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Showing posts from February, 2024

On the Birthday of Fryderyk Chopin (1st March 1810) and close to the Second Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Some thoughts on the town of Berdychiv and its legendary association with Fryderyk Chopin

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Today is the second anniversary of the eruption of yet another inhuman conflagration in Ukraine at the heart of Europe. A reminder, as if we needed it after World War II, of how little does humanity learn from history apart from the fact it repeats itself and that humanity does not learn from the past. I have been watching on the BBC the deeply moving funeral of Alexei Navalny and the courage of those who decided to join the endless queue and attend his burial. The cycles of historical inhumanity endlessly repeat themselves. The music of Chopin and the historical context in which it was composed is hauntingly topical today, on his birthday, the composer of the profound melancholy of lost freedom. The situation is worse now with another mindless conflagration in the Middle East. Our leaders in every country have lost moral direction and sense of truth. How I yearn for a man of Paderewski's charisma and his projection of the image of a moral beacon in the world. Rather than add to th

Felix Yaniewicz - Music and Migration in Georgian Edinburgh - A remarkable rediscovery. Review of a remarkable CD. Review of the Concert Friday 16th February 2024, Warsaw Philharmonic

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I traveled to Edinburgh towards the end of June 2022 and among the many adventures and museums visited, I managed to be there for the opening of a remarkable exhibition at the Georgian House. I live in Warsaw in Poland, move in musical circles there, but had never encountered this artist. I was astounded at the discovery. [Throughout this post I have adopted the anglicized spelling of his name that  he favoured in Edinburgh   beginning with 'Y' (Yaniewicz)   rather than the Polish 'J' (Janiewicz)] I met and had a long instructive conversation with the exhibition curator Josie Dixon who assembled and wrote an excellent article on Felix Yaniewicz, her ancestor and a Polish virtuoso violinist, composer and businessman who was the catalyzing founding force behind the present, world-renowned, Edinburgh Festival.  But this was in 1815 ! Review of the Warsaw concert at the Warsaw Philharmonic, Friday 16th February  2024 at 19.30 Wrocław Baroque Orchestra NFM Andrzej Kosendiak