Chamber Music Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Chamber Music Concert
Olga Pasiecznik, photo: Andrzej Świetlik

In its hazy beginnings, the cello – unlike the viola da gamba, associated with courtly music, which contrary to appearances was not actually closely related to the cello – would have been used as a simple accompanying bass instrument. It was only when northern Italian luthiers gave it an appearance and sound close to what we know today that the instrument began to gain independence. Yet plenty of time would pass before the cello, by dint of the solemn tone of its low register, came to be known as the ‘most sorrowful of instruments’ or the ‘musical mourner’. Johann Sebastian Bach’s composing of his Six Suites for Solo Cello is regarded as one of the brightest moments in the history of the cello’s emancipation. Although it is generally encountered these days in the company of other instruments (be it in a chamber ensemble or an orchestra), there are also original works and transcriptions for a group (and occasionally an entire orchestra) composed of cellos alone. For example, the fifth suite in Heitor Villa-Lobos’s cycle Bachianas brasileiras, written over a period of 15 years, which represents an attempt to combine the Bach style and Baroque era so highly esteemed by the composer with the traditional culture of Brazil, is scored for soprano and eight cellos. This work will be heard in an exceptional concert prepared by the members of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra’s cello section, with a guest performance by the outstanding singer Olga Pasichnyk.

Bartłomiej Gembicki