Showing posts from 2024

Gala Opening of the Warsaw Chamber Opera 33rd Mozart Festival,13th May 2024, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall

Anyone familiar with my past reviews will know the deep affection I have had for  Warszawska Opera Kameralna (Warsaw Chamber Opera)   over many years and which continues with transformations of its history. This gala concert at the Warsaw Philharmonia Hall was a particularly affecting and charming event of warm-hearted devotion to Mozart.   A number of Mozart arias were sung by two outstanding soloists, the Australian soprano Jessica Pratt (just returned from  Australia performing in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio )   and the Czech tenor Petr Nekoranec. The fine Period Instrument Orchestra of the Warsaw Chamber Opera (MACV), conducted by Michal Maciaszczyk, performed various overtures to Mozart operas. Here is the programme: I cannot possibly analyse each aria and overture suffice to say they were all outstanding in a cossetting atmosphere of musical love, historical range, command of style and superlative vocal and orchestral technique. A charming, well-informed commenta

Jerzy Maksymiuk, the outstanding Polish conductor, composer and pianist, was today awarded the honour of the Order of the White Eagle, National Day 3rd May 2024

I am sure Professor Piotr Paleczny will not object to me quoting his well expressed, succinct post on one of the major events of today.  "The President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, during today's ceremony of awarding state medals on the occasion of the National Day of the Third of May at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, awarded Jerzy Maksymiuk, an outstanding conductor, composer and pianist, with the Order of the White Eagle. Established in 1705, the Order of the White Eagle is the oldest and highest state medal of the Republic of Poland. On this remarkable day, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations - on behalf of myself and the countless admirers of your extraordinary talent, creativity and unparalleled artistic personality! Congratulations on this well-deserved award and thank you for all the deep musical emotions you have given us." Photos by  PAP/L. Szymanski *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * Here is a review of Maksymiuk I wrote of a conc

Anne-Sophie Mutter inspires the human spirit through music in Warsaw the Phoenix - 27 April 2024

Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra   Andrzej Boreyko conductor Anne-Sophie Mutter violin Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884)   Bedřich  Smetana in ravaged old age String Quartet No. 1 in E minor "From My Life"    (orchestral instrumentation by George Szell) String Quartet No. 1 in E minor "From My Life" And so it is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bedřich Smetana. As I am unfamiliar with this work in its orchestral version and its genesis as a chamber work, I am eternally grateful to John Henken, Director of Publications for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, for the sensitive, illuminating information and deeply moving quotations contained below. The Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Boreyko gave a powerful and symphonic account of the orchestrated chamber work String Quartet No. 1 in E minor "From My Life". However, the American conductor of Hungarian origin who orchestrated the work, George Szell, s

Arcady Volodos beguiles Warsaw with Schubert and Schumann - Sunday April 7th 2024

Arcady Volodos ( photo Marcin Borggreve ) Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Piano Sonata in A minor  D 845  Franz Schubert (1797-1828) From the opening seconds of touching the keys the divine legato, velvet distinction and perfection of tone and touch was instantly clear from Volodos hand. Like all the greatest pianists, his unique voice wings effortlessly above what is inappropriately called 'technique' plunging us deep into the beating heart of the music. Listening to Volodos in Schubert, I was put in mind of a letter the composer wrote to his parents in 1825 (the year of the composition of this Première grande Sonate ) concerning his own playing : ' upper Austria ... I played [the variations from my new two hand sonata. Op.42] myself, and apparently not without an angel over my shoulder, because a few people assured me that under my hands the keys became like voices. If this is true I am really pleased, because I cannot stand this damnable thumping that even quite