Oratorio Music Concert Filharmonia Narodowa

Go to content
Oratorio Music Concert
Andrzej Boreyko, photo: Michał Zagórny

Antonín Dvořák set about composing his Stabat Mater following the crushing death of his daughter, in 1875. He resumed work in the autumn of 1877, when cruel fate had again deprived him of two more children. The composer created what is perhaps the most elaborate setting of this Marian hymn in the whole musical literature. He forged its monumental character through the highly emphatic repeats of textual phrases and slow ‘cortège’ tempi that dominate the work. This is an extremely focussed, contemplative and tender composition. The impression of homogeneity is not diminished by the fact that the composer employs a great variety of means. He shows himself to be a splendid symphonist: the orchestral part in this oratorio is particularly important and masterfully treated. The twenty strophes were set in the form of ten (unsymmetrical) sections with solo and ensemble parts, combined in various ways with choral passages. This work was first performed on 23 December 1880 in Prague (cond. Adolf Čech), and two years later a performance in Brno was led by a young Leoš Janáček. Particularly successful proved to be performances of Stabat Mater at the Royal Albert Hall in London (Dvořák’s highly successful debut as a conductor abroad) and in Birmingham in 1884.

Piotr Maculewicz


Rafał Siwek

The artist appears regularly at prestigious opera theatres, including the Teatro alla Scala in Milan (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo), Opéra Bastille in Paris (Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin, Verdi’s La forca del destino, Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor), Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich (Verdi’s Nabucco, Aida, Luisa Miller, Don Carlo, and Rigoletto, Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Wagner’s Siegfried, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni), Opernhaus Zürich (Don Carlo, Aida, Don Giovanni), Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin (Don Carlo, Aida), Deutsche Oper in Berlin (Don Giovanni), Staatsoper Hamburg (Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor), Semperoper Dresden (Antonín Dvořá k’s Rusalka), Teatro Real in Madrid, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, Arena di Verona, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Aida, Tristan und Isolde), Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, The Maid of Pskov by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Prince Igor), Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg (Prince Igor), La Monnaie in Brussels (I masnadieri by Verdi, Don Giovanni), Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Regio in Torino (Don Carlo), Teatro Comunale in Bologna (Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta), Teatro Regio in Parma (Simon Boccanegra, Luisa Miller), Teatro Massimo in Palermo (Simon Boccanegra), Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, New National Theatre in Tokio (Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer), as well as at concert venues: Philharmonie de Paris (Verdi Gala with Plácido Domingo), Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (The Maid of Orleans by Tchaikovsky, Simon Boccanegra), Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (Verdi’s Requiem), Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv (Don Carlo) and Bunka Kaikan in Tokio (Die Zauberflöte, Turandot).

The artist has sung under the baton of such eminent conductors as Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Fabio Luisi, Kent Nagano, Alberto Zedda, Roberto Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Daniel Oren, Kirill Petrenko, and Marco Armiliato, and has performed in the productions of outstanding directors, including Franco Zeffirelli, Pierluigi Pier’Alli, Willy Decker, Jonathan Miller, David McVicar, Hugo de Ana, and Adrian Noble.

Rafał Siwek has recorded Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Zubin Mehta (TDK), and under the direction of Lorin Maazel (Medici Arts) as well as Puccini’s Edgar, together with Plácido Domingo (Deutsche Grammophon), Luisa Miller (Unitel), Norma (Hardy Classic), Nabucco and Don Giovanni (BelAir classiques), and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Lorin Maazel (Kultur).

He has been honoured with the Gloria Artis Bronze Medal for Merit to Culture and twice – in 2014 and 2015 – the Jan Kiepura Music Theatre Award for Best Singer.