Showing posts from November, 2018

Sydney Symphony Orchestra - Warsaw - 29 November 2018

Sydney Symphony Orchestra
David Robertson conductor Renaud Capuçon -violin
The Warsaw Filharmonia was absolutely packed for this concert. Hardly a spare seat in the entire auditorium and a buzz of anticipation enlivened the atmosphere. A rare sight. With temperatures at -5C during the day accompanied by jet lag it must have required great stamina and energy to perform.
Paderewski was extremely popular in Australia on his tours in the 1920s and loved the enthusiasm of Australian audiences. This was also partly because of his friendship in Europe with the famous soprano Dame Nellie Melba. Paderewski and his wife often dined with her in Paris and Monte-Carlo.
The Brisbane Courier described a Paderewski concert at His Majesty's Theatre in April 1927
Paderewski, the world famous pianist, was accorded a royal reception on Saturday night when he gave the first of two concerts at His Majesty's Theatre. The house was filled to overflowing and additional seats were arranged in tile stage a…

Polish Independence Day 11 November 2018 - The Chopin Soul and Paderewski

Thoughts on the Chopin Soul and Paderewski  Polish Independence Day 11 November 2018

On a day celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Poland regaining independence (a country that for 123 years existed not on maps but as a virtual reality in the mind of its citizens), I feel I should express a few thoughts on the music of Fryderyk Chopin in this context. Today is also the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of the Great War on 'the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month' 1918 and to remind the old and perhaps educate the young of the historical significance of this day through the towering figure of Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) - composer, pianist, politician and statesman - at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. It is difficult for us to even imagine how the hugely charismatic Paderewski, like some type of pianistic god, dominated the artistic firmament of those days. 

I would also like to reflect on a wartime incident concerning Polish officers and troops inter…