noise. sme.amuz.krakow.pl _CD “When Snakeboy Is Dying” performer: Robert

_CD

“When Snakeboy Is Dying”

performer: Robert Piotrowicz publisher: Musica Genera (Poland)

“When Snakeboy is Dying” is the first album of Robert Piotrowicz, in which he deploys

a broad spectrum of instruments. Most

of his previous published compositions were committed to creating a multilayered electronic sculpture built with analogue modular synthesizer. By performing on all instruments by himself and using a variety of composing methods, Piotrowicz created an album which strikes with internal integrity and organic complexity whilst leaving the recipient with an impression of listening to an ensemble.

In the sense of tonal reduction and assigned function of certain instruments, the score recalls the spirit of minimalism, however the density and dynamic of the narration remains in vivid contrast to such associations. The strength of Piotrowicz’s work reveals itself in the complexity of events as well as the plethora of colours and the mobility of architecture in the overall sound picture. (musicagenera.net)

in the overall sound picture. (musicagenera.net) April _festival 42 t h International Poznań Spring

April

_festival

42 th International Poznań Spring Contemporary Music Festival

artistic director: Artur Kroschel organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Poznań Branch (Poland) place: Poznań (Poland)

“Gestures” and “outlines” are the recurrent themes in this edition of the Festival. The Wiosna Młodych cycle is continued with a goal of bringing composers closer to young audiences. This initiative successfully promotes contemporary music also because admission to all concerts is free of charge.

wiosnamuzyczna.pl

zkp.org.pl

all concerts is free of charge. wiosnamuzyczna.pl zkp.org.pl _composition “Gniew Wiatru” composer: Bartosz

_composition

“Gniew Wiatru”

composer: Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz performer: Janusz Przybylski (conductor), Kielce Philharmonic Orchestra premiere: XXI Świętokrzyskie Days of Music, Kielce Philharmonic (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

Composer, performer and lecturer Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz is the co-founder of the Sonofrenia Ensemble. Paweł Gusnar is

a versatile saxophonist who performs classical

music and jazz, and is ready to collaborate with young composers on preparing their works.

collaborate with young composers on preparing their works. Unusually expressive with good compositional skills as well

Unusually expressive with good compositional skills as well as an excellent performance by the

soloist, saxophonist Paweł Gusnar, and orchestra.

A

mature work presenting Robert Piotrowicz

Kinga Wojciechowska

as

one of the most important contemporary

electroacoustic music composers.

bartoszkowalski.com

Michał Mendyk

gusnar.eu

robertpiotrowicz.bandcamp.com

annazaradny.net

musicagenera.net

listen: soundcloud.com/rurokura

musicagenera.net listen: soundcloud.com/rurokura calendar of events _festival XXI Świętokrzyskie Days of

calendar

of

events

listen: soundcloud.com/rurokura calendar of events _festival XXI Świętokrzyskie Days of Music artistic

_festival

XXI Świętokrzyskie Days of Music

artistic director: Jacek Rogala organizer: Kielce Philharmonic (Poland) place: Kielce Philharmonic (Poland)

The new formula for the Festival (revived since 2002) is focused on presenting Polish contemporary music with a special emphasis

on works not yet performed by the Kielce Philharmonic. The 21 st edition of the Festival included new works by Krzysztof Meyer, Sławomir Zamaszko and Janusz Stalmierski,

as well as the world premiere of Bartosz

Kowalski’s Saxophone Concerto and an audio- visual performance by Marek Chołoniewski. Festival concerts were linked to by film-themed events.

filharmonia.kielce.com.pl

linked to by film-themed events. filharmonia.kielce.com.pl Qudsja Zaher © Krzysztof Bieliński _opera “Qudsja
Qudsja Zaher © Krzysztof Bieliński
Qudsja Zaher
© Krzysztof Bieliński

_opera

“Qudsja Zaher”

composer: Paweł Szymański director: Eimuntas Nekrošius libretto: Maciej J. Drygas conductor: Wojciech Michniewski premiere: Teatr Wielki

- Polish National Opera, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Teatr Wielki

- Polish National Opera (Poland)

A multicultural opera with Polish musicians

led by a Lithuanian conductor in a story of an Afghan refugee. A sign of deep changes in musical theater aesthetics that have taken place over the past two decades.

aesthetics that have taken place over the past two decades. The work links contemporary themes with

The work links contemporary themes with old sagas and mythology. Ascetic in terms of music, moving and thought-provoking.

– Ewa Schreiber

teatrwielki.pl

goo.gl/Wy9rdm

and thought-provoking. – Ewa Schreiber teatrwielki.pl goo.gl/Wy9rdm Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 2 2

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

22

Janusz Wawrowski (photo: courtesy of the artist)
Janusz Wawrowski
(photo: courtesy of the artist)

_festival

5 th Festival of Premieres. The Most Recent Polish Music.

artistic director: Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa organizer: National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra NOSPR (Poland) place: Katowice (Poland)

The Festival seeks to present the latest compositions, those written after 2005, to listeners of Polish Radio Program 2. During the Festival we heard interesting world premieres.

festiwalprawykonan.pl

nospr.org.pl

world premieres. festiwalprawykonan.pl nospr.org.pl _composition “Canzon de’ baci” for tenor and orchestra

_composition

“Canzon de’ baci” for tenor and orchestra

composer: Andrzej Kwieciński performers: Karol Kozłowski (tenor), Marek Moś (conductor) Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy AUKSO premiere: 5th Festival of Premieres. The Most Recent Polish Music, Katowice (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

The Łódź Philharmonic’s Composer-in- Residence, Andrzej Kwieciński, is also a Lutosławski Society and Ministry of Culture

fellow. His music represents “the mannerisms

of the Italian Baroque—sharp contrasts,

chromaticisms and sublimity […]; on the other hand a strict, classical counterpoint, spectral

techniques that broaden the possibilities of creating sonoristically treated harmonies, and a new style of sound calligraphy.” (dwutygodnik.com)

andrzejkwiecinski.com

nospr.org.pl

(dwutygodnik.com) andrzejkwiecinski.com nospr.org.pl _CD “Cyprian Bazylik: Complete Works” composer: Cyprian

_CD

“Cyprian Bazylik:

Complete Works”

composer: Cyprian Bazylik performers: Ars Nova (ensemble) publisher: Travers Music (Poland)

A complete performance of the composer’s

works (four-part motets, psalms and hymns)

is still insufficient to present this little-known

16th century composer, writer and translator.

Founded in 1981, the Ars Nova group (currently led by Jacek Urbaniak and Krzysztof Owczynik)

is one of the leading early instrument

ensembles in Poland.

Marta Ptaszyńska © Mariusz Makowski/PWM Archive
Marta Ptaszyńska
© Mariusz Makowski/PWM Archive

composition

“Holocaust Memorial Cantata”

composer: Marta Ptaszyńska performers: Piotr Gajewski (conductor), Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir (Poland) premiere: Warsaw Philharmonic (Poland)

The Polish premiere, given at the concert commemorating the 70th anniversary of the

Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Marta Ptaszyńska’s 1992 composition-prayer about remembrance was revised and augmented following

a suggestion by Yehudi Menuhin.

and augmented following a suggestion by Yehudi Menuhin. An important commemoration of Polish history through music.

An important commemoration of Polish history

through music. As director of the National Philharmonic in Washington, D.C., Gajewski plays a major role in popularizing Polish music in the US.

– Krysta Close & Marek Żebrowski

martaptaszynska.com

_CD

“Zarzycki & Żeleński:

Piano Concertos”

composers: Aleksander Zarzycki, Witold Żeleński performers: Jonathan Plowright (pianist), Łukasz Borowicz (conductor), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (UK) publisher: Hyperion (UK)

Scottish Symphony Orchestra (UK) publisher: Hyperion (UK) Two big, sweeping Romantic piano concertos by almost-unknown

Two big, sweeping Romantic piano concertos by almost-unknown Polish composers turn out to be buried treasure. – Harriet Smith

hyperion-records.co.uk

buried treasure. – Harriet Smith hyperion-records.co.uk _award Fryderyk. Artist of the Year laureate: Paweł

_award

Fryderyk. Artist of the Year

laureate: Paweł Łukaszewski (composer) founder: The Polish Society of the Phono- graphic Industry (Poland)

With a reduced number of awards that raised the prestige of the event, the Polish Recording Academy Award was given to Paweł Łukaszewski for his achievements as “Artist of the Year – Classical Music Category.” Three of his recordings received nominations in various categories.

Piotr Beczała © Johannes Ifkovits
Piotr Beczała
© Johannes Ifkovits

_award

Gwarancje Kultury

laureates: Krzysztof Penderecki (composer/ conductor), Piotr Beczała (tenor) organizer: TVP Kultura, Warsaw (Poland)

The annual TVP Kultura awards are given to the most important and fascinating personalities on Poland’s art scene. The Special Prize was given to Krzysztof Penderecki for his lifetime achievements in music. Piotr Beczała was honored in the Classical Music category.

krzysztofpenderecki.eu

zpav.pl/fryderyk

beczala.com

lukaszewski.org.uk

tvp.pl/kultura/wydarzenia/gwarancje-

lukaszewski.org.uk tvp.pl/kultura/wydarzenia/gwarancje- kultury _CD “Krzysztof Penderecki: Complete Symphonies”

kultury

tvp.pl/kultura/wydarzenia/gwarancje- kultury _CD “Krzysztof Penderecki: Complete Symphonies”

_CD

“Krzysztof Penderecki:

Complete Symphonies”

arsnovapolonia.eu

fiharmonia.pl

composer: Krzysztof Penderecki performers: Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus (Poland) publisher: DUX (Poland)

travers-music.com

   
 
 

The first complete recording of Penderecki’s symphonic oeuvre, conducted by the composer himself.

23 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

calendar

of

events

calendar

of

events

dux.pl

krzysztofpenderecki.eu

sinfoniaiuventus.pl

events calendar of events dux.pl krzysztofpenderecki.eu sinfoniaiuventus.pl Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 2 4

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

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May

May _festival 5 t h Festival of Traditional and Avant-Garde Music “CODES” curator: Jerzy Kornowicz organizer:

_festival

5 th Festival of Traditional and Avant-Garde Music “CODES”

curator: Jerzy Kornowicz organizer: Centre for Intercultural Creative Initiatives “Crossroads” (Poland) place: Lublin (Poland)

The Festival seeks to find common ground among forms from seemingly distant times and styles. Meetings of contemporary music and avant-garde composers and performers with traditional and folk music practitioners, as well as with those closer to “the coarse folksiness and conceptual sultriness of the avant-garde” than to the “glibness of popular culture.” (kody-festiwal.pl)

codes-festival.com

of popular culture.” (kody-festiwal.pl) codes-festival.com _workshop “The Great Learning” Cornelius’ Cardew

_workshop

“The Great Learning” Cornelius’ Cardew

organizer: Jan Bernad workshops conductor: John Tilbury place: 5th Festival of Traditional and Avant- Garde Music “CODES”, Lublin (Poland)

Open rehearsals of The Great Learning led by John Tilbury, followed by a concert presentation.

led by John Tilbury, followed by a concert presentation. A chance for participatory, open, and socially-

A chance for participatory, open, and socially- conscious avant-garde musical practice. – Michał Mendyk

codes-festival.com

musical practice. – Michał Mendyk codes-festival.com 2 5 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

25 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

_composition

“Greetings from

a Doppelgänger”

composer: Jagoda Szmytka performers: Ensemble Garage (Germany) premiere: Acht Brücken Festival, Köln (Germany) commissioned by: Ensemble Garage (Germany)

Ensemble Garage is a group dedicated to exploring the ideas and conceptual procedures of the new generation authors.

and conceptual procedures of the new generation authors. A constant appetite for experimenting and searching for

A constant appetite for experimenting

and searching for new sound possibilities.

Gośka Isphording

jagodaszmytka.com

beta.ensemble-garage.de

listen: soundcloud.com/jagoda-szmytka/ greetings-from-a-doppelgaenger

greetings-from-a-doppelgaenger Jerzy Kornowicz © Małgorzata Kosińska _festival XXVII
Jerzy Kornowicz © Małgorzata Kosińska
Jerzy Kornowicz
© Małgorzata Kosińska

_festival

XXVII Warsaw Music

Encounters. Early Music

– New Music

director: Władysław Słowiński organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Warsaw Branch (Poland) place: Warsaw (Poland)

This festival successfully convinced early music fans and traditionalists to get to know the contemporary canon. It also presents the listeners with the latest trends and various music styles.

wsm.art.pl

zkp.org.pl

trends and various music styles. wsm.art.pl zkp.org.pl calendar of events calendar of events Zbigniew Bagiński

calendar

of

events

calendar

of

events

Zbigniew Bagiński (photo: courtesy of the Polish Music Information Center)
Zbigniew Bagiński
(photo: courtesy of the Polish Music
Information Center)

_composition

Symphony no. 4

composer: Zbigniew Bagiński performers: Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Warsaw Branch (Poland) premiere: XXVII Warsaw Music Encounters. Early Music – New Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

Zbigniew Bagiński is a composer with a rich and varied catalogue, a recognized lecturer in composition, theory and music history. He describes his works that attempt a dialogue with specific traditional elements as constructivism on the way to self-improvement.

zbigniew-baginski.gu.ma

wsm.art.pl

imit.org.pl

zbigniew-baginski.gu.ma wsm.art.pl imit.org.pl _composition “Collisions of the Matter” for symphonic

_composition

“Collisions of the Matter” for symphonic orchestra

composer: Tomasz J. Opałka performers: Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Warsaw Branch (Poland) premiere: XXVII Warsaw Music Encounters. Early Music – New Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Polish Composers’ Union, Warsaw (Poland)

Tomasz J. Opałka’s music ended up in one of Maja Baczyńska’s documentary films in the Composers’ Portraits cycle. Kilka pytań o słyszenie świata was dedicated to four young composers with greatly differing styles and personalities. Besides Opałka, the documentary also featured Paweł Przezwański, Paweł Pudło, and Kamil Staszowski.

tomaszjakubopalka.com

pawel-przezwanski.gu.ma

musicpudlo.com/en

kamil-staszowski.gu.ma

wsm.art.pl

zkp.org.pl

sinfoniaiuventus.pl

listen: soundcloud.com/tomaszopalka listen: soundcloud.com/ pawelprzezwanski watch: youtu.be/yu8KKwEB4KM

pawelprzezwanski watch: youtu.be/yu8KKwEB4KM _composition “Perseidy” for chamber string orchestra

_composition

“Perseidy” for chamber string orchestra

composer: Adrianna Furmanik performers: Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra AMADEUS organizer: Polish Composers’ Union. The Warsaw Branch (Poland) premiere: XXVII Warsaw Music Encounters. Early Music – New Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Polish Composers’ Union, Warsaw (Poland)

commissioned by: Polish Composers’ Union, Warsaw (Poland) A new name in the pantheon of Polish contemporary

A new name in the pantheon of Polish contemporary music. – prof. Krzysztof Baculewski

wsm.art.pl

zkp.org.pl

contemporary music. – prof. Krzysztof Baculewski wsm.art.pl zkp.org.pl Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 2 6

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

26

_composition

Concerto for Accordion and String Orchestra

composer: Marcin Błażewicz performers: Klaudiusz Baran (accordion), Jan Stanienda (conductor), Chamber Orchestra Wratislavia premiere: Royal Castle, XXVII Warsaw Music Encounters. Early Music – New Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Polish Composers’ Union, Warsaw (Poland)

wsm.art.pl

zkp.org.pl

marcin-blazewicz.gu.ma

Warsaw (Poland) wsm.art.pl zkp.org.pl marcin-blazewicz.gu.ma Marcin Masecki (photo: press releases) The European
Marcin Masecki (photo: press releases)
Marcin Masecki
(photo: press releases)
The European Krzysztof Penderecki Center for Music (photo: press releases)
The European Krzysztof Penderecki Center for Music
(photo: press releases)

_initiative

The European Krzysztof Penderecki Center for Music

organizer: Krzysztof Penderecki place: Lusławice (Poland)

A newly opened center for developing young musical talents from Poland and Europe, especially in terms of solo, chamber and orchestral music performance, through the master-student relationship and other programs.

penderecki-center.pl

relationship and other programs. penderecki-center.pl 2 7 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 _CD

27 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

2 7 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 _CD “Polonaises” performer: Marcin Masecki (pianist)

_CD

“Polonaises”

performer: Marcin Masecki (pianist) publisher: Lado ABC (Poland) with National Audiovisual Institute (Poland)

Jazz and avant-garde pianist, Marcin Masecki, already known for his collaboration with Raphael Rogiński, Macio Moretti and the Alchemik group, represents the post-modernist aesthetics of collage and defect.

He “creatively transforms the traditional national dance forms, linking various influences, including the classically-oriented compositional techniques, 19 th century elegance and a provincial march orchestra.” (nina.gov.pl)

elegance and a provincial march orchestra.” (nina.gov.pl) An inventively treated presentation of music for winds, with

An inventively treated presentation of music for winds, with a sly and humorous look at Polish musical tradition.

– Bartek Chaciński

marcinmasecki.com

ladoabc.com

nina.gov.pl

Bartek Chaciński marcinmasecki.com ladoabc.com nina.gov.pl _opera “Project P: Transcryptum” composer: Wojtek

_opera

“Project P: Transcryptum”

composer: Wojtek Blecharz libretto: Wojtek Blecharz conductor: Marta Kluczyńska premiere: Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera (Poland)

An opera, part of the exceptionally successful “Project P,” initiated by Mariusz Treliński and Jan Topolski.

The event was “an artistic operation,

a procedure containing a record of trauma,

including all the characteristic steps that

lead into it.” (teatrwielki.pl)

teatrwielki.pl

wojtek-blecharz-culture.gu.ma

listen: soundcloud.com/wojtek-4

listen: soundcloud.com/wojtek-4 calendar of events _opera “Project P: for voices and

calendar

of

events

_opera

“Project P: for voices and hands”

composer: Jagoda Szmytka libretto: Jagoda Szmytka, Michał Zadara conductor: Marta Kluczyńska premiere: Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera (Poland)

by: Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera (Poland) A brave step into a contemporary music theatre

A brave step into a contemporary music theatre that is both artistically and socially important, and breaks the aesthetically ossified and bureaucratically inept stereotype of public cultural institutions. – Michał Mendyk

jagodaszmytka.com

teatrwielki.pl

listen: soundcloud.com/jagoda-szmytka

teatrwielki.pl listen: soundcloud.com/jagoda-szmytka calendar of events _composition “Pneuma III” for

calendar

of

events

_composition

“Pneuma III” for baritone, saxophone, accordion and percussion

composer: Paweł Przezwański performers: Wojciech Psiuk (saxophone), Paweł Janas (accordion), Leszek Lorent (percussion), Maciej Nerkowski (baritone) organizer: ForMusic Foundation (Poland) premiere: Fryderyk Chopin University

of Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

The third part of the Pneuma cycle, commissioned by ForMusic Foundation. Guitarist, composer and arranger, Paweł Przezwański, specializes in large-scale compositions for big instrumental groups and in quarter-tone harmony.

pawel-przezwanski.gu.ma

formusic.org.pl

listen: soundcloud.com/ pawelprzezwanski

formusic.org.pl listen: soundcloud.com/ pawelprzezwanski _composition “Vides ut Alta” for baritone and percussion

_composition

“Vides ut Alta” for baritone and percussion

composer: Miłosz Bembinow performer: Maciej Bogumił Nerkowski (baritone), Leszek Lorent (percussion) organizer: ForMusic Foundation (Poland) premiere: Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, Warsaw (Poland) commissioned by: Institute of Dance and Music (Poland)

In spite of their diversity, works by Miłosz Bembinow focus on vocal and choral repertoire. Winner of two Fryderyk Awards, Bembinow is also a conductor, lecturer, and musical activist. The ForMusic foundation’s project “Classics Served Differently” promotes unusual arrangements of various compositions.

bembinow.com

formusic.org.pl

of various compositions. bembinow.com formusic.org.pl _concert “Genius Lutos” composer: Witold Lutosławski

_concert

“Genius Lutos”

composer: Witold Lutosławski performers: Gamelan Percussion Orchestra, PSOUU organizer: Szczecin Philharmonic, (Poland) place: Szczecin Philharmonic (Poland)

This project is part of the Lutosławski Year celebration and seeks to bring mentally handicapped persons to participate in music culture. The main organizer of the initiative is the Gamelan Percussion Orchestra of the Koło Society for the Mentally Handicapped in Szczecin.

filharmonia.szczecin.pl

Mentally Handicapped in Szczecin. filharmonia.szczecin.pl Agata Zubel ©Tomasz Kulak _award UNESCO International
Agata Zubel ©Tomasz Kulak
Agata Zubel ©Tomasz Kulak

_award

UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers Award

laureate: Agata Zubel (composer) organizer: International Musical Council UNESCO, Prague (Czech Republic)

Agata Zubel’s composition Not I, representing the Polish Radio entry, was given the highest honor by a landslide majority of votes at the 60 th International Composers’ Tribune.

zubel.pl

of votes at the 60 t h International Composers’ Tribune. zubel.pl Polska Music Now Annual Magazine

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

28

_initiative

Unknown manuscripts of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki

publisher: PWM Edition (Poland), DUX (Poland) place: Kraków (Poland)

20 choral works by Górecki, found in the house of the composer, were given to PWM Edition and will be published posthumously. Also to be recorded by DUX.

pwm.com.pl

dux.pl

posthumously. Also to be recorded by DUX. pwm.com.pl dux.pl Marcin Stańczyk © Aleksandra Chciuk _award Toru
Marcin Stańczyk © Aleksandra Chciuk
Marcin Stańczyk © Aleksandra Chciuk

_award

Toru Takemitsu Award

composer: Marcin Stańczyk founder: Toru Takemitsu, Tokio (Japan)

The Toru Takemitsu Award, the most important music award in Japan, is given by a single juror to young composers for orchestral works. Marcin Stańczyk received it for his Sighs— Hommage a Fryderyk Chopin.

marcinstanczyk.com

operacity.jp/en/concert/award/

listen: soundcloud.com/marcinstanczyk

listen: soundcloud.com/marcinstanczyk 2 9 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 Krzysztof

29 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

Krzysztof Meyer © Bolesław Lutosławski
Krzysztof Meyer
© Bolesław Lutosławski

_opera

“The Cyberiad”

composer: Krzysztof Meyer libretto: Krzysztof Meyer conductor: Krzysztof Słowiński organizer: the Grand Theatre, Poznań premiere: the Grand Theatre, Poznań (Poland)

The libretto for this comic opera was based on short stories by Stanisław Lem about the adventures of designers Trurl and Klapaucjusz as well as from Robots’ Tales. Dating from 1968-1970, the work was finally premiered in Poland in 2013.

It’s fortunate that it was staged now to coincide with the revival of 1960s aesthetics and discussions about the successes of the so-called Polish composers’ school. Cyberiada is also a pastiche, allowing for various graceful stylistic approaches. (polityka.pl)

krzysztof-meyer.gu.ma

opera.poznan.pl

(polityka.pl) krzysztof-meyer.gu.ma opera.poznan.pl June _festival Instalactions. Music Festival curators: Anna

June

_festival

Instalactions. Music Festival

curators: Anna Kwiatkowska, Paweł Mykietyn, Wojtek Blecharz organizer: New Theater, Warsaw (Poland) place: Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (Poland)

Musical installations in the post-industrial space of a former city garage in the Old Mokotów district of Warsaw.

a former city garage in the Old Mokotów district of Warsaw. Festival, retrospective, and a gallery

Festival, retrospective, and a gallery of installations. We look in one direction and bend the ear elsewhere. We do museum walk. – Jan Topolski

nowyteatr.org/pl/event/instalakcje

csw.art.pl

Jan Topolski nowyteatr.org/pl/event/instalakcje csw.art.pl calendar of events calendar of events _initiative New

calendar

of

events

calendar

of

events

_initiative

New Editions of Works by Marian Sawa

coordinator: Marian Sawa Society (Poland)

Composer of organ music, organist, musicologist and pedagogue who left an exceptionally rich legacy.

mariansawa.org

who left an exceptionally rich legacy. mariansawa.org _CD “Back to the Future Shock” performers: LXMP –

_CD

“Back to the Future Shock”

performers: LXMP – Macio Moretti & Piotr Zabrodzki publisher: Lado ABC (Poland)

A two-person project for bass guitar,

percussion and synthesizer. The recording was commissioned by the Unsound Festival.

The recording was commissioned by the Unsound Festival. An ambitious, world-class undertaking of adapting Herbie

An ambitious, world-class undertaking

of adapting Herbie Hancock’s classic recording

Future Shock for a duet.

– Bartłomiej Chaciński

Other 2013 Events:

lxmp.net

 

ladoabc.com

_CD

“Astrolabium Sings Bembinow”

composer: Miłosz Bembinow performers: Astrolabium (Poland) publisher: Sarton S.C. (Poland)

The Astrolabium Choir from Toruń performs contemporary works of Miłosz Bembinow that are inspired by religious culture and folksy devotion.

astrolabium.art.pl

bembinow.com

sarton.pl

folksy devotion. astrolabium.art.pl bembinow.com sarton.pl _festival Klasyka w Lokalu. Lokal na Poważnie organizer:
folksy devotion. astrolabium.art.pl bembinow.com sarton.pl _festival Klasyka w Lokalu. Lokal na Poważnie organizer:

_festival

Klasyka w Lokalu. Lokal na Poważnie

organizer: Lokal Użytkowy, Warsaw performers: Sonofrenia (ensemble) place: Lokal Użytkowy, Warsaw (Poland)

Sonofrenia is a trio of composers (Bartosz Kowalski-Banasewicz, trumpet, flute

and computer; Krzysztof Kozłowski, piano and keyboards; Wojciech Błażejczyk, electric guitar, violin and computer). They perform “improvised music from the fringe

of contemporary music, minimalism,

sonorism, and electronic music.” (wojciech.blazejczyk.eu)

lokaluzytkowy.org

wojciech.blazejczyk.eu

music.” (wojciech.blazejczyk.eu) lokaluzytkowy.org wojciech.blazejczyk.eu Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 3 0

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

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31 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

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notes

Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13

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Daniel Muzyczuk From Ghetto to Explosion and Back? tr. Michał Szostało

Daniel Muzyczuk

Daniel Muzyczuk From Ghetto to Explosion and Back? tr. Michał Szostało

From Ghetto to Explosion and Back?

tr. Michał Szostało

1 Artur Żmijewski (*1966) – visual artist; Katarzyna Kozyra (*1963) – sculptor.

2 Sound art is an artistic movement begun in the 1960s, whose primary medium is sound (in contrast to the visual arts). Sound art is based on trends in contemporary avant-garde music, with great emphasis on expression, improvisation and ex- perimental electronic music, which, in combination with spatial architec- ture, acoustics and objects utilized (e.g. specially-built installations or instruments), yields a work of art.

3 Young Polish audiovisual artists born at the end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s.

Several years have passed since the Zachęta National Gallery’s survey of relations between the visual arts and music, grandiosely entitled Sound Explosion. Despite references to ‘masters of the genre’, this exhibition presented a picture of a quite young and separate discipline, whose novelty on the Polish scene is also attested by the surprising selection of Polish artists whose work is not usually associated with sound

(Artur Żmijewski, Katarzyna Kozyra 1 ). In many of the world’s galleries and museums, the year 2012 was dedicated to John Cage.

and museums, the year 2012 was dedicated to John Cage. His birthday jubilee was celebrated with

His birthday jubilee was celebrated with an exceptionally large number of cross-sectional exhibitions studying or, considerably more frequently,

presenting the state of research on the history of sound art 2 . Indeed, it could be said that sound in art has again become fashionable, as seems to be confirmed by the cross-sectional exhibition entitled Sounding at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. This tendency has also not eluded Poland, though this observation should concern the attention devoted to the subject, rather than transformations in artistic practices. Most of the examples of work with sound, an explosion of which we observe at the present moment, result from consistently pursued paths of development. Katarzyna Krakowiak, Konrad Smoleński, Anna Zaradny, Robert Piotrowicz, Piotr Bosacki, Adam Witkowski

and Krzysztof Topolski 3 are artists whose identities were formed long before the appearance of the current fashion. They also do not shut themselves up in the ghetto of sound art, which is extraordinarily often perceived only as a meta-discourse on the properties of sound in space, or as a certain diversification in the programs of arts institutions.

The project entitled Making the walls quake as if they were dilating with the secret knowledge of great powers, curated by Michał Libera for the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Architectural Biennale, is one of the most spectacular examples. An irreverent take on the Biennale’s main theme – common ground – permitted the creation of a work which won the praise of the jurors and was awarded an honorable mention. Krakowiak’s work was an answer to the question ‘What kind of listening is made possible by architecture?’ The original idea was to turn the pavilion into a machine for listening to neighboring spaces. Selective amplification and mixing realized with the help of Ralf Meinz resulted in an extraordinary experience delicately balanced on the border between randomness and order. At the same time, the ‘sound sculpture’

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points to the acoustic properties of architecture, thereby becoming an instrument of critique. The project is accompanied by an anthology of texts about listening through and with the aid of architecture, as well as by an audio recording released by Bôłt Records.

When, at the beginning of this year, the jury’s decision on the project for the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale – which appointed Konrad Smoleński, under my supervision, along with Agnieszka Pindera – was announced, many people asked whether we were not afraid of comparisons with Krakowiak’s work. This shows clearly an a priori treatment of works in which sound plays

a leading role as a certain area of inquiry which can be encompassed in a few

general statements and in a peculiar sort of ghetto where everything resembles everything else. It also becomes evident that sound art is treated as such

a young branch that one can continue to describe its condition in general

terms. It should be added that we were not afraid of comparisons with Krakowiak and Smoleński. These projects are similar, above all, in one respect:

their monumentalism. Smoleński focused on transformations of a sound that he created himself with the aid of two bells. Their tone is recorded and deprived of the most semantically complete part of their sound: the attack. The sound played back in this manner seems devoid of the meanings that are commonly associated with bells. The resulting action was set by the artist in the aesthetic language associated with a rock concert, in both the visual and the acoustic spheres – the low tones made one’s stay in the pavilion a positively physical experience.

The two above-cited projects are also important for other reasons. These are some of the first such monumental manifestations of sound art in Poland and, on top of that, they remain autonomous – that is, they do not serve the purpose of autotelically illustrating a thesis about the condition of sound art. Quite the contrary, thanks to their use of sound, they point to questions in the acoustic or institutional domain. Also being consistently built up is knowledge of practices from before the watershed moment in 1989. One of the goals that we have set ourselves as curators of the Sounds of the Body Electric exhibition, which was presented last year at the Museum of Art in Łódź and can currently be viewed at Calvert 22 in London, was to fill in the empty field that will be noticed by anyone looking at the lists of artists participating in the aforementioned sound art survey exhibitions. Together with David Crowley, we selected material that reveals a different story of sound art than the commonly-accepted one, wherein the primary catalyst and source of inspiration for the marriage of visual arts with music was John Cage. By searching archives and reconstructing no-longer-existing or undocumented works, we found evidence that perhaps in some centers, the impact of Scriabin or Strzemiński was much stronger than any model from Western Europe. This is an important lesson, as well, on account of the previously-cited tendency to present gallery sound art asa sub-category of visual art. The exhibition showed a variety of institutional and personal entanglements which go far beyond the bounds of the modern, well- established classification of sound art.

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The materials represented a variety of media: from film, to graphic scores and music publications, to installations and sculptures created in such diverse centers as galleries, concert halls, music and film studios, even research institutes.

4 A studio founded as part of Polish Radio in 1957 as one of four professional centers for the creation of electronic music in Europe; its activity contributed to the lightning- fast development of electroacoustic music in Poland.

5 Polish People’s Republic – official name of the Polish state from 1952 to 1989.

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Hence, a very important role in this text must be played, as well, by non-gallery channels through which sound art can reach its recipients. An extraordinarily important role is played here by the veritable explosion of music labels undertaking the archaeological exploration of sound experiments and contemporary art. The first category should be considered to include Bôłt Records, which is in some way responsible for the growing popularity of the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio 4 . The series presenting this institution’s archives has presently reached ten titles, and the label’s activities are not limited only to this extraordinarily important, but nevertheless episodic chapter in Polish music history. Requiem Records, on the other hand, under the auspices of its Archive Series, releases recordings of underground experimental groups operating mainly in the 1980s. Both labels fill an overwhelming gap that has existed for years in knowledge concerning experimental music in the Polish People’s Republic 5 . To this list must be added the exhibition, organized by the Bęc Zmiana Foundation, and its companion publication entitled The experiment cannot be continued, which, taking as its starting point the idea of experiment contained in the Warsaw studio’s name, posed questions about the condition of experimentalism in art at the present time. This question seems to be answered by other labels. Bocian Records represents primarily vinyl records with stylish, predominantly black-and-white covers. Electroacoustic improvisation and noise, but also such surprises as discs by Niwea and Wojciech Bąkowski, define Bocian’s quest. Their very consistent publishing strategy combines national productions with foreign stars. It is this label that released the most recent album of the aforementioned Anna Zaradny, the weight of whose activity has clearly shifted to sound installations and films. Bocian has also issued an entire array of publications by Robert Piotrowicz, which prove that he is one of the most interesting improvisers and composers of recent years. His collaboration with director Lukas Jiřička in projects based on texts by Helmut Kajzar and William Blake proves that this artist, as well, does not see the need for demarcation of boundaries between the theater, film and radio play genres. This list must also include Monotype Records, which regularly releases work by contemporary music stars. It is also a label that is not afraid to release sound poetry… The mission statement of Art Baazar Records, on the other hand, contains a clear declaration: ‘We record the sounds of Polish art.’ The albums, issued primarily on vinyl discs, are recordings of visual artists that, together with this year’s The Artists festival, which presented musical projects of visual artists, give an idea of the scale of the phenomenon, which at this point can even be called a scene.

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This brief and necessarily arbitrary selection indicates that in many respects, recent years have brought a remarkable explosion, in terms of both quantity and quality, in the field of sound art in the broad sense. It is a movement clear and defined enough that both its future and its past are being constructed simultaneously. Certainly one person partly responsible for institutional interest in sound art is Leszek Knaflewski, who runs the Audiosphere studio at the University of Arts in Poznań. Its graduates include, among others, Konrad Smolenski, Wojciech Bąkowski, Piotr Bosacki and Daniel Koniusz. These artists, mainly associated with the studio, have been presented in two projects investigating the potential of sound works in exhibition halls. Give Voice was an exhibition at the Art Zone in Szczecin, which was to some extent a summary of the various tendencies present in the studio. Six-Lined Staff, on the other hand, was a project carried out by Knaflewski and Koniusz at the Chopin Museum in Warsaw. Six artists presented works examining sound reproduction in the museum, which is inevitably based on this technology. Thus, the new voices added a commentary that demonstrates awareness of the opportunities and constraints offered by new technologies in museum spaces. Two events organized by the Nowy Teatr in Warsaw were oriented much more toward musical performance. The first of these, curated by Paweł Mykietyn and entitled Friendly Game, found its place in the park surrounding the Królikarnia palace, and its participants included, among others, Peter Ablinger, Winfried Ritsch and Wojciech Blecharz. Meanwhile, Installactions took place in the theater building proper, where, under the curatorial eyes of Mykietyn and Blecharz, works by Zimoun, Jagoda Szmytka and Johannes Kreidler were executed.

The events mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg. The situation has never been as good as it is now. The quantity and quality of events is supported by a variety of institutional facilities, which is only partly the result of the ‘fashion’ for sound art. If institutional interest lasts, it could turn into a permanent commitment to inquiries in the border area between these disciplines and to maintenance of the extraordinary energy which has been released in recent years.

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Monika Pasiecznik Globalization and Identity tr. Cara Thornton

Monika Pasiecznik

Monika Pasiecznik Globalization and Identity tr. Cara Thornton

Globalization and Identity

tr. Cara Thornton

In the 20 th and 21 st centuries, the Romantic concept of ‘national schools’ was deconstructed. Today, the search for a ‘national style’, some distinguishing factor which would define Polish music, is probably condemned to failure. While we do still appeal to well-known tradition, point out ethnic, cultural and aesthetic affinities, in an era of open borders and the Internet, the coherence of a regional idiom is, however, highly problematic.

1 Sonorism and Serialism are 20 th - century music trends. The idea of Serialism was to shape the musical work based on the organization of all of its elements (melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, articulation) with the aid of a series – that is, an a priori adopted system. In Sonorism, on the other hand, a work’s most important element was its sound, frequently obtained using non- traditional methods of instrumental sound production.

2 Aleatorism is a manner of constructing a musical work which introduces an element of chance – that is, not entirely determined performance parameters – whereby the performer becomes a co-creator of the work. Controlled aleatorism leaves the composer a greater influence on the final effect of the work’s performance; the element of chance is limited, for example, only to the abandonment of metrical division of the piece (ad libitum playing).

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playing). 4 1 Polska Music Now Annual Magazine 2012/13 The most important native tradition is Sonorism,

The most important native tradition is Sonorism, a trend in Polish music from the 1960s which opposed the pure resonance of sound masses to Serialist pitch combinatorics 1 . Based on this, critics put together the handy term ‘Polish composition school’, into which it classified, among others, Krzysztof Penderecki, Kazimierz Serocki, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Witold Lutosławski (though the latter did not flirt with Sonorism; his contribution to the history of the Polish avant-garde was, above all, controlled aleatorism 2 and open form). Today, it is most often to this ‘school’ that people relate the inquiries of young avant-garde artists in Poland, which – as we shall show – is not always justified. Polish contemporary music is decidedly more diverse and cosmopolitan!

That the identity of 20 th -century Polish music is not only Sonorism, is proven by the numerous artists active abroad – those who grew up, trained or settled there. Unlike the so-called Great Emigration of the 19 th century, obliged to leave Poland for political reasons, which made it a point of honor to preserve Polish culture abroad, the 20 th -century emigration was rather a desire to enter the circulation of the international artistic scene.

That Polish émigrés in the 20th century effectively and successfully contributed to the global music scene, is attested by such figures as Roman Haubenstock- Ramati, who from 1973 onwards had a composition studio in Vienna and educated such composers as, among others, Beat Furrer and Peter Ablinger. In turn, one student of Andrzej Dobrowolski, who from 1976 onwards had a composition studio in Graz, was Bernhard Lang. Many Polish composers work or have worked at prestigious artistic schools in Europe and the United States, educating a generation of artists from all over the world.

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Let us follow the fortunes of other Polish émigrés: Witold Szalonek had a composition studio in Berlin from 1973 onwards; and Krzysztof Meyer, in Köln from 1987 to 2008. Bettina Skrzypczak has been a professor of composition at the University of Music in Lucerne since 2002; Elżbieta Sikora held a professorship at the Conservatory in Angoulême from 1985 to 2008.

Marta Ptaszyńska has been a professor at the University of Chicago since 1998. Jarosław Kapuściński, who has lived in the United States for years, is a composition professor and the director of the Intermedia Performance Lab at Stanford University; Ewa Trębacz is active artistically and academically at the University of Washington; and Krzysztof Wołek is a professor at the University of Louisville. Hanna Kulenty, who lives in Holland, has made an international career, though she never did decide to go into teaching.

These artists complicate the identity of contemporary Polish music. It turns out that it is decidedly more complex, and cannot be boiled down to the category of Sonorism/the ‘Polish compositional school’. Utilizing advanced media technologies (Kapuściński, Trębacz, Wołek), developing academic concepts, combining inspirations from the Polish and European avant-garde (Haubenstock-Ramati, Szalonek, Skrzypczak), Polish émigrés are building the continuity of Modernism 3 , contributing to the creation of its not only Polish, but global identity.

3 Modernism is a general name for all of the trends in 20 th -century music which represented a break with the musical culture of Romanticism.

For over 20 years, Poland has been a free and democratic country, which is not without its influence on emigration. People go abroad to gain new experiences, open themselves to new inspirations, confront their own ideas with the most current ones in the art world. This releases energy, but also demands a settling of accounts with national identity, which one must first negate in order to fully open oneself to new things. Reconstruction of identity now takes place in a global context; it is built rather by specific artistic means (the identity of new music!) and universal aesthetic problems than by national affiliation.

Presently, a younger generation of Polish composers has appeared on the international new music scene, among others Jagoda Szmytka, Wojtek Blecharz, Andrzej Kwieciński, Joanna Woźny and Dominik Karski. Artistically, they are maturing in a united Europe, in the era of the digital revolution. Political and civilizational factors have meant that in their œuvre, the concept of ‘national style’ has completely disintegrated. As much as such artists as Bettina Skrzypczak, Elżbieta Sikora and Hanna Kulenty still feel a strong connection to the Polish avant-garde tradition, Szmytka, Blecharz, Kwieciński, Woźny and Karski are seeking other points of reference for themselves.

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4 Performance art is a set of active forms of presentation that have been developing since the 1970s, in which the artist is simultaneously the tool, material, creator and result of his/her creative activity.

5 A movement in contemporary music, developed in the 1970s based on acoustic research, in which the compositional technique consists of building a work’s melodies and harmonies on the foundation of a sound spectrum – that is, the constituent parts of the sound.

6 Preparation of instruments consists of intervention into their structure in such a manner as to obtain a sound unnatural to them, as well as a new manner of playing, e.g. by inserting metal plates in between the strings, playing with percussion sticks on the strings of a guitar etc.

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The accessibility of recordings, scores, global Internet communication,

a network of international artistic stipends, as well as open borders and

a lack of political barriers, mean that everyone shapes his/her artistic

identity according to his/her own interests – based on philosophy, a feeling

of otherness (not necessarily in a national sense), performance art 4 – at the crossroads of many cultures and languages, as well as media and musical resources.

For Jagoda Szmytka and Wojtek Blecharz, an issue providing extraordinary musical inspiration is the gesture and body of sound, developed in various forms: by composing a language of musical gestures, emphasizing the significance of the physical presence of the musician onstage and the power of expression flowing out of the fact of his/her contact with the instrument; as well as critical reflection on the space of perception, the manner of listening to or even perception of sound (by other senses). In their Post-postmodernist music, the development of musical resources is accompanied by a clear concept inspired by experience of their surrounding reality, as well as by the personal dilemmas resulting from the feeling of otherness. Blecharz, who has studied and lived in San Diego since 2008, sets himself the goal of portraying through music that of the minority, that which is denied and stigmatized on account of its otherness. Resident in Karlsruhe and training in Austria and Germany since 2008, Szmytka identifies with artists who live out of suitcases, constantly moving from place to place, who in conditions of permanent change are building a new type of communication (e.g. Skype).

Representing somewhat different interests is Andrzej Kwieciński, educated in The Hague and resident there since 2005, who reinterprets the Baroque music tradition: its forms (the passacaglia), vocal aesthetics (he has also trained as a countertenor) and rhetorical figures (in the spirit of Salvatore Sciarrino).

He is inspired by Spectralism 5 , and the basis for many of his compositions is represented by a through-composed natural series.

In turn, Joanna Woźny, educated in Graz, Austria and resident there since 1996, builds complicated sound complexes obtained via preparation of instruments 6 and combination of sounds into structural networks of interrelationships. She acquired the skill of exact, analytical thinking by studying philosophy

(especially Wittgenstein); in her artistic work, however, she shuns extramusical connotations. Her masters are Lachenmann and Nono, with whose music she became well acquainted while studying in Austria.

Dominik Karski, who lived and studied in Australia from 1991–2006, then continued his training in Austria, and now lives in Poland, oversteps the criteria of ‘national style’ in yet another manner. In his works, there is no trace of the ‘Polish compositional school’, but there is a meticulously carried-out process, an analytical approach to the instruments, as well as a fascination with the sound element born in the direct relationship between the performer and his/her instrument.

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Karski was shaped by contact with Chaya Czernowin, as well as collaboration with the superb Australian ensemble Elision.

All of the artists mentioned are present at both international and Polish music festivals; they are contributing to the creation of the contemporary new music panorama in Poland and elsewhere in the world. Does that mean that specific local character is disappearing? Such concepts as ‘national school’ or ‘national style’ have today been replaced by questions about membership in the broadly- conceived Modernist movement; what turns out to be more important than national identity for composers is their social, aesthetic and cultural identity. And so new Polish music goes beyond the boundaries of the country and its associated set of means of expression.

Here, however, it is also necessary to pose the question of the dark side of emigration, especially that of recent years: are young artists not leaving also because there is a lack of prospects for development in Poland; the system of new music is poorly developed; and the level of instruction at the Academies of Music, low? Why do so few émigrés return home, and what actually awaits them here? A professorship at an Academy of Music, or perhaps problems with recognition of their diploma from a foreign institution which make it impossible for them to work legally even at an elementary school?

Art history shows that the most valuable phenomena and personalities have been formed under the influence of contact with the international artistic scene and were a response to world trends, which they developed and expanded upon in an original manner. Musical life develops according to the following principle: the more difference and richness of forms, the more interesting the artistic results. This also applies to the functioning of the system of new music, as well as to artistic education. By entering international musical circulation, Polish émigrés are taking up a challenge, confronting various influences and, in this manner, building the modern global identity of new music, not just Polish music. It is another matter whether Polish institutions are in a position to keep up with this process…

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Maria Peryt Polish Music and Its Local and Global Market Potential tr. Michał Szostało

Maria Peryt

Maria Peryt Polish Music and Its Local and Global Market Potential tr. Michał Szostało

Polish Music and Its Local and Global Market Potential

tr. Michał Szostało

1 Polish People’s Republic – official name of the Communist Polish state in the years 1952–1989.

Reading the conversations and reminiscences of prominent artists who worked during the Polish People’s Republic 1 period, for instance Stanisław Lem or Janusz Głowacki, and trying to relate them to present-day reality, we can conclude that the success which was the lot of representatives from previous generations is inaccessible to Poles today. Observation of the changes begun in 1989 leads to a perverse question. Did Polish culture lose all attraction for the West after the fall of Communism?

all attraction for the West after the fall of Communism? Though Poles’ artistic potential has not

Though Poles’ artistic potential has not lessened, despite the freedom and ease of travel, the presence of Polish artists in the West seems today less pronounced, while an international career is even more difficult to attain now than it was several decades ago. What is the invisible barrier between Poland and the rest of the world? What does it result from? And above all – does it really exist? These are questions to which it is worth looking for answers from more than just a sociological point of view. The market for classical music is changing dramatically, and the economic potential of Polish culture has increasingly become the object of interesting discussions in the business sector as well.

Over 20 years after the fall of Communism, Polish art has a new quality. The younger generation of composers and performers knows the Polish People’s Republic period mostly from stories. We are observing an interesting generational shift, which has been reflected in classical as well as popular music. The nineties are separated from the 21 st century by an aesthetic- emotional chasm. While the time of non-governmental sponsorship remains ahead of us, thanks to developing governmental programs, artists are relatively free to dedicate themselves to their work. Polish classical music has benefitted in particular from recently-initiated projects, such as Commissioned Compositions, Polska Music and others. The concert market reflects this reality, as do stylistic innovations in contemporary music.

The local possibilities of the Polish music market are also shown by the activity of record companies. There are several dozen record labels dedicated exclusively to classical music operating in Poland. Another crucial and noticeable tendency is the increasing involvement of major labels in the production of Polish recordings. The leading global corporations in question include Universal and, more recently, EMI (currently Warner Music Group Company) as well. The potential in Polish music has also been noticed by the British independent label Chandos, under whose auspices recordings

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of works by, among others, Mieczysław Karłowicz, Witold Lutosławski, Karol Szymanowski and Felix Dobrzyński have appeared. Meanwhile, however, Polish music is still associated with a certain kind of exotica.

Looking at the facts, we might feel a bit lost. Poland is one of the largest European countries, with a surface area of over 300 000 km 2 and a population of nearly 40 million. Yet for the music industry, it represents a peculiar carte blanche. Chaotic musical education in primary schools, artistic management still in its infancy and still pervasive traditional attitudes toward promotion, as well as historical issues, mean that Poland is a country of unlimited possibilities but, at the same time, numerous challenges, which is likely one of the reasons why, in the global imagination, we have a less attractive position than such countries as England, France, Germany or Italy. From this perspective, the most urgent problem is the fate of talented artistic personalities, for whom this situation can needlessly clip the wings of a promising career.

History has left a clear mark on Poland – World War II, followed by the Communist era, deprived our country of many educated people raised in the spirit of honoring universal values. The intelligentsia had to reconstitute itself, while people who might be able to boast of noble ancestry hid this fact out of fear for their lives. The difficult time of transition caused a broad emigration of valuable personalities from the world of culture and science. Paradoxically,

it is all this which has made the classical music market in Poland so interesting

today. For we have, on the one hand, a large group of people interested in music who nonetheless cannot rise above the level of recreational activities; and on

the other, a hunger for high culture and an intense desire on the part of parents to support their children’s cultural development, visible in the context of both concert activities and recordings. All manner of artistic educational activities enjoy enormous popularity. Over the space of just a few years, there has been

a resurgence of interest in opera, thanks in part to the modern promotional

methods practiced by the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Warsaw. We can observe a similar pattern in the example of music festivals promoted in a modern manner, such as, for instance, those of the Krakow Festival Office (Festival of Film Music, Opera Rara, Misteria Paschalia), initiatives undertaken in Wroclaw (European Capital of Culture 2016), or Poznań’s Transatlantyk film-and-music festival. Even a cursory glance at the Polish music scene shows an revival resurgence and interest from the public exceeding the initial expectations of the organizers.

The litmus test, which remains unpopular in the classical music world, is – despite everything – the purely commercial side of the endeavors undertaken. Major record companies still rarely turn to Polish repertoire or Polish performers; but in recent years, there has been a tendency toward growth in this area.

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2 Aleksandra Kurzak – opera singer, soprano (b. 1977); Rafał Blechacz

– pianist (b. 1985, winner of the 15 th

Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition); Piotr Beczała – lyric operatic tenor (b. 1966); Jan Lisiecki

– Canadian pianist of Polish origin (b. 1995).

3 Polish pianist, born in 1969, living in Portugal.

4 Stanisław Moniuszko (1819–1872), a composer considered to be the father of Polish national opera, whose most important operatic works are Halka and The Haunted Manor – saturated with Polish folk music, combined with elements of Italian, French and German opera. The composer also rendered considerable services to music-making in general, as the author of twelve volumes of Home Song Books, containing over 250 songs with piano accompaniment.

5 Juliusz Zarębski (1854–1885), a Polish pianist and composer whose work was written almost exclusively for the piano. As a great musician, he devel- oped his career mostly abroad; it was unfortunately cut short by his death. His works made clear allusions to the styles of Chopin and Liszt – hence the elements of folk music and the dance genres, but also the virtuosity, original harmonies and rich timbral language.

6

Polish pianist, born 1980.

7

Polish violinist, born 1982.

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A great stir has been created by the work of, among others, Universal Records,

under whose colors records by such artists as Andrzej Kuba, Rafał Blechacz, Piotr Beczała, and Jan Lisiecki 2 have been released. The records’ commercial success, supported by an intelligently-run promotional campaign aimed

at a broad audience and going beyond the classical niche, has shown

a great hunger and demand for Polish artists. Meanwhile, it has also been

an interesting case of interaction with the local environment, which has progressed in an almost exemplary manner. Universal has placed its bets on artists associated with big competitions, as well as with the grand operatic stage, and so made use of mechanisms which we could call tried-and-tested. But the question arises: what happens when a company turns to Polish talent which has to be formed commercially, promotionally and in the media from the ground up?

EMI (presently Warner Music Group) has some interesting discoveries to its

credit. The enormous success of recordings by Piotr Anderszewski 3 might represent a big surprise. Both the music on offer and the artist’s image have borrowed much from the traditional understanding of classical music. But the records have found recipients not only in Poland, but also elsewhere in the world, and Anderszewski is an important pianist in the international arena. Another production that exceeded the commercial expectations of its

publishers was a release of Stanisław Moniuszko’s 4 opera The Haunted Manor. The album found an audience in the international arena, and the Polish market forced the company to reissue the record, which enjoyed extraordinary success. Another very meaningful boost for the promotion of Zarębski’s 5 œuvre came with the release of his piano quintet headlined by Martha Argerich (the record appeared last year as part of a series presenting recordings from the Lugano festival). EMI’s most recent offerings and, at the same time, the last records by Polish artists released with that historic logo, were these albums from 2013: Tadeusz Domanowski’s 6 debut release, piano; and Janusz Wawrowski’s 7 recording contract, which resulted in Aurora, recorded together with

Argentinian pianist José Gallardo.

If, however, the work of major labels can be seen as a peculiar experiment which might, after all, not be affordable for just anyone, the real potential can be found in the work of smaller record labels, which, though they do not have as much capital to work with as the majors, do have enough strength to publish many records a year and bring their distribution to stores in Poland and internationally. These companies’ releases are often co-financed from the state budget, which allows them to create pearls of contemporary recording art,

without worrying about the commercial possibilities of the given label. In this context, we can observe two tendencies: one represented by companies that,

despite the temptation of ease, also build their artistic prestige; and the other, by companies that will release anything regardless of quality, if only the artist has the funds for it.

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Among the most important local Polish record labels, a few deserve special attention: above all, CD Accord and DUX, as well as Polish Recordings, Acte Prealable and Musica Sacra Edition. These labels produce many unique

recordings and albums by Polish artists or dedicated to Polish music. Moreover,

CD Accord, Dux and Polish Recordings were all founded on the basis of their

recording studios and the skills of their recording engineers. CD Accord can

boast of a special accomplishment: their album presenting works by Krzysztof Penderecki, performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic under the direction of Antoni Wit 8 and produced by Andrzej Sasin and Aleksandra Nagórko, received

an Emmy Award in the category of Best Classical Compendium. Among the

most interesting records released by CD Accord in this year and the one previous, it is worth mentioning, for instance, Olga Pasichnyk’s recital Bella mia flamma…, the Lasoń Ensemble Mikołów Chamber Players’ Polish Piano Quintets – Bacewicz, Zarębski, Lasoń; Susan Gilmour Bailey, Aldona Bartnik, Matthew Venner, Maciej Gocman, Tomáš Král, the Ancient Instrument Ensemble and Andrzej Kosendiak’s Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki: Missa Rorate, Illuxit sol, Laetatus sum, Completorium; as well as a landmark album presenting forgotten symphonic poems by Eugeniusz Morawski performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra under the direction of Monika Wolińska et al.

DUX is a label with an extensive Polish catalog, which is being constantly expanded. Thanks in large part to state assistance, such recordings as, for instance, the splendid Penderecki Special Edition collection are being made. These records have won recognition from the Polish Recording Academy, receiving numerous Fryderyk prizes 9 (as have Musica Sacra’s releases). In DUX’s catalog, we also find a large selection of Polish contemporary music of diverse genres.

Polish Recordings, in turn, is a catalog abounding in priceless archival materials which have not infrequently turned out to be a goldmine of commercial potential. Currently , the firm no doubt awaits substantial changes and restructuring. However, whether or not the label is bought out, or manages to stand on its own, this is a label which represents a very important element in the discographic landscape, not just in Poland but also abroad. One can nota bene come to a similar conclusion in reference to most Polish record companies. Many of them have very rich catalogs of recordings not available anywhere else in the world. This is of course a peculiar sort of niche, but clearly not such a deep one, since independent labels have also been popping up in Poland, basically taking on the form of manufacturers providing intellectual and artistic sustenance to the narrowest possible audience. On the other hand, a significant problem for local Polish record companies is distribution. Valuable recordings are often difficult to obtain (especially for foreign consumers), for lack of appropriately developed sales and marketing tools. Another special group consists of companies which have evolved from state- run into independent firms.

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8 Antoni Wit – one of Poland’s most distinguished conductors (b. 1944); concertizing around the world with the best symphony orchestras, he has led many première performances of works by Polish composers.

9 The Fryderyk Music Prize, awarded in Poland since 1995, recognizes achievements in the Polish music market in various categories, e.g. artist of the year, album of the year, classical music, popular music, jazz music.

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The flagship example is, of course, Polish Recordings, whose catalog is often successfully used by other labels, while the company itself struggles with problems of financial and often structural nature as well.

Unfortunately, the legal situation of many recordings made by Polish Recordings, or of historical radio broadcasts, is so disorganized that it is becoming impossible to make them available or do contemporary re-editions of them.

Among such valuable little gems, we must mention the work of such labels as Bôłt Records, Bocian Records and Niklas Records. Bôłt seems to be the most active. The label has a relatively rich catalog, in which one can find not only little-known compositions and works of independent art, but also important names in Polish music who have been somewhat overlooked, such as in the recent Polish Radio Experimental Studio and Polish Oldschool series. Bôłt also offers its audience a series showcasing the Eastern European new music scene (New Music in Eastern Europe), an interesting series whose curator is Michał Libera (Populista) or Extras.

We can treat Bocian Records and Niklas records rather as original and individual initiatives. Grzegorz Tyszkiewicz (Bocian Records) writes bluntly on his website: ‘Please do NOT contact me about publishing on Bocian. This is one-man small label I run in my after hours and I don’t have capacity to answer your emails.’ At the same time, this company provides its customers with an exceptional product in the form of vinyl records, which is surprising relative to this label’s scale of operations. The above-mentioned labels specialize first and foremost in new music – so, probably the most difficult sector of classical music from an economic point of view. Simultaneously, similarly niche- oriented initiatives are also appearing in the field of Polish music from past eras: Musicon, BeArTon, Sarton, to name just a few of them.

Much important recording work is also carried out by government institutions, such as, of course, Polish Radio; and also the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute, under the watchful eye of Stanisław Leszczyński; as well as the National Audiovisual Institute.

Observing both the recording market and the nongovernmental sector from the inside, along with the development of modern media, I constantly ask myself about the possibilities for development of Polish music in a commercial context, not just locally but also globally. Looking through the prism of recording, what seems very interesting are the new tendencies afoot among the younger generation of Polish composers.

10 Conceptual art has the task of exposing the creative process – in music, for instance, in the form of graphic scores.

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The Polish music scene is extremely diverse. Besides a broadly developed œuvre from under the banner of conceptualism and experimentation treated as an end in its own right, 10 there is also a great deal of music being made in the traditional way, appealing to the legacy of past eras. Neither of these

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trends is very attractive from a publishing standpoint. For on the one hand, we encounter compositions that are difficult in terms of reception, often not meant for listening but rather for looking at or for participation in the performance; and on the other, shallow and inoffensive works, which work superbly in the concert setting, but have a hard time crossing the border of a certain sublimation which is essential to the recording of a piece and to any attempts to distribute and popularize such a work. Classical music, including its contemporary variant, is aging. The formula of the 1960s avant-garde and experimentalism has been exhausted, as have all attempts to restore the traditions of past eras, the so-called post-Darmstadt school, and even Postmodernism, no matter how broadly we might like to define that term 11 . Hidden within the Polish compositional school is another trend which, in cutting itself off quite forcefully from the above-mentioned creative philosophies, not only presents a new artistic quality, but also brings a freshness to classical music, giving it a character both communicative and accessible on the one hand, and interesting from an analytical standpoint on the other. Following the example of Professor Marcin Błażewicz (a composer and lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw), I call this trend Transmodernism 12 .

What is the value of Polish music on the international market? Can talent and originality be sufficient arguments in the battle for the global audience? Or did we lose everything when the haze of political isolation and secrecy fell away? After the fall of Communism, we found ourselves in a new reality. In the world’s eyes, we had lost the cachet of exotic visitors from behind the Iron Curtain. However, the high level of artistic development in Polish classical music has great potential which is waiting to be reclaimed. These days, the missing link seems to be really only the sphere of professional artistic management, including companies active internationally. Observing the steady development of the Polish music scene, we can suspect that the presence and recognizability of Polish artists on the global stage will grow in the next few years. The question is, who will benefit from this potential the most? Maybe those who have the courage to reach for it first…

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11 Postmodern art referenced the achievements of past eras; in music, this meant drawing upon techniques and styles worked out by composers from long ago and combining them with newly-created elements of contemporary music.

12 Among the most interesting Transmodernists, we can mention such composers as Dariusz Przybylski, Tomasz Jakub Opałka, Wojciech Błażejczyk and Mikołaj Majkusiak.

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Katarzyna Gardzina-Kubała Large Stage Forms tr. Cara Thornton

Katarzyna Gardzina-Kubała

Katarzyna Gardzina-Kubała Large Stage Forms tr. Cara Thornton

Large Stage Forms

tr. Cara Thornton

The place of opera in contemporary art continues to undergo redefinition. What continues to define these genres are the works of the early masters, the standard repertoire loved by a broad audience and, at the same time, often subject to criticism for its ossification, statuesque character and cheap flashiness. This is, however, the tradition to which today’s creators of opera must refer, or upon which they must take a position, if only by negation or rejection.

they must take a position, if only by negation or rejection. This tradition means that, above

This tradition means that, above all, in the opera world, the so-called broad audience, which is the only one able to fill the halls of the great opera theaters, does not desire novelty; it does not wish for new works marked by a contemporary aesthetic language. Unlike in previous centuries, what is expected today are mainly new productions of popular titles; in lesser degree, audiences await the rescue from oblivion of (unjustly or otherwise) forgotten works (as a matter of curiosity); and in last order of priority, premières of new compositions. Added to the fear of producing contemporary Polish composers’ works is the mentality problem – I am not sure whether peculiarly Polish – that we ourselves do not esteem our native artists until they have received confirmation of their value on the world’s stages, at international competitions and reviews; we also turn our attention more willingly to works by foreign artists.

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If we take a closer look at the number of contemporary opera productions at all of Poland’s major opera houses and festivals, it turns out that there have been more presentations of such artists as Glass, Eötvös, Xenakis et al., while forgotten works by such Polish composers as Mieczysław Weinberg (The Passenger) 1 have ended up on our stages via a circuitous route – after their presentation and ‘discovery’ by the West. Is this a reason for hand-wringing? Certainly not. In Poland, we have an enormous backlog in staged presentations of already-classic contemporary opera works from the worldwide repertoire, and it is a good thing that – if only in some small measure – we are catching up on them today. Greatly meritorious service in this matter is being provided by the National Opera and the Territories series, each season of which has been comprised of three or four titles, from Britten and Janaček to such young native composers as Agata Zubel and Dobromiła Jaskot. 2

During my preparations for writing this essay, someone posed me the question of whether four outstanding premières of operas by Polish composers in one year is ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’. I remember perfectly the times when such repertoire was almost completely absent from operatic stages (aside from works created, for example, for the purposes of a children’s audience), and world premières of more ambitious contemporary repertoire took place exclusively in the form of one-off concerts at such festivals as Warsaw Autumn. 3 So it seems that the managements of opera houses – for it is they who are the main inspiration for such events (as the commissioners of new works or decision-makers concerning presentation of already-composed works) – see a need to support contemporary Polish opera and believe that via more frequent contact with this type of presentations, the opera audience will become educated in the reception of contemporary works in general. The writing of new operatic works is, furthermore, in large measure dependent on support from theaters and festivals commissioning such works. In the commissioning of new operas from native composers, the leader has been the National Opera and, until recently, by way of contrast, the Warsaw Chamber Opera, which, under the guidance of former director Stefan Sutkowski, created its own Festival of Contemporary Polish Opera (works by Zbigniew Rudziński, Bernadetta Matuszczak, Zygmunt Krauze and Edward Pałłasz). Thanks to the Minister of Culture’s Composition Commissions program, others centers, as well, are becoming the beneficiaries of subsidies for the writing of new stage works.

The Baltic Opera, which successfully opened its Opera Gedaniensis series with the Polish première of Elżbieta Sikora’s 4 Madame Curie (23 November 2011), will produce, among other works, Zygmunt Krauze’s opera Olympia. Also in preparation is a show devoted to the family of Arthur Schopenhauer – the libretto is being written by Antoni Libera, and the music is being

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1 Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996) was a Polish composer with Jewish roots who lived most of his life in Russia. A leading symphonic writer of the 1960s, he was a close friend of Dmitri Shostakovich. Weinberg’s compositional output includes symphonies, concerti, chamber and piano music, operas, songs and film music, including the sound track to The Cranes Are Flying (winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes festival in 1958). His opera The Passenger, finished in 1968, was premièred only in 2010 (in July, in Bregenz; in October, in Warsaw); considered to be an extraordinary work, it takes up the heavy subject of the concentration camps. In its musical layer, one can find diverse means of expression, from monumental orchestral fragments to segments maintained in a jazz stylistic language.

2 Agata Zubel (born in 1978) is a Polish composer and singer. Her œuvre is based on the newest performance techniques, strong expression and a rich timbral language, often utilizing an electronic layer. As a vocalist, she specializes in interpretation of the newest music. Dobromiła Jaskot (born in 1981) is a Polish composer whose artistic activity is focused mainly on multimedia art and interactive actions – without, however, abandoning emotional values or use of traditional instrumentation.

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