The Women's Day, which falls on March 8, is a great opportunity to take a closer look at the artistic achievements of outstanding women composers active in the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century. The opportunity is even better because these are varied and extremely original works.
The composer Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil, living in Wrocław, is the author of numerous instrumental compositions. They include the ICE-LAND, a work for strings and amplified harp, written in 2011. The inspiration for its creation was the artist's visit to Dettifoss, the powerful Icelandic waterfall that also inspired Ridley Scott. The director decided to film the first scene of his Prometheus at the waterfall.
Sofia Gubaidulina is a Russian composer of Tatar origin. The inspiration to write the Reflection on B-A-C-H in 2002 was for her a four-note title motif representing the author of the Brandenburg Concertos. The Scottish composer Thea Musgrave eagerly reaches back to ancient tradition. This also happens in the moving work Lamenting with Ariadne, in which the title heroine is symbolized by a musical theme performed by a solo viola. The protagonist's sorrow and anger over the sudden departure of Theseus cannot be soothed by her friends. The change of tempo and mood occurs only when the procession of Dionysus, represented by the sound of the trumpet, appears. Even Ariadne is carried away, and the culmination of the work is the ecstatic duo of two solo instruments.
Grażyna Bacewicz's work belongs to the Neoclassical current. The Concerto for String Orchestra was created in 1948. This is a concise, three-movement piece in which the expressive, lively rhythm comes to the fore, pointing also to folk as a source of inspiration. The Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho was born and educated in Helsinki, but she was greatly influenced by French representatives of spectral music. Her Nocturne is a short, expressive composition dedicated to the memory of Witold Lutosławski. Saariaho used the threads from this work in the Graal Théâtre violin concerto written at the same time. Eleanor Alberga was born in Jamaica. For a long time, she has been known mainly as a pianist, but later decided that she wanted to devote herself entirely to composing. One of the composer's most valued works is the Violin Concerto, completed in 2001. The Wrocław audience will have the honour to take part in the premiere of Alberga’s Violin Concerto No. 2.