GUTHMAN | SKORYK | GRIEG
29 April 2022, 7:00 p.m.
Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio, Warsaw
Łukasz Długosz | flute
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Piotr Sułkowski | conductor
Mykhailo Verbytsky Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy i slava, i volia – the national anthem of Ukraine
Gary Guthman – Concerto for Flute and Orchestra FIRST PERFORMANCE
Myroslav Skoryk – Melody A minor
Edvard Grieg – Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46
Edvard Grieg – Peer Gynt Suite No. 2, Op. 55
Łukasz Długosz – photo Artist’s archive, Piotr Sułkowski -photo M. Wieliczko; Gary Guthman -photo A. Strunin
In the tragic time of war when brutally attacked Ukraine is fighting for its freedom and independence, the programmes of concerts – frequently adjusted due to various circumstances – will also feature elements expressing support for this brave nation. The concert will therefore start with Ukraine’s national anthem, Ще не вмерла України ні слава, ні воля (“Ukraine has not yet died, nor her glory, nor her freedom”), the lyrics of which (written by Pavlo Chubynsky) are an intended reference to the incipit of Dąbrowski’s Mazurka. The beautiful piece, composed by Greek Catholic priest Mykhailo Verbytsky, was primarily meant to be used in a theatrical play. Forbidden in the Soviet Union era, it has later become an anthem of a reborn country (in its final form of 2003). The programme will also include pieces composed by artists representing the same generation of Ukrainian music who, however, followed different paths and stylistic trends. Myroslav Skoryk, born in 1938, was a prominent figure in Ukraine’s musical environment as a composer and musicologist, as well as an artistic director of the Kyiv Opera. His moving, romantic Melody in A minor was composed to the now forgotten 1981 film titled Vysokiy pereval and became popular in a number of arrangements. It was also performed during the funeral ceremonies for the victims of the pro-European Maidan Uprising in 2013/2014, murdered by Russians and forces favourable to puppet leader Viktor Yanukovych.
This season, the next long-awaited premiere of a new work featuring our orchestra is Gary Guthman’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, created as part of the “Composing Commissions” programme of the National Institute of Music and Dance (NIMiT). Guthman is a famous jazz musician, composer, teacher and author from the United States, considered to be one of the best trumpet players. He has produced and co-created prestigious international events in Canada and the United States, and toured more than 300 philharmonic halls as a soloist there. Since 2007, he has been performing his own works at jazz festivals and in European philharmonic halls with success, he is also known and active on the Polish musical scene. In accordance with conventions of the genre, the new concert consists of three parts (Maxim/Essence/Passage), but its internal structure isn’t treated in a rigid way – interesting pursuits of a new harmonic language can be heard alongside stylised elements that bring to mind Hollywood’s Golden Age and jazzy quasi-improvisations for solo flute. The flute part will be performed by Łukasz Długosz, one of the most versatile and respected flutists of his generation. Długosz performs with our orchestra often and with great success, showcasing outstanding and novel works of flute repertoire. He has said: “Each and every time I am incredibly impressed with the orchestra. It’s extraordinarily open to new repertoires and youthfully enthusiastic. The professionalism and passion of the young musicians put the ensemble on par with the best Polish orchestras. It outstandingly handles demanding repertoires, including the modern ones.”
At the request of a great playwright Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Grieg, a Norwegian composer, undertook the composition of music for the premiere (1876) of the play Peer Gynt. It recounts the journey of the title character (an unlikeable, selfish and faithless man) from Norway to North Africa. His adventures and the characters he encounters on the way make reference to Norwegian fairy tales and literary topoi, while also prompting a philosophical, moral, bitter reflection on the present day. Grieg’s colourful, pictorial symphonic impressions even overshadowed Ibsen’s work, which was performed relatively rarely outside of Norway. The works became the composer’s most famous creation worldwide, alongside the Piano Concerto in A minor.
Out of the 26 numbers accompanying the play, Grieg himself compiled two concert suites (1888, 1891), selecting four particularly notable orchestral movements for each of them. Those of the first suite in particular have become “hits”, well-known not only from concert halls, but also due to their frequent appearance in other contexts, for example in films. These are the captivating Morning (even though it describes a dawn in Africa, it does so in a very Scandinavian way), the deeply moving Death Of Åse, the mother of the main character, a piece played only by the strings, Anitra’s Dance, a work about the Arabian beauty who tries to seduce him, and finally, the famous episode In The Hall Of The Mountain King, which describes the protagonist sneaking into a cave to seduce the daughter of the fearsome ruler of the trolls, only to succumb to him later in panic.
The second suite recounts the kidnapping of Ingrid by her bridegroom, the reason behind Peer Gynt’s exile, another Arabian dance accompanying one of the African scenes, a sea tempest that shipwrecks the main character on his journey back to his homeland, and finally, another of the work’s most well-known parts – the incredibly beautiful Song of Solveig, his previous fiancée. Gynt scorned her love, but she waited faithfully for him for years and lost her eyesight because of all the tears she shed out of longing for him.
The concert will be directed by Piotr Sułkowski, the General and Artistic Director of the Warmian-Masurian Philharmonic Orchestra in Olsztyn, who has extensive operatic experience gained over many years of working as a conductor and, later, as the artistic director at the Krakow Opera and the music director of the Wildwood Festival Opera Orchestra AR (USA); he is also the co-creator of the Krakow Chamber Opera. Sułkowski has collaborated with many orchestras and teaches a class in conducting at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz.
Concert for Flute and Orchestra by Gary Guthman was commissioned by the Musica Docet Foundation.
Concert for Flute and Orchestra by Gary Guthman was co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund – a state special-purpose fund, as part of the “Composing Commissions” program carried out by the National Institute of Music and Dance
Organiser: Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
The organiser reserves the right to change the programme or the performers of the concert
We would like to inform you kindly that the entrance tickets for free will be available. The all sits are numbered and the number of them is limited.
Please send your applications by April 25, 2022 to the e-mail address email@example.com along with the number of sits which you are interested in (2 places for 1 application), the name and surname of participants as well as the contact telephone number of all people who want to participate in the event. Everyone will receive the confirmation of granting the entrance ticket / tickets.
The entrance tickets will be issued on the day of the concert, one hour before the start of the event, at the box office of the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio.