One of the most important Ukrainian composers, Borys Lyatoshynsky, wrote his symphonic poem Grazhyna exactly on the centenary of the death of the Polish bard Adam Mickiewicz. Lyatoshynsky helped to develop modern Ukrainian music, creating his own composition school. Grazhyna is a programme work deeply rooted – like all his music – in the national tradition.
Henri Dutilleux’s Métaboles for orchestra was first performed in 1965. Dutilleux, a long-time friend of Witold Lutosławski, dedicated this work to George Szell, head of the famous Cleveland Orchestra, on its 40th anniversary.
Olga Pasichnyk and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra under Vincent Kozlovsky will be presenting another French work: Chants d’Auvergne (‘Songs from Auvergne’), written during the 1920s by the composer and music ethnographer Joseph Canteloube. These songs from the Auvergne region collected together and arranged for voice and orchestra display charming melodic beauty and are deservedly popular.
Till Eulenspiegel – a wandering jester and plebeian scoffer from German mediaeval folk tales – became the hero of one of Richard Strauss’s grand poems. This is the only decidedly comical work in his symphonic output, boasting dazzling orchestral colours and bold musical narrative.