The organ evening features Andrzej Chorosiński, Elżbieta Karolak and Józef Serafin. They will present a varied programme, which, in addition to the works by well-known composers, will include pieces by less recognized authors.
During the performance of Andrzej Chorosiński, we will listen to Jan Podbielski's Prelude, a composer who was active in north-eastern Mazovia in the 17th century. We have hardly any information about him. His work was included in the Warsaw Organ Tablature, created around 1660, and was the only work by this composer in this collection. During the Second World War the entire Tablature was burned down, but fortunately some copies survived. An equally mysterious figure was Mikołaj of Kraków, probably active in the first half of the 16th century. About forty of his compositions, signed with the initials N.C., have survived. And two of them will be played during this concert. The output of Johann Sebastian Bach is represented in the programme by the melancholic Adagio in C major. At the end of his part of the recital, Andrzej Chorosiński will perform an organ version of the tone poem Moldau by Bedřich Smetana. It is part of the Ma Vlast series, and the work’s main theme is associated with the river flowing through the Czech capital. The main theme melody was not Smetana’s invention – it is a 16th-century piece written in Italy, attributed to Giuseppe Cenci, known under various titles: La Mantovana, Il ballo di Mantova or Fuggi, fuggi, fuggi da questo cielo.
Elżbieta Karolak will perform the monumental Fantasia in A major by César Franck and the Tema e variazioni in si minore by Oreste Ravenello. Both artists were highly valued organists. Franck was employed at the Basilica of St. Clotilde in Paris, while Ravenello worked in the Venetian Basilica of St. Mark. Józef Serafin will be the last to present his recital, choosing two compositions from the very rich oeuvre of the 20th-century Polish composer Marian Sawa: The Matins and Finale from one of Sawa’s sonatas for organ. We will also hear pieces by Jehan Alain: the Deuxième fantaisie JA 117 and the Postlude pour lʼoffice des Complies JA 29. The wonderfully developing career of this composer and organist lasted only eleven years. After the outbreak of World War II, he was recruited into the army and died during the Battle of Saumur. Before his death, he shot dead sixteen German soldiers, for which he was honoured by his countrymen with a Croix de Guerre (War Cross). As a composer, Alain was inspired by both Impressionist works by Debussy and the music of the Far East and jazz.