VELVET CURTAIN 
- FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

19th - 27th October

“Curtain is what separates the spectators from the actors. Yet, it may be lifted. History has mastered the notion of the iron curtain. It will be torn by the power of the velvet revolution which achieved its turning point twenty years ago. Nonetheless, the spirit of the time of velvet revolution was not born in a day. The intensity of its manifestations was growing: 1953, 1956, 1968, 1976, and 1980 came before it spoke in full and victorious voice during the 1989 Autumn of Nations,” said Andrzej Chłopecki, the artistic director of the Velvet Curtain festival, referring directly to politics. Yet was it to politics only? Whether we want it or not, politics has always influenced culture, which in turn has always been connected with its moment in history. Eastern Europe was partitioned from the Western part of the continent with the “iron curtain,” such situation resulted in the separation from the influence of new artistic trends. Most famous masterpieces created in the West soon after World War II could be seen or heard after the year 1989. The transformations that began that year marked what for numerous Eastern artists was the first opportunity to confront their experience with the world trends in their discipline. Festival of music is capable of no more but lifting a “corner” of the curtain, and present a selection of works by East European composers: most of them come from Poland (Krakow!) yet there are guests from Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.

The concealed power of the contemporary music festivals rests in the world premieres; the fundamental power of the Velvet Curtain is the presentation of a number of works whose composition was especially commissioned for the Festival.

Thus we will hear Up into the Silence for soprano solo, baritone solo and symphonic orchestra by Eugeniusz Knapik, a composer born in 1951 in Ruda Œl±ska, who wanted this work to be his personal artistic farewell to the 20th century. “I immediately found a great ally for my plans in the person of e.e. cummings and his marvellous poetry,” wrote Knapik. “For I selected love to be the theme of this artistic gesture.”

Among the works of the festival, we will hear those composed by artists connected with Krakow: the city which has for centuries gathered a vast community of Polish composers in a mysterious way known only to the genius loci: the spirit of the city. Spirala czasu (Spiral of Time) for 15 performers is a work composed by Adam Walaciński, author of numerous music-related publications and professor of the Krakow Academy of Music, born in the city in 1928. Born in 1924 in Lvov, Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, the Rector of the Krakow Academy of Music in the years 1987-1993, prepared Violin Concerto for the Festival, the present Rector of the Academy, Marek Stachowski (born in 1936 in Piekary Œl±skie) composed Z księgi nocy II-III (From the Book of Night II-III), a piece ordered especially for the Festival. Zbigniew Bujarski - another lecturer of the Krakow Academy and another recognised composer (born in 1933 in Muszyna) will present his Stabat Mater. The Festival will be our chance to hear more music commissioned for the Festival: works written by Roman Berger, a Slovak composer strongly connected with Poland; a piece for a singing female violinist and two string quartets to the words by J. Hasek and B. Hrabal written by Martin Smolka, a composer born in 1959 in Prague; Yuri Wanyuk’s Music from the Book of Mysterious Spaces and Elegies for the Light - Bird for cello, piano, and two string quartets; and Onute Narbutaite’s Melody in the Garden of Olives for trumpet and two string quartets.

The performers of the festival concerts will be both Polish and foreign artists: the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk, Symphonic Choir and Orchestra of the Krakow Academy of Music conducted by Wojciech Czepiel, Krakow Philharmonic Choir and Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tomasz Bugaj, the Vilnius Chamber Choir, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Saulius Sondeckis, the Agon Orchestra from Prague, conducted by Petr Kofron, specialising in the performance of unconventional contemporary music, Œl±ski (Silesian) and Dafo Quartets, Krakow Percussion Group conducted by Jan Pilch, and numerous other outstanding soloists.

19th-27th October

Thursday, 19th October
7 p.m., St Catherine’s Church, ul. Augustiańska 7

Alfred Sznitke (1934-1998): Sutartines for percussion, organ, and string orchestra (1991)* 4’

Feliksas Bajoras (1934): Prelude* and toccata for string orchestra (1967) ca 12’
Alfred Sznitke: Concert for piano i string orchestra (1979) * ca 25’
Arvo Pärt (1935): Trisagion for string orchestra (1994) * ca 12’

Arvo Pärt: Te Deum for three choirs, piano, tape, and strings (1992) * ca 35’

performed by:

Jozsef Örmeny – piano,
Vilnius Chamber Choir
Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Saulius Sondeckis – conductor

Friday, 20th October
7 p.m., Krakow Philharmonic Hall, ul. Zwierzyniecka 1

Peteris Vasks (1946): Botschaft for two pianos, percussion, and string orchestra, (1982)* ca 16’

Sofia Gubaidulina (1931): Und: Das Fest ist in vollem Gang for cello and symphonic orchestra (1993) * ca 26’

Eugeniusz Knapik (1951): Up into the Silence for solo soprano, solo baritone, and symphonic orchestra, to the texts of E.E. Cummings and J. Fabre (commissioned by Krakow 2000 Festival) ca 60’

performed by:

Izabella Kłosińska – soprano
Wojciech Drabowicz – baritone
Andrzej Bauer – cello
Wołodymyr Kożuchar – conductor

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice

Saturday, 21st October
7 p.m. Polish Radio Concert Studio, ul. Szlak

Rudolf Komorous (1931): Olimpia for two performers (1964) ca 5’
Martin Smolka (1959): Euforium for ten performers (1996)* ca 13’
Rudolf Komorous: Song for alto, guitar and watch-spring (1965)*  ca 4’
Adam Walaciński (1928): new work** (commissioned by Krakow 2000 Festival) ca 13’
Zbynék Vostřák (1920-1985): Tajny robolow II (1985)**
Rudolf Komorous: Sweet Princess for mouth organ, piano, and timpano kettledrum (1963) ca 4`
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933): Actions for 14 performers (1971)* ca 17’

performed by:

Petr Kofroń – conductor
Agon Orchestra (Prague)
Krakowska Grupa Perkusyjna (Krakow Percussion Group) conducted by Jan Pilch

Tuesday, 24th October
7 p.m., St Catherine’s Church, ul. Augustiańska 7

Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar (1924): Violin concerto** (commissioned by Krakow 2000 Festival) ca 20’
Sofia Gubaidulina: Jetzt immer Schnee for chamber ensemble and chamber choir, to the text of Gennadiy Aig (1993)* ca 28’
Lepo Sumera (1950-2000): Symphony No. 5* ca 33’

performed by:

Krzysztof B±kowski – violin
Tadeusz Zięba – recitation
Krakow Academy of Music Symphonic Choir and Orchestra
Wojciech Czepiel – conductor
Chór Kameralny Filharmonii w Krakowie

Wednesday, 25th October
7 p.m., St Catherine’s Church, ul. Augustiańska 7

Onute Narbutaite: Melody in the Garden of Olives for trumpet and two string quartets** (commissioned by Krakow 2000 Festival) ca 16’
Martin Smolka: Mushrooms nad Sky (commissioned by Krakow 2000 Festival) ca 14’
Jurij Łaniuk: Music from the Book of Mysterious Spaces and Elegies for the Bird-Light for cello, piano, and two string quartets** (commissioned by Krakow 2000 Festival) ca 18’
Roman Berger (1930): Korczak in memoriam (commissioned by Krakow 2000 Festival) ca 25’

performed by:

Jozsef Örmeny – piano
Jurij Łaniuk – cello
Stanisław Dziewior – trumpet
Aleksandra Gruca - mezzosopran
Helena Vendrova - violin
Alicja Lizer - flute
Witold Zaborny - organ
Damian Drzymała - kettle drums
Kwartet ¦l±ski (Silesian Quartet)
Kwartet Dafô (Dafô Quartet)
Roman Rewakowicz – conductor

Friday, 27th October
7 p.m., Krakow Philharmonic Hall, ul. Zwierzyniecka 1

Marek Stachowski (1936): From the Book of Night I (1990) ca 12’
Zbigniew Bujarski (1933): Stabat Mater ** (commissioned by Krakow 2000 Festival) ca 18’
György Kurtág (1926): Stele – in memoriam András Mihály, Op. 33 (1994) * ca 13’
Marek Stachowski: From the Book of Night II and III** (commissioned by Krakow 2000 Festival) ca 25’

performed by:

Krakow Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra
Tomasz Bugaj – conductor  

* – Polish premiere
** – world premiere

Organiser:

Krakow 2000 Festival Bureau
ul. ¦w. Krzyża 1, 31-028 Kraków, Poland
phone: +48 (12) 421 8693, fax: +48 (12) 422 1381
e-mail: biuro@krakow2000.pl

Booking of tickets to individual events and the whole Festival; from 1st September, 2000 from: Krakow Philharmonic Hall (ul. Zwierzyniecka 1), Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

phone/fax: +48 (12) 429 1345
phone: +48 (12) 422 9477

Tickets available from 28th September, 2000:from:

Krakow Philharmonic Hall (ul. Zwierzyniecka 1), Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Krakow 2000 Culture Information Centre (ul. ¦w. Jana 2), Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.,

The organiser retains the right to introduce changes in the programme of the events. Programme above as of 28th July, 2000.

 

 

 

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Supported financially by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

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