13 May 2021 / Thursday / 21:00
The Black Room The Centre for Culture in Lublin / 12 Peowiaków Street
Ewa LIEBCHEN – flute
Emilia SITARZ – piano
Hubert ZEMLER – percussion instruments
Łucja SZABLEWSKA – soprano
Henryk Mikołaj GÓRECKI – Goodnight op. 63 for soprano, alto flute, 3 tam-dams and piano
Henryk Mikołaj GÓRECKI – Lullaby op. 9 for piano / first performance (thanks to Boosey & Hawkes)
The classic and seemingly obvious combination of the flute and the piano is, at the same time, a huge challenge for the performers. In new music and any other places where one looks for a homogeneous timbre and balance, it is difficult to find a common denominator for these two instruments, which differs practically in every aspect, from the way a single sound is carried to the volume of sound and scale.
In his scores from several decades ago, however, Górecki creates such a possibility. This slightly different view is justified by the many details of the composer’s record. Our belief in the rightness of this direction only deepened while working on his works. The result of a meeting of a second musician and a second instrument is a new, unique sound. The flute and piano can, and do, speak with one voice. Over time, this narrative also includes the soprano and percussion.
The contemplative and elegiac programme comprises “Lullaby op. 9 for piano” and a nearly half-hour-long “Goodnight op. 63 for soprano, alto flute, piano, and tam-tams”. It is the concert version of the album project “Goodnight Mr. Górecki”, a part of the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the composer’s death, which took place in November last year.
The three-part “Goodnight” is a story about a life that slowly fades away with each subsequent step and each subsequent breath. It’s music about passing away. Górecki’s raw sounds touch us with their fragility, but they do not deprive us of hope.
HENRYK MIKOŁAJ GÓRECKI
Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933–2010) began to study music regularly at the age of 19, attending a secondary school of music in Rybnik, where he specialised in music teaching. He then went on to study composition with Bolesław Szabelski at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice. He graduated in 1960. In 1958 the first concert of his works was held at his alma mater. It was also the first time the school organised a monograph concert of such a young composer. During the event five of Górecki’s works were played. Also in 1958 he successfully debuted at the International Warsaw Autumn Festival of Contemporary Music, becoming known as one of the more radical avant-garde composers of the young generation. After graduation he premiered more works and won more praises. His Scontri was widely admired at the 1961 Warsaw Autumn festival, while Symphony No. 1 won the first prize at the Paris Biennale of Young Artists. When in the French capital Górecki met Pierre Bouleze, while in Cologne he encountered Karlheinz Stockhausen. Since 1965 he had been employed at his alma mater, moving gradually up the ladder from lecturer to rector in 1975. During this time he achieved many successes at home and abroad, including the first prize of the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris, the Minister of Culture and Arts Award (of the third degree in 1965; of the first degree in 1969 and 1973), and the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2003). A turning point in his career came in the 1990s. Composed using a simpler musical language, his 1976 Symphony No. 3 (The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) for soprano and orchestra, hit British and US record charts in 1992, while the UK Classic FM radio aired its fragments non-stop at the listeners’ request. The composer held honorary doctorates from the Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw (1993), University of Warsaw (1994), Jagiellonian University in Kraków (2000), Catholic University of Lublin (2004), Academy of Music in Katowice (2004), Academy of Music in Kraków (2008), Catholic University of America, University of Michigan, University of Victoria, and the University of Montreal. Henryk Mikołaj Górecki spent the last years of his life in Ząb, near Zakopane, in the Tatra Mountains. He died in Katowice in 2010.
Ewa Liebchen is one of the leading exponents of the contemporary flute in Poland, having performed a wide range of repertoire, including music at the cutting edge of modern flute technique. Focused on chamber music, she has appeared with many groups and ensembles specialising in new music, utilising flutes ranging from piccolo to bass. Both as a soloist and member of a duo called Flute o’clock, she has performed and promoted music by numerous Polish composers, with many of those works being commissioned and written for the duo. These activities have been supported by the Culture Ministry through grants that enabled her and the duo to undertake the projects through collaborating with composers. The first album recorded by Flute o’clock, Now, received a distinction by the Hi-Fi i Muzyka monthly in the Record of the Year 2010 category, and was nominated for the 2011 Fryderyk Award in the Phonographic Debut of the Year category. Recently, two more CDs with music by Polish composers Sławomir Kupczak and Dominik Karski and her debut solo album Electric sheep have been released, to great critical acclaim. As a guest lecturer and educator in music schools and academies in Poland (e. g. Music Acadamy in Łódź, Music Academy in Gdańsk, Music Academy in Bydgoszcz), she has given masterclasses, lectures, and presentations on extended flute techniques and contemporary performance practice, for both flutists and composers. As an artist-in-residence and performer she has been invited to the International Summer Course for Composers Synthetis in Radziejowice (2015, 2017) and to the Electroacoustic Music Performance Season that was held at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chendgu (2017). Ewa Liebchen is a graduate of Accademia Italiana del Flauto in Rome, Italy (2002), and Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Poland (2005), having studied with Raymond Guiot, Riccardo Ghiani and Jadwiga Kotnowska. She has won prizes in several national and international competitions, where she performed both as a soloist and chamber musician. She has also been awarded various grants and scholarships, such as the Culture Ministry, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Top Wind and Lion’s Club.
Pianist, artistic director of the Kwadrofonik Festival and the series “Listenings – Concerts to be toured”, educator, laureate of the most important Polish cultural awards, such as: the Koryfeusz, the Polityka’s Passport, the Fryderyk, the Gold Record, the Folk Phonogram of the Year. Emilia Karolina Sitarz graduated from the F. Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and the postgraduate master studies at the University for Music and Theatre in Rostock – under the supervision of the Hans-Peter and Volker Stenzl duo, which she finished with distinction. For many years she was studying under the tutelage of the duo Brach Eden-Alexander Tamir (Israel). In 1999 she co-founded the Lutosławski Piano Duo, and in 2005 the Kwadrofonik quartet. Original musical projects which she creates with her ensembles frequently host pop, jazz and folk music personalities (including D. Miśkiewicz, A. Rojek, M. Koteluk, A Strug). She also collaborates with distinguished flutist Ewa Liebchen. Since 2011 she has been running the Kwadrofonik Association, which has launched, among others, the Kwadrofonik Festival, Listenings – concerts to be toured, Pianokrąg, Wolny Koncert, Kwadrofonik – Beyond the Limits of Sound. She has been touring in most European countries, both Americas, the Middle East and Japan, performing at such venues as: the Carnegie Hall, the Berlin and Warsaw Philharmonics, the Izumi Hall, the Gulbenkian Auditorio, the W. Lutosławski Concert Studio, the Chicago Symphony Center, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Beijing Music Hall, the J.F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has participated in numerous festivals, including: the Festival of Polish Radio, the Kwartesencja, the Warsaw Autumn, the Chain, the UNSOUND, the Festival of First Performances, the MusicaPolonica Nova, the Polish Piano Festival, the Piano Festival in Cracow, the Vratislavia Cantans, the Music on the Heights, the Two Moors Festival (Great Britain), the Londrina Festival (Brazil), the Scelsi Festival (Italy), the Music Festival in Łańcut, the Klang, the Malta, the SpringFestival (Israel), the Ein Kerem Music Center Season (Israel). She is a regular guests at piano duo festivals, e.g. in Moldova, Lithuania and Belarus, and performs at Polish Institutes abroad. She attaches great importance to new music and cooperation with composers, hence her performances of several dozen world premieres, including concertos for two pianos composed especially for her ensembles, as well as Différance and Symphony No3 by W. Zych – for harmonics piano four hands and orchestra, Concerto for Two Pianos by M. Małecki, DFRGMNTD and September by W. Blecharz, Fuori – Concerto for Two Pianos and Möbius Strip by M. Jabłoński, and chamber works by M. Laskowski, K. Szwed, J. Stanley, WZ Zych, W. Blecharz and A. Zagajewski. At present she is working on compositions by foreign composers such as: Malte Giesen, Sasha Blondeau, Peter ABlinger, Niels Ronsholdt, Lore M. Hiendl, Nigel Osbourne. Her creative explorations embrace traditions of classical music, performance of most contemporary music and multi-source inspirations, including Polish traditional and electronic music. Together with Kwadrofonik she is originator of first Polish performances of such works as Music for Eighteen Musicians and Daniel Variations by Steve Reich and Industrial Symphony by Angelo Badalamenti. She is co-composer of the following projects: Folk Requiem, Folklove, I was here. Fryderyk and Urlicht. The most important recordings she has participated in are: Lutosławski Piano Duo, Folklove, Folk Requiem, Piano.pl, Lutosławski – Tuwim. Songs Not Only for Children, Winterreise, Unchained, Incorporate, Liminal Studies, Lady Monsieur Poldowski, The Poet’s Astronomy. Baczyński, Good Night Mr. Górecki. She is lecturer on piano duo and new music performance, and author of a series of educational concerts for children and youth on contemporary music. She is originator of a series of online programmes Play the Duo, launched in 2020 and presenting works for the piano duo.
Drummer and composer. His repertoire includes pieces by 20th and 21st centuries composers including Helmut Lechenmann’s “AIR” (performed at the opening concert of “Warsaw Autumn” Festival 2015 with The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice conducted by Alexander Liebreich), Steve Reich, Tadeusz Wielecki, Zygmunt Krauze, Tomasz Sikorski, Cornelius Cardew, Zdzisław Piernik, Arturas Bumsteinas. In the years 1999–2004 he studied at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. Besides his classical education and cooperation with symphony orchestras, he played with jazz bands, exploring the secrets of improvisation, experimental and world music. He is a co-founder of Warsaw-based indie bands: Piętnastka (with Piotr Kurek), Slalom, Shy Albatross, jazz trio LAM and the Pilokatabaza percussion duo (with Pawel Szpura); he is also involved in a number of projects combining contemporary music and improvisation. He collaborated with artists such as John Tilbury, Jon Gibson, Evan Ziporyn, Gyan Riley, Agusti Fernandez, Felix Kubin, Reinaldo Ceballo, Mitch & Mitch, Raphael Rogiński, Wacław Zimpel. Hubert Zemler released three solo albums: “Moped” (LADO ABC, 2011), “Gostak & Doshes” (Bôłt Records, 2014) and “Pupation of Dissonance” (Bôłt Records, 2016).
Singer – lyric coloratura soprano and composer. She studied at the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw at the Department of Vocal Studies with prof. Zdzisława Donat, and at the Department of Composition with prof. Marian Borkowski. She broadened her education at postgraduate studies at the Vocal Department at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she studied with prof. Philip Doghan and prof. Ian Patridge, and at Postgraduate Interdepartmental Song Study (Podyplomowym Międzywydziałowym Studium Pieśni) at Chopin University of Music. Witold Lutoslawski Society, The Solti Foundation, The Royal Academy of Music and The Evangelical Reformed Church in Warsaw all granted her a scholarship. She improved her vocal skills at courses conducted by Barbara Booney, Tom Krause, Rosemary Hardy, Alberto Zedda, Teresa Żylis-Gara, Robert Teara, Wolfgang Holzmair, Margreet Honig and Franz Lukasovski. As a singer together with the pianist Michał Pietrzak, she was awarded the 1st prize at the 15th Concorso Internazionale di Musica “Euterpe” in Itally. For years she has been working with the Grand Theater in Warsaw. There she debiuted in the leading role in Aleksander Nowak’s opera Sudden Rain directed by Maja Kleczewska, conducted by Marek Moś. She also sung the soprano part in Pascal Dusapin’s opera Medeamaterial directed by Barbara Wysocka, conducted by Franck Ollu. With the vocal sextet proModern she performed at the Warsaw Chamber Opera in Dariusz Przybylski’s work Orphée directed by Margo Zālīte, conducted by Maja Metelska. Her opera repertoire includes also the roles of Pamina from The Magical Flute by W. A. Mozat, Serpina from La serva padrona by G. B. Pergolesi and many others. She specializes in modern music – she has several dozen first performances of Polish music to her credit including songs, chamber oratorio and opera works. Among her special accomplishments are the frst performance of Marta Śniady’s opera for voice, instrumental ensamble and visualizations Meme Opera directed by Maciej Koczura at the International Modern Music Festival „Warsaw Autumn”, as well as the first performance of Marek Grucki’s work Une Charogne et L’Éternité for soprano, tenor and orchestra, with New Music Orchestra conducted by Szymon Bywalec at Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. A large part of her repertoire is taken by oratorio works, which she performed with famous ensambles and conductors at many concerts at home and abroad: Haydn’s Stabat Mater, The Creation and Harmoniemesse, Zajdler’s Missa pastorita, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang or Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem. She participatd in many festivals such as: Koblenzer Mendelssohn-Tage, “Orgel variatio” (Germany), Oxford Lieder Festival (Great Britain), Radnicke hudebni (Czech Republic), “Warsaw Autumn”, Witold Lutosławski “Chain” Festival, “Laboratory of Contemporary Music”, Festival of Traditional and Avantgarde Music “Kody”, Warsaw Passion Music Days, “Ars Moriendi”, “Musica Sacra”, “Musica Moderna”, “Gaude Mater”, Festival of Polish Composers’ Songs, “Sacrum – Non Profanum”, Karol Szymanowski Music Days. Her work 4 quasisongs for vocal sextet and amplified cello was commissioned by the Artistic Association “Miód Materia” as part of the “Collections” –“Composing Commissions” programme implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance. It was first performed by the vocal sextet proModern and the cellist Michał Borzykowski. Łucja Szablewska’s best performances have been preserved in recordings: Zbigniew Bujarski’s Burning Bushes with the pianist David Højer (GEMA, Germany, live recording), Witold Lutosławski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables and Lacrimosa with Lodz Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Daniel Raiskin (DUX) . Together with the modern vocal music sextet proModern she won 5 Fryderyk Awards of the Polish Phonographic Academy for the debut album Where are you. Pieces from Warsaw (Sarton), Paweł Łukaszewski’s Responsoria Tenebrae (DUX) and the album proModern shakespired (Warner Classics).
*Co-financed by the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport from funds of the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the “Music” program, obtained from subsidies established in games subject to state monopoly, in accordance with Art. 80 sec. 1 of the Gambling Act of November 19, 2009, implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.
*The Society of Authors ZAiKS is a Partner of CODES Festival.