A significant part of Ludomir Różycki’s output was burnt in his apartment during the Warsaw Uprising. After 1945, the composer took on to reconstructing the destroyed scores and as the result, his Casanova opera and the symphonic poem Pieta “On Smouldering Ruins of Warsaw” (written in 1942–1944) as well as other pieces were saved from oblivion.
Tigran Mansurian, celebrating his 80th birthday in 2019, is one of the most prominent Armenian composers of the second half of the 20th century. His music reflects the thousand-year-long Armenian cultural heritage and builds bridges between old religious chants and new sonic systems and musical forms. Toned-down in terms of expressive devices, it is still quite evocative, communicative and full of expression.
Cello Concerto No. 4 from 2010 commemorates the genocide of Armenians during the First World War – hence its symbolic title. Mansurian gave the piece a mournful character, and indicated its individual movements as: Kyrie eleison, Dies irae and Lacrimosa.
Wagner tubas were used in symphonic music for the first time by Anton Bruckner in his Symphony No. 7. The sound of this instrument, devised for the purpose of Der Ring des Nibelungen, combines the rounded sound of a French horn and the dignified character of a trombone, while in terms of construction and playing technique, it is a hybrid of a horn and a tuba. Wagner tubas intone the main theme of the second movement of the Symphony, which sprang to Bruckner’s mind when he heard the news about the death of Richard Wagner. Contrary to his earlier symphonies, the Seventh quickly gained recognition of the audience and until today, together with the Fourth, is one of the most frequently performed and recorded works of Brucker.
When Berlin radio announced the death of Adolf Hitler on 1 May 1945, the recording of Adagio under the direction of Wilhelm Furtwängler served as a musical setting for this historic moment.