Independence Day Concert
11 November 2017, 8:00 p.m.
Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw
The Temple of Divine Providence is an extraordinary place in many aspects – it astonishes with its size and bold architecture, it commands respect for the beautiful intentions with which it was erected, and it is becoming a pantheon of meritorious Poles. These contexts give great importance to the artistic events hosted in the walls of the Wilanów building – an honour only the chosen few experience. The Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra and its splendid ensemble of guests will appear in this prestigious location on Independence Day, the 11th of November. The programme will feature two works – piece Bogurodzica from Symphony No 1 of the Baptism, by Paweł Sydor – a creator who has many versatile talents. A graduate of the American Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the famous Juilliard School of Music, he tries to combine the elements of tradition and a new language of sound in his expressive works, devoting a lot of attention to sacral compositions and those drawing upon Polish history. Promising to be a sensational experience is Józef Michał Ksawery Poniatowski’s Mass in F Major. This almost completely forgotten composer, the great-nephew of the last king of Poland, was born in Italy (1816), where he started developing his impressive artistic career before he moved to Paris. It is enough to mention that he was one out of only three Polish composers whose works were hosted by La Scala in Milan (the others were Franciszek Mirecki – also forgotten, and Krzysztof Penderecki; Małgorzata Walewska, whom we will hear in the solo parts of the concert, also received applause on this famous stage). His colourful life story could be used as a script for a fascinating film! He became known – and loved – by the demanding Italian public as an excellent tenor, and then as a composer of twelve operas popular in their time; his talent was appreciated by, among others, the great Hector Berlioz. He was also a politician (a French senator) and diplomat, a trusted representative of Napoleon III in many difficult missions. After the emperor’s removal from power, Poniatowski faithfully accompanied him in exile in London, and it was there, during the artist’s last years, that the Mass in F Major was composed – a moving summary of the artist’s experiences with the art of bel canto, because much like in Rossini’s much later Petite messe, there is a great deal of the spirit of opera in the work. The Mass was dedicated to Louis I, King of Portugal. Originally, it was intended for soloists, a choir and the organ. The score of the work was found in the collection of the British Museum, thanks to the efforts of the Polish Music Society. Przemysław Firek, president of the Institute of Promotion of Polish Culture, enthralled with the piece, decided to give it a new, up-to-date form, instrumentalised for the symphonic orchestra. As part of “Project Poniatowski”, the work will be performed in the most important Polish cities, as well as in European centres associated with the composer’s life – Rome (at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore), Paris, Lisbon, Barcelona (at the Sagrada Familia) and London – and in both Americas. One can assume that the undertaking of this project will lead to the inclusion of the previously forgotten Mass in F Major into the canon of oratorio music. Performing along with the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra will be excellent soloists: Iwona Socha, Małgorzata Walewska, Andrzej Lampert and Przemysław Firek, three choirs (the Władysław Skoraczewski Artos Choir, the Polish Radio Choir and the Górecki Chamber Choir) as well as conductor Pedro Amaral – one of the most acclaimed Portuguese bandmasters, admired on stages around the world, who is also the composer and art director of the Lisbon Philharmonic, which is a symbolic reminder of the first recipient of the Mass in F Major, King Louis. The prestigious concert will be held under the auspices of the Institute of Promotion of Polish Culture Foundation.
Iwona Socha – soprano
Małgorzata Walewska – mezzosoprano
Andrzej Lampert – tenor
Przemysław Firek – bass
Artos Children’s Choir
Polish Radio Choir
Górecki Chamber Choir
Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Pedro Amaral – conductor
Paweł Sydor Bogurodzica from Symphony No 1 of the Baptism
Józef Michał Ksawery Poniatowski Mass in F Major