Simply… Philharmonic! Project 4: Between Earth and Heaven – The Quest

21 March 2019, 7 p.m.
Warsaw Philharmonic (Concert Hall)

Olga Pasiecznik | soprano
Marcjanna Myrlak | mezzo-soprano
Karol Kozłowski | tenor
Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Paweł Kapuła | conductor
University of Warsaw Choir
Irina Bogdanovich | Choirmaster
Tomasz Nosiński | narrator
Danuta Stenka | narrator

Programme features:
Arthur Honegger Le Roi David

David was the youngest son of Jesse from Bethlehem, the legendary king of Israel, founder of its political and territorial power. He had the Temple built in Jerusalem, defeated the Philistines and other tribes, won the unequal fight with Goliath. He was also a poet and singer, and the authorship of more than seventy psalms has been attributed to him. He was not without blame, which gives this figure a human dimension. His life and moral choices had their lofty heights and moments of decline, and his character did have its dark sides, as when he seduced Bathsheba, wife of one of his commanders. When his mistress was to bear him a son, David decided without hesitation to get rid of his rival – her rightful husband – in a rather perfidious manner, by sending him to the first line of battle. Later he regretted his adultery, humbled himself before God and took Bathsheba as his wife (one of many), which does not change the judgment of his crime. It brought the wrath and vengeance of Jehovah upon the king and his people. This episode, the monarch’s excessive pride at the height of his fame, his old age, death, and coronation of his successor – are the subject of the third part of Arthur Honegger’s oratorio King David. The previous parts tell the story of David’s rise to power, wars, and the introduction of the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. The music was composed over the period of just two months in 192, but later it underwent a rare metamorphosis. It was originally meant to illustrate René Morax’s drama revived in Lausanne after the interval caused by the war. However, the favourable reception and the awareness of its artistic merits persuaded Honegger to transform it into an originally constructed oratorio, in which the narrator tells the story, while the vocal and orchestral sections comment upon it, as in an ancient tragedy. Honegger looked for the right means of expression to bring out the wealth of ensemble colour. The first performances of King David (Winterthur 1923, Paris 1924) proved that his efforts really paid off.

Marcin Majchrowski

Organiser: Warsaw Philharmonic