I am pleased to introduce a project dedicated to Polish Art Songs.
The idea of newly formed duo with pianist – Maurice Lammerts van Bueren and soprano – Aldona Bartnik appeared because of sharing a passion for Polish music.
In the program “Melancholia” the group brings songs and mazurkas by composers such as Chopin, Szymanowski, Moniuszko, Lutoslawski and Paderewski. The coming months the duo will perform their program a.o. during a tour through Poland and at several venues in The Netherlands.
In program the group brings works by Karol Szymanowski – composer and pianist regarded as the most distinguished composer, who was living in Poland at the beginning of the 20th century. His artistic life is divided into three main periods influanced by different trends. The early works show inspiration by the late Romantism and Expressionism with samples of stage works: ballets: Harnasie and Mandragora and operas: Hagith and Król Roger ( King Roger ). Later his musical language has developed into an Impressionistic style, represented in his third Symphony and two Violin Concertos. Both periods are fully inspired by Polish folk music of the Polish highlands ( Górale ) and the Kurpie ethnic region. The third period of Szymanowski’s creativity is utterly influenced and dedicated to the folk music.
During this time, he has moved to a mountain cottage in Zakopane, where he composed a numbers of solo instrumental music e.g. 20 Mazurkas Op. 50 for piano and art songs based on folk lyrics and melodies.
His deep interest in Polish highlands Szymanowski expresses in an article written by himself “About Góral Music“. “ My discovery of the essential beauty of Góral (Polish Highlander) music, dance and architecture is a very personal one; much of this beauty I have absorbed into my innermost soul.”
The Kurpian Songs are strongly based on folk melodies and have an unique dialect with lots of ethnic symbols and describtions of the nature. The first version of the Kurpian Song was a set, dedicated to a’capella mixed choir that contains six titles. The second one Op. 58 was a book of tweve songs for soprano and piano. The high quality of this compositions shows Karol Szymanowski’s master abilities.
Karol Szymanowski standing by his mountain cottage in Zakopane Polish landscapes