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

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Łukasz Kocur

A graduate of the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań (Vocal and Drama Department), Łukasz Kocur was awarded a scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for outstanding artistic achievements as well as a Wojciech Drabowicz Scholarship for the best student in the Vocal and Drama Department at his alma mater. He also won First Prize in the Imrich Godin International Vocal Competition in Vráble, Slovakia.

Since 2014, the artist has been associated with the Musical Theatre in Poznań, where he has regularly appeared in such productions as Sister Act, Fiddler on the Roof, Footloose, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure, Pippin, The Addams Family, and Koziołek Matołek i zagadka ratuszowej wieży as well as in other shows as a member of the vocal ensemble. He has also taken part in the premiere performances of Jesus Christ Superstar and Dookoła karuzeli, czyli dziecko potrafi, and in many concerts, such as: Z Broadwayu do Hollywood, Wigilijna Tytka, Śpiewanki Wielkopolskie, and Face to Face.

He has performed at both home and abroad. His repertoire encompasses opera, cantata-oratorio, operetta, and musical theatre works as well as Romantic Lieder. He has been invited to perform at numerous musical festivals, including the Neofonia, the Opera Know-How, the Musica Sacromontana, and the Belcanto Opera Festival Rossini in Wildbad. He has completed numerous master classes led by Eva Blahova, Matjažs Robavs, Wojciech Maciejowski, and Adam Kruszewski among others.

He is a member of the Partes Orthodox Chant Chamber Ensemble, and since 2021 – also of the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir.

 

[2022]