Thomas Bowes / fot. Benjamin Ealovega
Orchestral concerts
The Power of Women
07.03.2020
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Programme:

G. Pstrokońska-Nawratil ICE-LAND
S. Gubajdulina Reflections on B-A-C-H (Christian Danowicz, Magdalena Ziarkowska-Kołacka, Marzena Malinowska, Marcin Misiak)
T. Musgrave Lamenting with Ariadne for Viola and Chamber Ensemble  (solo: Michał Micker)

***
G. Bacewicz Concerto for String Orchestra
K. Saariaho Nocturne for solo Violin (solo: Thomas Bowes)  
E. Alberga Violin Concerto no. 2 „Narcissus” – world premiere (solo: Thomas Bowes)

This project is part of the commemoration of the centennial of the regaining of independence and rebuilding Polish statehood

 

Performers:

Joseph Swensen – conductor
Thomas Bowes – violin
NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra

Venue:
NFM, Red Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Tickets:
from 15 to 50 zł

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.

***

It was 1911 in Copenhagen, Denmark where the 8th of March was formally proclaimed International Women’s Day! The musicians of the Leopoldinum Orchestra and I proudly commemorate this important event with a program of works by 6 of the world’s great composers, all of whom happen to be women! The remarkable works presented here are all born of our modern post-war era. It is nevertheless a great pity that we have so few examples of compositions by women from the times of Bach, Mozart or Wagner. It is simply absurd to me that composing music should have ever been considered inappropriate for a woman.

In my opinion, the very first truly great female composer was Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–1969). I can’t imagine our present world, so full with fascinating, life-changing music written by women if it wasn’t for Bacewicz and her inspiration. The Concerto for String Orchestra (1948), her most often played work is often described as neo-classical. To me, this label is demeaning. It is no mere imitation of an older style. It’s a philosophical ideal, a vision to integrate and harmonize the past with the present. Sofia Gubaidulina wrote Reflections on the theme B-A-C-H in 2002 for the tenth anniversary celebration of America’s wonderful Brentano String Quartet. It is inspired by JS Bach’s monumental work: The Art of the Fugue. Both Grazyna Pstrokonska’s Ice-land (2011) and Kaija Saariaho’s Nocturne (1994) are what I would call Nature Pieces. Inspired by not only the wondrous beauty but also the passionate violence of Mother Nature, depicted in pure sound.

The remaining works on the program turn to ancient Greek Mythology as their source.
Thea Musgrave’s Lamentations of Ariadne (1999) is one of my favorite pieces by a contemporary Scottish composer. The Solo Viola plays the role of the goddess Ariadne in her emotional trials and tribulations with the gods Theseus and Dionysus (Dionysus is unsurprisingly represented by the Trumpet.) Eleanor Alberga’s brand new Violin Concerto #2 (2020), is inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphosis, specifically his story of Narcissus. Eleanor describes the story as ‘extremely relevant to the present day’ and that it is for her ‘a story about karma...inspiring both empathy and abhorrence’. She has chosen to give the role of Narcissus in the tale’s musical telling, to the Violin Soloist who in this case, also happens to be her husband. I have had the infinite pleasure of collaborating with Thomas Bowes and Eleanor Alberga in a multitude of ways for more than a quarter of a century. They have become a genuine source of artistic and personal joy for me and my wife (the Hornist, Victoria Eisen) and we are thrilled that Eleanor’s work has become so widely celebrated, especially in recent years with prestigious commissions from both Covent Garden and The Proms!

Tom and Eleanor have also created a heavenly Chamber Music Festival (in which Vicki, my son Jonathan and I have all participated). It takes place in the bucolic English countryside near their home. and is appropriately named, Arcadia.
All the composers works presented here are either inspired by art works of the past or by Mother Nature herself. This exemplifies something quintessentially feminine to me: a cyclical, inclusive relationship with the passage of time and a profound respect for our planet Earth and its variety of inhabitants.

It seems to me that the world needs its women now more than ever.
Joseph Swensen, February 2020

 

 

Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra
Alfonso Scarano / Kristóf Baráti
01.09
Thu.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
The Spirit of Alphorn
West Side Sinfonietta
25.09
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Solstice. Opening of the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra Season
Ivor Bolton / Wrocławska Orkiestra Barokowa
02.10
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall, reversed stage
Life of a Hero. Opening of the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic Season
Julian Rachlin / Giancarlo Guerrero
07.10
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko / Simon Trpčeski
09.10
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
I Hear the Water Dreaming
Tan Dun / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
14.10
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Concertino. Opening of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra Season
Daniel Hope / Waldemar Żarów
15.10
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Karol Mossakowski and the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
Giancarlo Guerrero
21.10
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Roads to Classicism
Andrzej Kosendiak / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
29.10
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Bach Collegium Japan
Wrocław Baroque Orchestra / NFM Choir
30.10
Sun.
5:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Martha Argerich and Theodosia Ntokou
Jacek Kaspszyk / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
02.11
Wed.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Faithful Journey
Jacek Kaspszyk / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
11.11
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Eroica
Radek Baborák / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
12.11
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Prize Winners of th 16th International Wieniawski Violin Competition
Marek Wroniszewski / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
25.11
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Sorcerer's Apprentice
Mari Fukumoto / Pascal Rophé / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
02.12
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Poème
Tedi Papavrami / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
03.12
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Summer Charm
Marta Gardolińska / Agnieszka Rehlis / NFM Filharmonia Wrocławska
09.12
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Death and the Maiden
Joseph Swensen / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
10.12
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Celestial Bodies
Gidon Kremer / Giancarlo Guerrero
16.12
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Dreaming Jupiter
Vittorio Ghielmi / Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra
18.12
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Jazz Christmas
Dorota Miśkiewicz / West Side Sinfonietta
23.12
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
New Year's Eve with Raz, Dwa, Trzy
RAZ DWA TRZY / Wrocław Philharmonic
30.12
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
New Year's Eve with Raz, Dwa, Trzy
RAZ DWA TRZY / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
31.12
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Christmas Oratorio
Wrocław Baroque Orchestra
07.01
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Tromba Veneziana
Gabor Boldoczki / Wrocław Baroque Orchestra
15.01
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall, reversed stage
Tristan & Isolde
Keri-Lynn Wilson / Nicolas Altstaedt
20.01
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Great Fugue
Roman Rabinovich & NFM Leopoldium Orchestra
21.01
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Only Music. A concert of the Witold Lutosławski World Days
Giancarlo Guerrero / Garrick Ohlsson
27.01
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Partita. A concert of the Witold Lutosławski World Days
Richard Tognetti / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
28.01
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Livre pour orchestre. A concert of the Witold Lutosławski World Days
Richard Tognetti / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
03.02
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Three-Cornered Hat
Karel Mark Chichon / José María Gallardo del Rey
10.02
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Never Ending Transience
Francesco Bottigliero / Alessanro Deljavan
11.02
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Wrocław Music
Wrocław Baroque Ensemble
12.02
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Gems of Love
West Side Sinfonietta
14.02
Tue.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
A Romantic Symphony
Giancarlo Guerrero / Lutosławski Quartet
17.02
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Romeo and Juliet
François Leleux & NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
24.02
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Violoncelles, vibrez!
Jonathan Swensen / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
25.02
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall, reversed stage
Romanian Dances
Lawrence Foster / Alexandra Conunova
03.03
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Con molti stromenti
Wrocław Baroque Orchestra
04.03
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall, reversed stage
Organ & Strings
Mari Fukumoto / NFM Leopodlinum Orchestra
12.03
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
The Seven Gates of Jerusalem
Iwona Hossa / Maciej Tworek / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
17.03
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
The Oceanides
Dima Slobodeniouk / Joanna Freszel
24.03
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Goldberg Variations
Alexander Sitkovetsky / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
25.03
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Basque National Orchestra
Robert Trevino
29.03
Wed.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Messa da Requiem
Giancarlo Guerrero / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
31.03
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
St John Passion
Martin Lehmann / Wrocławska Orkiestra Barokowa
04.04
Tue.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Ad absurdum
Sergei Nakariakov / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
16.04
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
International Classical Music Awards Gala
Giancarlo Guerrero / NFM Filharmonia Wrocławska
21.04
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Marcin Masecki & NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
 
28.04
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Como el sol e la mar
Łukasz Długosz / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
29.04
Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
American Dream
Natalia Rubiś / Matthew Cossack / West Side Sinfonietta
03.05
Wed.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Studies on Classics
Thomas Dausgaard / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
12.05
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
A London Symphony
Paul McCreesh / Ning Feng / NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
26.05
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Adam Václav Michna of Otradovice
Wrocław Baroque Ensemble
28.05
Sun.
6:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall, reversed stage
Mikromusic & NFM Wrocław Philharmonic
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02.06
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Enigma
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09.06
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
The Advent of New Music
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16.06
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Trilogy. Closing of the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra and NFM Choir Season
Joseph Swensen / NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra
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Sat.
6:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Closing of the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra Season
Jérémie Rhorer / Wrocław Baroque Orchestra
23.06
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall

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