1918 marked a special moment in Polish history: after 123 years of absence from the map of Europe, deprived of statehood, and with its cultural identity endangered, Poland regained its independence. In celebration of that euphoric moment, a hundred years later on November 11, 2018, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland together with PWM Editions and the Polish Cultural Institute New York presents 100 for 100: Musical Decades of Freedom.” This music program is an unparalleled undertaking, presenting a hundred works written by more than eighty eminent Polish composers from 1918 to the present, representing all genres and styles, including Karol Szymanowski, Grazyna Bacewicz, Wojciech Kilar, Witold Lutoslawski, Henryk Mikolaj Górecki, Krzysztof Penderecki, and a further selection of composers representing the younger generation. This project has attracted eminent musicians from New York, Chicago, Paris, Vienna, L’viv, Tokyo, Melbourne, London, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Milan, in a company of acclaimed Polish singers, instrumentalists and conductors, the best Polish orchestras and choirs, as well as eleven of the most active music institutions of our country.
The New York City Chapter of 100 for 100 will feature a remarkable afternoon performance by the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall, playing renowned Polish masterpieces by Henryk Górecki and Karol Szymanowski, as well as by Ralph Vaughan Williams. In the evening at the Roulette, the International Contemporary Ensemble ICE will perform works by five contemporary Polish composers: Agata Zubel, Pawel Mykietyn, Tadeusz Wielecki, Lidia Zielinska, and Aleksander Nowak, under the baton of conductor Steven Schick.
Karol Szymanowski is considered one of the most renowned Polish composers of the Young Poland modernist movement. Rather than rely on the traditional Latin text of the Stabat Mater, Szymanowski based his piece on a modern Polish version by the writer and philosopher Józef Jankowski. Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater, Op. 53 (Composed in 1925-26), combines authentic folk materials from the Tatra Mountains, echoes of old church songs, and post-Romantic orchestration.
Henryk Mikolaj Górecki became a leading figure of the Polish avant-garde in classic music, bringing together a genuine interest in Polish “roots” culture and folk traditions with a minimalist focus in his Euntes Ibant et Flebant, Op. 32 (Composed in 1972).
The Oratorio Society of New York (OSNY) is one of the city’s oldest cultural organizations and since its foundation in 1873 has been an essential part of New York City’s cultural fabric. OSNY has performed internationally across Europe, Asia, Latin and South Americas, and has won numerous awards including a UNESCO Commemorative Medal and the Cocos Island World Natural Heritage Site Award for its series of benefit concerts in Costa Rica.
At the evening performance at The Roulette, The International Contemporary Ensemble, led by conductor Steven Schick, will perform five pieces by five major contemporary Polish composers: Agata Zubel, recipient of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s Medal of Merit to Polish Culture and the Gloria Artis; Tadeusz Wielecki whose Concerto à rebours for violin and orchestra was a recommended work at the 1999 UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris; Moritz von Bomhard Fellow Aleksander Nowak; Pawel Mykietyn, first prize winner in the young composers’ category at the UNESCO 4th International Rostrum of Electro-Acoustic Music in Amsterdam (1996); and Lidia Zielinska, recipient of the Polish Composers’ Union Award for her “distinguished and multi-dimensional composing achievements” (2007).
The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective founded in 2001 that is transforming the way music is created and experienced. The ensemble’s 35 members—who are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators—explore how new music intersects with communities across the world. ICE has been a recipient of many awards including of the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award and the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. ICE was also named the 2014 Musical America Ensemble of the Year.
Henryk Górecki: Euntes ibant et flebant
Karol Szymanowski: Stabat Mater, Op. 53
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem
Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 8pm
Roulette Intermedium | 509 Atlantic Ave | Brooklyn, NY
Tickets information here
Agata Zubel: Double Battery
Tadeusz Wielecki: Liczne odnogi rozgalezionych splotow
Aleksander Nowak: Quantemporette
Pawel Mykietyn: Klave for harpsichord and ensemble
Lidia Zielinska: Siedem wysp Conrada Dona Nobis Pacem