Inaugural Concert – Artistic Season 2017/2018
September 16th 2017, 7:00 pm
The Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus will start the new season, full of attractive concert programmes, on 16 September at the Warsaw Philharmonic, led by its artistic director Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, who is going to conduct two masterpieces that reflect two different faces of the concert. The monumental and fresh Violin concerto in D major, op. 77 (1878) by Johannes Brahms is an expression of the composer’s friendship with a great violinist of the era – Joseph Joachim. While composing, he generously used virtuoso’s advice. Brahms implemented many suggestions of his friend, but also introduced – sometimes contrary to Joachim’s opinions – lots of his own innovative ideas. Despite the extreme level of difficulty, the piece has not been recognised as a virtuoso concerto, purely to show off skill. Every piece of the complex texture and all innovative violin techniques serve the sophisticated form and lavish expression. Despite some controversy after the premiere, thanks to the tireless Joachim, and later also other violinists, the work soon became one of the most magnificent (and most difficult) violin concertos in the entire music literature. During the Warsaw concert, the solo part will be performed by Jakub Jakowicz – one of the most prominent Polish violinists of his times.
The name of Witold Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra somehow “argues” with the assumptions of the genre that suggest a confrontation between the soloist and the orchestra. It is rather a reference to the old form of “ensemble concerto”, where all members of the orchestra showed the same, quasi-soloist virtuosity. Commissioned by Witold Rowicki in 1950, the piece was completed after four years. The composer experienced doubts and dilemmas – the tradition-inspired work was supposed to fit in the folk trend, very much preferred during the grim times of social realism. However, the banality and political context of the trend were absolutely alien to Lutosławski. That is why he created a work which was free from those axioms, and rather developed the best ideas of artistic sublimation of folklore which, after all, were also present in the classicising music of the interwar period. Later on, the composer talked about Concerto with detachment, and his artistic way took a completely different direction, yet the spontaneous, vivid and perfectly-structured piece has gained permanent appreciation among the listeners and conductors.
Jakub Jakowicz | violin
The Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk | conductor
Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto in D major op. 77
Witold Lutosławski Concerto for Orchestra