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Silesian Quartet / Joanna Freszel / Łukasz Krupiński / Elżbieta Mrożek-Loska Generation '51 on their 70th birthday - NOSPR

Silesian Quartet / Joanna Freszel / Łukasz Krupiński / Elżbieta Mrożek-Loska / Generation '51 on their 70th birthday

Jacek Poremba
Performers
Joanna Freszel – soprano
Łukasz Krupiński – piano
Elżbieta Mrożek-Loska – viola
Marcin Trzęsiok – leading of the music cycle
Program
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 (arr. for piano and string quintet)
Andrzej Krzanowski
6th Programme for soprano and string quartet

We played the Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 58 in the chamber version with two violas for the first time in 2001, as a prologue for the ‘Silesian String Quartet and its Guests’ festival, with Zbigniew Raubo on the piano. I asked the then director of the Beethoven Museum in Bonn Hans-Werner Küthen to make the sheet music available for us. In the letter enclosed with the sheet music, he mentions that it is Beethoven’s own version, yet unfinished and found at the Beethovenhaus. It was probably in 1807, shortly after the premiere of the original version, that prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz asked Beethoven to adjust the Concerto to be performed at his Vienna palace. A symphony orchestra would not fit into the room indeed, hence the idea for a string quintet, all the better since the prince himself could be part of it.

Two different versions are played today: the Bärenreiter-published one with two violas and the Ignaz Lachner arrangement for piano, violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Beethoven’s concept of using two violins, two violas and a cello for transcription seems to correspond to the musical matter of the original perfectly well. The dynamics between the woodwind instruments and the strings are wonderfully reflected by the pairs of violins and violas, while the cello provides the bass basis.

Our whole chamber series this year will be crowned with Andrzej Krzanowski’s – Programme VI for soprano and string quartet, composed for Karol Szymanowski’s 100th birth anniversary in 1982. The latter was another hugely important composer for the former, suffice it to metion the use of an a capella fragment from his Stabat Mater on one of the tapes in the String Quartet No. 1.

The cycle of pieces joined with the title of Programmes is extraordinary for several reasons, but the most significant issue was probably pointed out by Grażyna, the composer’s wife, when she said that the Programmes were a commentary to the present which was happening then and to what was happening in the deepest corners of his soul. The selection of lyrics from Juliusz Słowacki’s “Ode to Freedom”, “Hymn”, and “To Mother” is most meaningful and sounds powerfully in the soprano part. The string quartet references Krzanowski’s own work (self-quote from the Quartet No. 2) as well as Karol Szymanowski (the beginning of Quartet No. 1 in the violin cadences). The whole concludes with the soprano’s whisper: „Słuchaj nas Matko Boża” [“Listen to us, Mother of God”].

Duration of the concert: approx. 75 minutes

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