Chamber Music by Sinfonia Iuventus | The Great Hall of the Royal Castle, Warsaw
It appears that the concert of the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus which is to take place on 11 December in a special venue, i.e. the Great Hall of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, will be an extraordinary event. The programme covers outstanding works by the greatest Polish artists of the last century: Grażyna Bacewicz, Andrzej Panufnik and Mieczysław Karłowicz. Przemysław Fiugajski will conduct the orchestra, while the prominent Polish violinist Patrycja Piekutowska, who gives concerts around the world and sits in juries of violin competitions, will be the soloist in Panufnik’s Violin Concerto.
The concert will open with Concerto for String Orchestra, an unquestionable masterpiece and the so-called opus magnum of Poland’s most renowned female composer Grażyna Bacewicz. This is a neoclassical work written in 1948. After the Concerto’s world premiere which took place during the General Meeting of the Polish Composers’ Union in 1950, Stefan Kisielewski wrote the following review in the “Tygodnik Powszechny” weekly: “One can say with a clear conscience that this time the dignity of the Polish composers was saved by a woman, Grażyna Bacewicz. Her ‘Concerto for String Orchestra’, written with gusto and energy, brimming with fluent inventiveness and excellent instrumentation ideas, has finally woken us up from lethargy. The work makes references to some Bach or Haendel: a contemporary Brandenburg Concerto. Here we have at last tasted a ‘red-blooded piece’ of healthy and tasty music written with male-like creative power.”
Andrzej Panufnik’s Violin Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra was created in 1971 at the request of a wonderful violinist Yehudi Menuhin, who was first to perform this composition in London’s Guildhall during the City of London Music Festival which took place on 18 July 1972. The soloist was accompanied by the Menuhin Festival Orchestra conducted by Panufnik. “In the context of this entire concerto, I was deliberately avoiding the temptation to introduce impressive passages which belong to virtuoso ‘pyrotechnics’ so popular among technically-skilled but not very deep violinists. I composed a work which was supposed to show an artist’s soul rather than change the neck of a violin into a gymnasium for jumping fingers,” said the composer in his biography.
The Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus decided to present Mieczysław Karłowicz’s Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 2 to mark the composer’s 140th birthday anniversary. It was one of the first serious, but at the same time very successful, attempts at composing music taken by this artist, who died under tragic circumstances in the Tatra Mountains. The Serenade was completed at the beginning of 1897 and premiered on 15 April 1897 in Berlin by the Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of Henryk Urban. The work consists of four parts: March, Romance, Waltz and Finale – Allegretto non troppo.
Patrycja Piekutowska – violin
Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Przemysław Fiugajski – conductor
Grażyna Bacewicz – Concerto for String Orchestra
Andrzej Panufnik – Violin Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra
Mieczysław Karłowicz – Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 2