Anniversary of Baptism of Poland marked abroad
PR dla Zagranicy
A concert by the London Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall featuring “Stabat Mater” by Polish composer Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) on Saturday was the first event abroad marking the 1,050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland and of Polish statehood.
Piotr Gliński. Photo: Piotr Drabik (CC BY 2.0)
The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Gliński who, in his remarks during a pre-concert ceremony, referred to Christianity as a set of values which constitutes the most characteristic strand of Polish and European culture.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, one of the foremost promoters of Szymanowski’s music. Interviewed by Polish Radio, he said: “Stabat Mater is ageless. Szymanowski’s idiom is as adventurous as that of the avant-garde of his time, if only to mention Bartok.
“But at the same time listening to Szymanowski’s music, particularly ‘Stabat Mater’, one is not sure if it’s a piece dating from the 16th century, the early 20th century or a work written in our times.“
The solo parts were sung by Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano) and Polish singers Elżbieta Szmytka (soprano) and Andrzej Dobber (baritone).
The concert was jointly organized by the Warsaw-based Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of its Polska Music programme.
As part of the UK celebrations of the Baptism of Poland, the Polish Cultural Institute in London and the Polish Embassy in London will promote Polish sacred music. Planned events include a concert by acclaimed choir The Sixteen. (mk/pk)
This is an updated version of the original article, correcting information about the organisers of the concert by The Sixteen.