13 April 2024, 6 p.m.
Polish History Museum in Warsaw, Auditorium Hall
Warsaw Citadel, Gwardii 1 Street

Hubert Salwarowski | piano
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Jerzy Salwarowski | conductor


Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major op. 73


César Franck
Symphony in D minor


Jerzy Salwarowski – fot. Artist’s archive


Beethoven began composing his Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major in 1809, and he dedicated it to the Habsburg Archduke Rudolf. This dedication, as well as the sonorous splendour of the work, contributed to coining of the epithet ‘Emperor Concerto’ (against the author’s intentions and without his approval). The marching rhythms, that give character to the entire first movement of the concerto, also echo the then prevalent fashion for military style, representing the musical aftermath of the Napoleonic campaigns. The summer of 1809, when the concerto was composed, was a very ‘military’ time. The siege of Vienna by French troops was in progress, the city was shelled by artillery, and most of the inhabitants had been evacuated. However, Beethoven stayed on and continued to create his masterpieces. The most significant novelty of the traditionally structured piece is the blurring of the dichotomy of soloist and orchestra. The piano and orchestra become equal partners, sometimes in dialogue, sometimes melding in rich texture that already acquires a symphonic dimension, which was to pave the way for Romantic successors. The work also bears virtuoso features, but these are not in the foregrounded, but rather perfectly harmonised with the overall formal premise. The concert will be performed with Hubert Salwarowski as the soloist. Salwarowski graduated from the Academy of Music in Katowice (class of Andrzej Jasiński), and later become a lecturer at the Academy. His career began with a number of competition victories in the 1990s. The artist gave concerts as a soloist, and as a chamber musician and performed with the best orchestras from many countries, and he is particularly valued as a performer of the ‘great’, canonical repertoire of solo works and concertos of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The only symphony by Cesar Franck, the Belgian-born (later naturalised as a French citizen) Neo-Romantic composer and celebrated organist is also one of his most popular works today. However, his early career was full of challenges – the symphonic genre was not very popular in France, and Franck himself made no secret of his fascination with Wagner’s work. Wagner was also not held in high esteem in France at the time (and neither were most works of German origin – especially after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871). The premiere in 1889 was therefore received without enthusiasm by the critics, but this did not detract from the growing popularity of the work, which was quickly recognised as one of the most important symphonies of its era. Its atypical three-part form is characterised by the pursuit of integrity through the correspondence of themes between the individual links, and the expressive sphere is characterised by emotionality, a predilection for dramatic contrasts and harmonic richness.
The conductor this evening will be Jerzy Salwarowski, a graduate of the Academy of Music in Kraków (who studied with Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Czyż, among others), and who can list among his many artistic achievements the first recording of Karłowicz’s complete symphonic poems. He was the artistic director of the Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz, the Philharmonics in Lublin, Częstochowa and the Toruń Symphonic Orchestra, and also served as the artistic director of the “Toruń – Music and Architecture” International Festival. Admired on many stages in Poland and abroad, he has made numerous recordings and is also a respected lecturer. Jerzy Salwarowski will be conducting Sinfonia Iuventus for the second time, and it will be an honour to work with the maestro on the 55th anniversary of his artistic work.


Tickets: Muzeum Historii Polski, eBilet, bilety24


Media patronage: TVP Kultura, Radio dla Ciebie, Polska Agencja Prasowa, 

Organiser: Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra

The organiser reserves the right to change the programme or the performers of the concert

Partner: Polish History Museum in Warsaw