Krzysztof Baculewski

Krzysztof Baculewski "Subjective Annals 60 Editions of the Festival"


The trend toward a diversification of concert venues keeps getting stronger. The new venues include: the Olympic Centre in Wybrzeże Gdyńskie (Żoliborz district) and 'Koneser' Vodka Distillers in Ząbkowska Street (Praga district). This is also related to the gradual loss of interest, both on the part of listeners and composers, in traditional symphonic concerts, and at the same time a strong tendency to locate high culture events on the other side of the Vistula. This edition of the 'Warsaw Autumn' had several foci: emphasis on Polish-German cultural links, Witold Lutosławski's complete symphonies (performed to mark the composer's 10th death anniversary), and the last link in the operatic cycle The Land of Ulro after William Blake - which revisits problems of spirituality in contemporary culture, as well as the universal questions of time and space; and, finally improvisations.

There were only three symphonic concerts (!) The inaugural one featured the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leif Segerstam with the intriguing Tranquil Abiding by Jonathan Harvey and the Concerto for Orchestra: Yio a piece catering to popular tastes, by Tan Dun, a Chinese composer and conductor extremely active in a number of fields, including that of lm music. Sinfonia Varsovia with the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir conducted by Renato Rivolta presented the monumental Symphony of Hymns by Rafał Augustyn to texts which summarise the history of literature from Pindar to Dylan omas. In the finale - a marathon of all the four Symphonies of Witold Lutosławski (the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted - alternately - by Gabriel Chmura and Jacek Kaspszyk). The première of the last part of The Land of Ulro, a cycle initiated in 2001. This part, entitled Europa (after William Blake) was composed by Stanisław Krupowicz. The debuts of Maciej Zieliński, Sławomir Kupczak and Ryszard Osada. The Polish-German Youth Ensemble under Rüdiger Bohn brought back to life the classic Kontra-Punkte by Karlheinz Stockhausen; the Studio for New Music from Moscow presented Trio by Galina Ustvolska, Postludia by Faraj Gara oglu Garayev and Echoes of the Passing Day by Vladimir Tarnopolski, The Cikada Quartet played works by such composers as Ivan Fedele and Kaija Saarijaho. The Festival programme also featured the ensembles: Musicatreize from Marseilles, Nordlys from Copenhagen, Kwartludium and ürmchen Ensemble from Mühlheim. A number of fringe events added colour to this edition of the 'Warsaw Autumn'.