Oratorio Music Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

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Oratorio Music Concert
Ingrida Gápová, photo: Aciuro Studio

George Frideric Handel spent his whole life experimenting with various genres. Just when it seemed that a decline of interest in his operas would force the Saxonian into an early retirement, he enjoyed a resurgence in a genre that he reformed – nowadays known as the English oratorio. Here Handel relied on what the British have been famed for to this day – excellent choirs, some with a tradition stretching back for hundreds of years. In few of his works does the choral part play such an important role in terms of drama and illustration as in Israel in Egypt. Suffice it to mention that there are just a handful of numbers with solo parts here. Among the most attractive moments in this work are the grotesque, thrilling and at times utterly shocking musical tableaux of the famous Egyptian plagues. Hopping frogs are depicted by means of playful dotted rhythms. The intolerable buzzing of flies is imitated by rapid violin passages. The plague of hail begins with the gentle ‘precipitation’ of single notes, passing into an increasingly fast and elemental storm, full of ‘atmospheric discharges’ in the kettle drums. That violence abates for a while thanks to a fantastically depicted darkness – so dense that it was ‘palpable’, as specified in the libretto. The grand and shocking finale to the series of plagues is the extermination of the first-born sons, where a dramatic fugue resounds against chords that pulsate like fatal blows.

Bartłomiej Gembicki


Maciej Falkiewicz

A graduate of the solo singing class of Cezary Szyfman and Aleksander Teliga on the Instrumental- Pedagogic Faculty of Musical Education and Vocal Studies of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw (UMFC, Białystok site) and of Postgraduate Song Studies (UMFC, Warsaw). He honed his vocal skills on courses given by Olga Pasichnyk, Romuald Tesarowicz, Marcello Lippi, Jadwiga Rappé, Ryszard Karczykowski, Ewa Iżykowska, Marek Rzepka, Kai Wessel, Bogdan Makal and Bruna Baglioni.

He has performed solo parts in a marionette version of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Coffee Cantata (Białystok Puppet Theatre), Moliere’s Tartuffe (working with the Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy) and the show Bezbrzeża / Küstenlos (with Grupa Coincidentia). In the 2018/2019 season, he made his debut at the Warsaw Chamber Opera as Bombalo in Stanisław Moniuszko’s comedy opera A Night in the Apennines. He has also sung in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne, Stanisław Moniuszko’s farce The New Don Quixote, or a hundred follies and Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor at the 37th Festival Internazionale di Mezza Estate in Italy and the Mediterranean Festival of the Municipality of Kallithea in Athens. In May this year he sang the role of Doctor Malatesta in Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.

He is a prize-winner of numerous vocal competitions, including the Tournament of Polish Music Academies in Ciechocinek (second place, 2019), the 1st ‘Dirigere e cantare’ Vocal Competition for Conductors in Katowice (first place, 2018), the 19th International ‘Iuventus Canti’ Vocal Competition in Vráble (second place, 2017), the 1st ‘Bella Voce’ Vocal Competition in Busko Zdrój (first place, 2017), the 2nd Krystyna Jamroz Vocal Competition in Busko Zdrój (third place, 2016) and the 13th ‘Aria and Evening Song’ Moniuszko Competition in Białystok (second place and the UMFC Rector’s Cup, 2015).