Hall: Concert Hall
Organiser: The Polish Composers’ Union
Since 1956 the “Warsaw Autumn” has been a forum for the presentation of many forms and genres, where 20th‑ century classics meet daring avant‑ garde projects; it has been a place of intercultural meetings, dialogues and debates, where new fashions and trends are born. The Festival has never been a monolith. It has evolved, and its many different faces in the successive decades have reflected the changing faces of new music. Following the 60th jubilee edition in 2017 (the first one under the Festival’s new director Jerzy Kornowicz), the 61st one comes in the year of great celebrations of Poland’s independence. Hence the title of this year’s festival – Res Publica. In the programme note we read: “For the centenary of Polish independence, the 61st “Warsaw Autumn” explores the relation between contemporary music and the reality in which it functions, the public cause; contemporary music as a medium of the community and the citizens, as an expression of personal and social identity. The programme of this year’s “Warsaw Autumn” begins with the words of the great Polish statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski – in the text of Augustyn and Duchnowski’s piece opening the Festival – and ends with Louis Andriessen’s De Staat setting texts of Plato’s legendary treatise on state and power – The Republic.”
The audience of the inaugural concert will have a chance to hear fascinating premieres of new works. Andrzej Chłopecki wrote about the early pieces by Aleksander Nowak: “We witness the birth of a new star in the firmament of Polish music. Only Krzysztof Penderecki in the late 1950s / early 60s and Paweł Mykietyn in the early 1990s had such a brilliant start.” Another representative of Nowak’s generation, Michal Nejtek from the Czech Republic, will present his new composition inspired by the writings of Raymond Carver. Bernhard Lang’s (Austria) work for bass clarinet and orchestra dedicated to Miles Davis is part of his cycle DW (Differenz/Wiederholung – difference/repetition) and makes dynamic use of sampling technique to transform loops recorded in real time during performance. Andrew Norman’s piece refers to Billy Pilgrim (‘unstuck in time’), the protagonist of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse‑Five.
Aeksander Nowak’s piece entitled to the words has been co‑financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the “Composing Commissions” programme implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance.