MENDELSSOHN |HOCHBERG | BRAHMS. Concert in memory of Prof. Piotr Baron
20 November 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio, Warsaw
Zofia Antes | piano
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Marek Wroniszewski | conductor
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture
Bolko Graf von Hochberg – Piano Concerto in C minor, Op. 42
Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Prof. Piotr Baron, – photo private archive; Zofia Antes – photo Aleksandra Bator; Marek Wroniszewski – photo Piotr Banasik
Already as a teenager, Felix Mendelssohn had composed a number of excellent pieces, including songs, miniatures for piano, two comic operas, and when we has 16, he created genuine masterpieces, such as String Octet. A year later, the young artist composed a piece that brought him great fame – it was the overture to Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. He created it without any special occasion, but under the inspiration of the play by one of his favourite English playwright. The first performance of the piece was held in Szczecin, on 20 February 1827, under the baton of famous conductor Carl Loewe, and was extremely successful. Two years later, the piece was received with similar enthusiasm in London, where critics concluded that it perfectly captured the Shakespearean spirit and the dreamlike aura of the most charming of Shakespeare’s dramas. Years later, Mendelssohn returned to the theme, asked by King of Prussia Frederick William IV to compose music to the entire Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The annals of music history include many aristocrats who were gifted with true musical talent and highly valued as composers, including Carlo Gesualdo, the Prince of Venosa, Count Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer, Prussian King Frederick the Great, and more recently, Count Bolko von Hochberg, born into a powerful family that for centuries ruled vast estates in Silesia, among them Książ Castle. In his time, he was a respected author of operas, songs and chamber works (published under the pseudonym Johann Heinrich Franz), who also held important positions, incl. as Intendant of the Royal Theatre Institute in Berlin. His now somewhat forgotten work, maintained in the late-Romantic spirit, is being rediscovered thanks to the efforts of his family and Polish musicologists. A contemporary performance of his Piano Concerto in C minor will be interpreted by respected pianist and chamber musician Zofia Antes, who performs in Poland and abroad and works, among others, at the Institute of Music of the University of Warmia and Mazury, conducted by Marek Wroniszewski.
The programme will also feature a unique Silesian accent in the form of a musical tribute to Prof. Piotr Baron, an outstanding researcher who popularised the music of his region, a respected pedagogue (who lectured, among others, at the State Higher Vocational School in Nysa), the founder and director of the Silesian Composers’ Festival, and a conductor, organist, composer and art therapist, whose premature death on 24 July 2020 was mourned by the regional and national musical community.
During the event the rules determined in the Ordinance of the Council of Ministers related to the establishment of the certain limitations, injunctions and bans due to the conditions of epidemic will be in force as well as their update: Current rules and restrictions.