Krzysztof Baculewski "Subjective Annals 60 Editions of the Festival"
Two Cantatas by Anton Webern provided an excellent framework for the programme of the inaugural concert performed by the Camerata Silesia and Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Ed Spanjaard. In between, we heard Jeux vénitiens by Witold Lutosławski, Variations by Anton Webern and Life without Christmas - Morning Prayers by Giya Kancheli. Retrospective presentations of works by this classic composer of twelve-tone music and precursor of serialism marked the 50th anniversary of his death. Kancheli's Life without Christmas was performed in full, though Day Prayers, Night Prayers and Evening Prayers were presented at different concerts. This cycle might be described as the composer's ethical and artistic 'settling of accounts' with that part of his life which he had been destined to spend in the USSR. Other highlights included: the opera The Heartsnatcher by Elżbieta Sikora, staged by the Grand Theatre - National Opera, and an 'evening of performances and installations' at the Ujazdowski Palace - a novelty which in future would make its presence increasingly felt 'Warsaw Autumn'. Julian Gembalski improvised on the new organ of St John's Cathedral, Ewa Pobłocka presented Piano Concerto by Paweł Szymański, and Elżbieta Chojnacka - the Harpsichord Concerto by Michael Nyman; ensemble 'De Ereprijs' played the Festival debut (Agmen) of Marzena Komsta, and the Wola Theatre staged Die Befreiung des Prometheus by Heiner Goebbels, adapted from Heiner Müller. This edition of the 'Warsaw Autumn' ended with a monumental concert, featuring the vast Universe Symphony by Charles Ives, reconstructed by Larry Austin, and John Tavener's cantata We Shall See Him As He Is: Ikon of the Beloved.