On 17 December, pieces of Bartók, Dvorak, Zeljenka, Kilar and Chopin will be performed by the AUKSO orchestra, conducted by Marek Moś, and by pianist Aleksandra Świgut in the Žofín Palace in Prague under the patronage of Eufonie.


Béla Bartók Romanian Folk Dances for String Orchestra Sz.68

Antonin Dvořak – Waltz from Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22

Ilja ZeljenkaMusica Slovaca

Wojciech KilarOrawa


Fryderyk Chopin Piano Concerto in E minor

The project is co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage under the Inspirational Culture programme.

The specific, upland-mountainous location of the Visegrad Group countries around the Carpathians contributed to the fact that many artists took inspiration from the music of the inhabitants of mountain regions. That field is represented by, e.g. Wojciech Kilar and Ilja Zeljenka, born in 1932. In the composition Orawa, the narrative unfolds organically from an initial, repeated motif. The music gradually rises up like the river flowing through the region on the border of Poland and Slovakia from which the piece took its title. Everything is directed at an expressive climax, sealed with a collective exclamation “Hej!” In turn, the Musica Slovaca by Zeljenka is slightly less violent; it is an arrangement of melodies drawn from native folklore in the form of a concise suite. It enchants us with its rhythmic feistiness, contradicted by the song of a solo violin.

It can be assumed that one of the sources of inspiration of the Slovak could have been the oeuvre of Béla Bartók – one of the greatest composers of the previous century as well as an ethnographer and researcher of folk music of Hungary and neighbouring countries, who initiated a new approach to traditional art. Romanian Folk Dances, a six-movement composition from 1915, are conceived as a continuous acceleration until the daring end.

20th-century music will be complemented by romantic works. The Waltz from Serenade for Strings, Op. 22 by Dvořák retains the character of that dance, yet the thoughtful melodies, especially in the middle trio, reveal the composer’s Slavic origin. Written in 1875 as a result of the composer being appreciated in the Viennese circle, among others by Johannes Brahms, theSerenade is still one of his most popular works.

The Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11, which culminates the evening, allowed the genius of young Chopin to shine in all its glory. It skilfully combines the virtuosity of the early romantic brilliant style with effusive cantilena. The breakneck passages are not simply a play – they are subordinated to expression, which is manifested by, for example, folk enthusiasm in the final krakowiak.

The concert is implemented by the National Centre for Culture Poland.

[Bartosz Witkowski]

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