on the words. romantic quartet

Photo by Agnieszka Wójtowicz

The Polish Radio Choir’s concert in Krakow, which took place on May 19 in the lobby of the Słowacki Theater, was an example of such widely understood poetry. Entitled “On the Words. The Romantic Sound Quartet” not only demonstrated the close connections between music and words, but also demonstrated that romantic passages can be a source of inspiration for contemporary composers and that combining ancient language of poetry with contemporary composition technique can sound fascinating.

Four composers: Joanna Wouk-Nazarua (“Girl” Limian), Bawi Dukaszewski (Norroid songs), Pyotr Tabakernik (Zygmunt Krasinski’s poems) and Shimon Godziemba-Tretek (Mickiewicz’s “accompanied Crimean lyrics). Some will probably ask what Young is doing. Poland Limian in this group?For the composer, as she said before the concert, this poet, who belongs to the cultural formation of Young Poland, has turned towards the romantic tradition, as evidenced by his poems, such as “Dusiołek” or “Girl” used in the piece musical.

Maria Piotrovska-Pogalica led the choir with great force, and the performers sang, in accordance with the wishes of the composers, also joined the musicians: Karolina Stalmachowska – oboe, Magdalena Doi – piano, Rafai Telepa – multiplex. With this concert, the Polish radio choir has joined the national debate on romance, sweeping across various fields of art, which is linked to the announcement of the Sim Romance in 2022, which has not only become a manifesto for romance, but also reinforced the way we view the world that we have today. . We’ve all been shaped in some way by romance. We cannot deny that.

Looking at the range of artists whose work they look like, I wondered what they had in common, despite the differences between generations or artistic experiences. First of all, the fact that they responded to the Genesis Committee of Maria Piotrowska-Bogalecka; She decided to write and faced the difficult challenge of facing poetry years ago. I’ve also noticed that they were all or still are associated with the music academies, and each operates with a modern, albeit very different, composition technique.

For me, the main question that evening was: Can and how can romance and modernity be combined? It turns out that you can, and this combination works well.

Least surprising was Bowie ukaszewski, the most famous of this group, who is also the most conservative artist. In his Norwid music, the classical vocal school is very audible. Others experiment and go their own way. For example, Piotr Tabakiernik in his Krasiński “blue line” used very intense repetitions, as if he wanted to clearly indicate the content; He did not lack, for example, smallness, which, as he said before the meeting, “is easy to achieve in a choir ensemble, because the singer is an instrument of varying temperament”; The rustle of the score pages was also surprising, an interesting effect. Joanna and Nok-Nzarua’s piece was written to Limian’s words for 12 votes. There are practically no pure major or minor chords, their colors are dirty, which, as the composer said, “give the impression of petunia.” Singing was difficult for the artists, but the results were great.

Of all the composers, only Szymon Godziemba-Trytek in Mickiewicz decided to use the cappella choir, and other composers used individual instruments, which they used in different ways, to complete the choral composition: Piotr Tabakiernik arrived for a short time, Joanna and Knock -Nazarowa – for oboe, Pawe Łukaszewski – for piano.

I will always say that the music of our time should interest us very much. It’s great that we know Bach and Mozart so well, that we like Beethoven or Szymanowski, but it’s awful that we can’t even name some of the composers who have excelled here and now, next to us. We don’t know their names, let alone their deeds. From this perspective, each concert of the latest works is a kind of information about our world and our time. Very valuable information to get to know which I always strongly encourage.

The Polish radio choir concert began earlier in Katowice, soon the artists will leave with this program, incl. to Lithuania and Ireland.

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