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<<  -- 2 --  Tess Crebbin    EUROPAMUSICALE POLAND


With the new expansion of the EU, Penderecki has great plans for his country's young musicians. 'I am planning a music society for young people in Poland. There will be seminars, courses, master classes, scholarships, and funding for instruments. We also plan to finance travel and study abroad for very talented young people. We have already started building and are currently still collecting donations to finish the project.'

One of the talented newcomers from his country could be seen performing at the concert, and it was a truly moving experience. The billed cello soloist was Andrzej Bauer, who performed Penderecki's pieces and did so with impeccable technique and somewhat theatrical expressions. Bauer is the former winner of a German music competition for new talent. But the real star was another cellist: Sinfonietta Cracovia's first cellist Tomasz Wyroba (44), who has a genius that cannot be overlooked. He shone in the Lutoslawski Funeral Music, big time.

Tomasz Wyroba. Photo © Bettina Pauli
Tomasz Wyroba. Photo © Bettina Pauli

It is a one-movement piece consisting of four linked sections, written (1954-58) for string orchestra and is unusually expressive and moving, even for funeral music. From this piece onward, Lutoslawski began to develop his own harmonic system, which appears to be based on the twelve-tone method but was not. He invented a completely independent composing style that developed from past patterns, passing through some avant-garde aspects like aleatonism and sonism, neoclassicism, into an entirely new musical language, which was based on the twelve-tone system in melodic and harmonic manner. But it only appears to be twelve-tone when, in fact, it is not. It rather is a musical construction of unique intervals and chords that work together to provide something brilliantly and perfectly balanced, a complete structure that makes perfect sense and uses music not just as a carrier of beauty but also of deep emotions.

Lutoslawski's father and uncle were both executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 for their involvement in patriotic activities and although the composer never talked about this traumatic event, it left deep marks. This emotion, suppressed, found its outlet in his music. Lutoslawski himself said of his music: 'No succession of sounds, no consonance, can be treated without taking into consideration the details of expression, colour, character, physiognomy. There cannot be an indifferent sound in music.'

When someone like this writes funeral music, you know it is a piece that will make you pay attention. It showcases Lutoslawksi's brilliant understanding of instrumental colour and it requires an exceptional handling of the cello to bring the work across as the composer had meant it to be played. Technical perfection won't do, this piece needs technical perfection coupled with some real soul input. It needs what Pergamenschikow, who also played this work, once called that rare moment when the cellist distances himself from his cello, the audience, the whole world, and becomes one with the music.

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Copyright © 27 May 2004 Tess Crebbin, Germany


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