Seductive Abductions - Die Entführung aus dem Serail - Mozart - Warsaw Chamber Opera 21 April 2018

Initially I think it interesting and instructive to briefly examine the rather exotic Polish-Turkish relations of the past. You may have already read this on a previous post but it remains extremely relevant and you may  have already come across it.

Over the centuries this fascinating and involved subject has had a profound influence on Polish history. This was especially true in the 17th century at the spectacular Siege and subsequent Battle of Vienna (12th September 1683) that witnessed the victory of the Polish Husaria or Winged Cavalry under the command of King Jan Sobieski over the vastly superior military forces of the Ottoman Empire under the Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha. 
Historic relations between the two countries were initiated around 1414 with a Polish mission to the Ottoman Empire. Many wars followed over territorial claims in the Back Sea region. This was balanced in a way by supportive collaboration against the Habsburgs and the emerging Grand Duchy of Musco…

Piotr Anderszewski - Barbican - 11 April 2018 - 'The Joy of Elevated Thoughts'

London has irresistible musical and artistic attractions and over the last three weeks I have sampled what the great metropolis has to offer. However during my aesthetic promenade among the paintings of Modigliani, Picasso, Monet at the National Gallery and the Impressionists at the Courtauld, I did not anticipate I would have one of the great musical experiences of my life - a recital by the visionary Polish musician and pianist Piotr Anderszewski interpreting Bach and Beethoven at the Barbican.  
The nineteenth century English poet William Wordsworth spoke of poetry as only able to be produced by
'...a man who being possessed of more than usual organic sensibility, has also thought long and deep…’ 
From the opening of the three Preludes and Fugues from Book II of Das Wohltemperierte Klavier we felt incontrovertibly to be in the presence of such a philosophically reflective and imaginative artist. This became increasingly clear and utterly convincing as the recital progressed.
The fi…

Polish Royal Opera - Aleksander i Apelles - Karol Kurpiński - 10 March 2018

It is always of great interest in life to stumble over a rare, normally inaccessible and forgotten work of art. An apple on the moon. In this case it was a small chamber opera by the eminent Polish composer Karol Kazimierz Kurpiński (1785-1857) that had not been performed in repertory for some two hundred years.  
Outside of his native land, his name would certainly only be known to a few specialist musicologists in western countries despite being the most prominent Polish composer before Fryderyk Chopin. Born in Włoszakowice, a small villagein west-central Poland, some sixty kilometers from Poznań, he was the son of the local organist and the daughter of a village civil servant. From 1800 to 1808 he played the violin in the orchestra of Count Feliks Polanowski at his seat near Lwów. Later in 1810 he held the post of assistant conductor until 1824 at the National Theater in Warsaw alongside Josef Elsner, Fryderyk Chopin's teacher and also an opera composer of note. At that time he …