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TESS CREBBIN talks to Penderecki and co


The International European Music Festival, Europamusicale, spotlighted Poland this week. The concert at the Herkulessaal (Hercules Auditorium) in Munich on 23 May 2004 had a most unusual programme. The aim of the European Music Festival is to provide a good cross-section of a country's classical composers and make them, or the lesser-familiar works of already famous composers, known to audiences abroad.

For Poland, Krakow-based composer Krzysztof Penderecki had put together the programme to showcase his country. The focus was on contemporary composers and was as follows:

W Lutoslawski (1913-1994): Funeral Music
K Penderecki: Concerto for Viola (violin version)
G Bacewicz (1909-1969) Concerto for Orchestra
K Penderecki: Sinfonietta per archi
W Kilar (born 1932) Orawa

Krzysztof Penderecki. Photo © Oliver Oppitz
Krzysztof Penderecki. Photo © Oliver Oppitz

Asked why Penderecki decided to rise to the challenge of organizing the Polish entry in the first place, he said: 'I have a long relationship with Germany, and with Bavaria in particular. I have been here many times and I speak the language well. I enjoy being here because the public seems to be really enthusiastic about music. Even lay people seem to know an awful lot about it. I think Bavaria is set apart from the rest of Germany, even, because people here are friendlier, less formal, and they benefit musically from their close proximity to Austria and Italy and the musical influences that result from this proximity. The European Music Festival is a great idea because it gives countries a chance to showcase their composers, even their lesser-known works, and also to get their musicians to travel abroad and play before an international audience. I wanted to be part of this. With the new European Union expansion, the musical scene in many countries will benefit because suddenly there is access to a completely different set of grants and training from before.'

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Copyright © 27 May 2004 Tess Crebbin, Germany


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