Andrzej Kosendiak has earned an enviable reputation as one of the most active and committed organizers of musical life in Poland. He graduated from the Department of Composition, Conducting and Music Theory of Wrocław Music Academy. In 2013 he obtained the academic degree of doctor habilitatus. For many years he taught at his Alma Mater, where from 2001 to 2009 he was head of the Cross-Department Early Music Studies program. Since 2014 he has been Professor at the S. Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk. In 2005 he became Director of the Wrocław Philharmonic and the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans.
Early music is of particular interest to Mr Kosendiak and in 1985 he founded the Collegio di Musica Sacra and has continued to direct the ensemble to date. The group has performed throughout Europe and in the United States, where they collaborated with Chapel Hill University in North Carolina. They have also appeared at the most prestigious festivals and concert venues in Poland. His catalogue of recordings includes previously obscure works taken from the Wrocław University Library – Musica da chiesa (DUX), and from the Strasbourg Library - F. X Richter: 'Missa Pastorale', Dixit, Magnificat (CYPRES) as well as A. M. Bononcini’s Stabat Mater (DUX). In 2012 and 2014 he released two discs with works by G. G. Gorczycki (CD Accord) which he directed. The first disc was awarded the Wrocław Music Prize and was nominated for Fryderyk Award. As a conductor, he performs regularly with the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic and NFM Choir, as well as the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra and other philharmonic ensembles across Poland. In recent years he has conducted Haydn’s The Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Requiem, Bach’s Mass in B flat minor and both Passions, which have become an annual performance tradition in Wrocław during the Holy Week, as well as Fauré’s Requiem, and Britten’s Saint Nicolas.
Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Seventh Symphony in 1811 and 1812. The work was premiered on December 8, 1813, at a benefit program for Austrian and allied veterans of the wars against Napoleon. It was one of Beethoven's most successful concerts and the piece was presented three more times in the 10 weeks following the first performance. In fact, the audience attending the premiere demanded that the second movement be repeated. The Viennese audience was miserable after Napoleon's 1805 and 1809 occupations of Vienna and hoped for a victory over him. The symphony's energy and beauty contribute to its celebratory mood and Beethoven dedicated it to both Count Moritz von Fries and Russian Empress Elisabeth Aleksiev. The piece’s dance elements, vitality, and sense of celebration are conveyed principally through rhythm resulting the general sense of forward movement. Antony Hopkins wrote, in The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven, “The Seventh Symphony, perhaps more than any of the others, gives us a feeling of true spontaneity—the notes seem to fly off the page as we are born along on a floodtide of inspired invention. Beethoven spoke of it fondly as “one of my best works…”
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was born in Hamburg on February 3, 1809, and died November 4, 1847, in Leipzig. He was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor. His music reflects a fundamental tension between Classicism and Romanticism in the generation of German composers after Beethoven. Felix was still young when his parents converted from Judaism to Christianity and changed the family name to Bartholdy in order to assimilate into German society. Felix went by Mendelssohn Bartholdy for the rest of his life, but he privately resented the change.
Mendelssohn completed his Fourth Symphony on March 13, 1833, and the he conducted the premiere two months later, on May 13, 1833. The piece was commissioned by the Philharmonic Society of London. In October of 1830, Mendelssohn had travelled to Italy on a trip that lasted ten months and included Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Genoa, and Milan. During his visit, he attended the coronation of Pope Pius VIII and was present for the Roman festivities during Holy Week. Oddly enough, it is not until the final movement of the Fourth Symphony that there is anything acutely Italian about it. Instead, the aim of the work is to capture the composer's impressions of Italy, which he also recorded in a series of watercolours and sketches. Its composition includes elements intended to describe and create such visions as the Mediterranean sunshine, religious solemnity, monumental art and architecture, and the sweeping countryside.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator