1 July 2022, 7 p.m.
Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio, Warsaw

Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Antoni Wit | conductor

Zygmunt Noskowski
Symphony No. 1 A Major
Zygmunt Noskowski
Symphony No. 2 C Minor „Elegy”



Antoni WIt – photo Juliusz Multarzyński


One of the most important and prominent figures of his time, now somewhat – and very unjustly – forgotten in Polish musical life, was Zygmunt Noskowski (1846-1909), a composer, pedagogue, publicist and organizer of musical life, one of the most eminent personalities of Polish culture in the second half of the 19th century. At the same time a great patriot, he served the cause of independence with his talent – music with distinct national features and involvement in activities important to the maintenance of cultural identity and tradition. He was a pupil of Apolinary Kątski (violin) and Stanislaw Moniuszko (harmony, counterpoint, basics of composition). In 1873-1874, thanks to a scholarship from the Warsaw Music Society, he also studied with Friedrich Kiel at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. In 1886 he took over the composition class at the Music Institute in Warsaw and within twenty years he had educated a whole generation of composers, including the creators of the Young Poland movement, headed by Karol Szymanowski, Grzegorz Fitelberg and Ludomir Różycki. He worked in the exceptionally difficult and restrictive conditions of the Russian partition, struggling with the system of repression and censorship, among the poverty of citizens and institutions. Despite this, he achieved a great deal. As a composer he created in the late Romantic spirit. He wrote a number of orchestral works, including three symphonies, the overture Morskie Oko and the symphonic poem Step [The Steppe], chamber works; he composed piano pieces, solo and choral songs, cantatas (Świtezianka), operas (among others Livia Quintilla, Wyrok [The Judgement]), ballets (Święto Ognia [The Rite of Fire]) and music for theatre plays. His achievements are characterized by a high level of composing technique, individual musical language and presence of national elements in the form of assimilated and artistically developed features of Polish musical folklore, of which he was an expert. Many of his works contain clear references to Polish music: quotations from folk and national melodies, rhythms of Polish dances; they also reveal a strong dramatic sense and a developed thematic work.

He paid special attention to the memory of Polish composers, such as Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński and especially Stanislaw Moniuszko. He also popularized the works of his contemporaries, including his students. After his death he was forgotten even by them, his works were denied significance in the context of European music, so they remained mostly in manuscript form. In fact, the only work of his that has remained in the repertoire is the symphonic poem Step [The Steppe]. It was not until the beginning of the 21st century that the music of Zygmunt Noskowski slowly began to return to the concert stages and first editions of his hitherto unpublished works such as 2nd and 3rd String Quartets and 2nd Symphony appeared. An important element of the mission of the Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra is the restoration of forgotten masterpieces of Polish concert music, and the July concert will be an important step in restoring Noskowski to his rightful place among outstanding Polish and European composers of the second half of the 19th century.

A similar idea is shared by Antoni Wit, one of the most esteemed conductors of his generation, acclaimed on stages all over the world – he too is a devoted popularizer of Polish music, which (including works by Noskowski) our orchestra has had the opportunity to perform under his baton, always with great satisfaction. We will present two outstanding symphonies by Noskowski: his youthful Symphony No. 1 in A major (1874) which crowned his compositional studies in Berlin, and Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Elegy” (1879), saturated with Polish melodic features. Its patriotic message is reinforced by a quotation from the Dąbrowski’s Mazurka hidden in the work as the finale, written to gladden Poles’ hearts. [pmac]

Organiser: Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
The organiser reserves the right to change the programme or the performers of the concert

Media patronage: TVP Kultura,

Patroni medialni: TVP Kultura,

Standard price of the tickets: 35 zł/1 seat
Reduced price of the tickets: 25 zł/ 1 seat

• students, students before 26, pensioners and the persons after 70,
• students of the schools of music and ballet as well as the students of the universities of music and musicology departments

Tickets: Polskie Radio – Bilety24eBilet as well as the ticket box of Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio