The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra not only regularly turns to masterworks of the global musical literature, but also presents many of them to the world for the first time. Almost 70 years ago, one of the most colourful symphonic works of the mid-twentieth century was promoted by the WPO under the baton of Witold Rowicki. Since its first performance in 1954, Witold Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra has regularly returned to the orchestra’s repertoire. Drawing on Mazovian folklore, this work was described by the critics as ‘new, yet at the same time familiar’, and some time later as ‘the artistic pinnacle of what could be offered to Polish music of the first half of the 50s without negating the principles demanded of that music by the regime’.
Antonín Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony in E minor (‘From the New World’), Op. 95 is no doubt one of the best-known musical calling cards of late romanticism, judging by how often it is ‘reproduced’ in our times. The Czech composer forged a moving and passionate impression of his sojourn in the United States – the still New (from the perspective of Europeans at that time) World. Some of the Symphony’s distinctive, catchy themes were inspired by Dvořák’s delight in the traditions of multi-cultural America, in which he sought sources for music of the future.