Friday, October 12, 2018

Jesse Blumberg featured in Polish Independence Day concert in NY

Jesse Blumberg
The Oratorio Society of New York will celebrate Polish Independence with a November 11th concert featuring barihunk Jesse Blumberg, soprano Susanna Phillips and Polish mezzo-soprano Ewa Płonka. The concert will feature Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater and Górecki’s Euntes Ibant et Flebant.

November 11th commemorates the anniversary of the restoration of Poland's sovereignty as the Second Polish Republic in 1918 from the German, Austrian and Russian Empires. Following the partitions in the late 18th century, Poland ceased to exist for 123 years until the end of World War I, when the destruction of the neighbouring powers allowed the country to reemerge.

The concert is part of “100 for 100,” a worldwide musical commemoration of the Polish centenary in conjunction with the Polish Cultural Institute New York, and Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Edition (a music publishing house).

 Górecki’s Euntes Ibant et Flebant:

Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater was written during his late Nationalist period and is characterized by his use of Polish melodies and rhythms. Circumstances in the composer's personal life inspired the work. Upon the death of his niece, Alusia Bartoszewiczówna, in January 1925, the composer spent time consoling his sister in her loss, subsequently choosing to set the Stabat Mater text, with its profound reflection on the grieving mother.

Górecki’s Euntes Ibant et Flebant has text from the Book of Psalms and is written for unaccompanied choir. The composition is extremely interesting from the harmonic point of view, as it constitutes a sublimated synthesis of the major-minor system with the folk music modality. This procedure provides the work with an ''extraterrestrial'', meditative character, emphasized in addition by the strict psalmody appearing more or less in the middle of the piece. 

The concert also includes Vaughan Williams’s Dona nobis pacem, which looks back at recent wars and makes a plea for peace even as a new war threatens.

The concert will be held at Carnegie Hall at 8 p.m. and tickets are available online.

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