Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio, Modzelewskiego 59 in Warsaw
Work commissioned by the Polish Royal Opera
The concert will be recorded for the Polish Royal Opera
|Rożnych Stanow piękne grono
Gęstą Smiercią przepleciono
Zyiąc wszystko tańcuiemy
Aże obok Smierc niewiemy
|A gathering of many classes
Interwoven with Death
While alive, we keep dancing
Unaware that Death is near
This inscription in the central part of the painting Taniec śmierci (“The Dance of Death”) is the motto of this famous artwork from the Bernardine Church in Krakow. The oldest Polish baroque depiction of this medieval motif became the inspiration for a new work by Tomasz J. Opałka, one of the most interesting Polish composers of the young generation. The universalism of the topic is reflected in the music – rooted both in the rich musical tradition and the inexhaustible possibilities of contemporary compositional techniques. It is a composition of special importance both for the creator himself as well as the artists and friends of the Polish Royal Opera: it was founded on the initiative of the late Ryszard Peryt, whose life was inextricably linked with art both in its tangible and transcendent dimension until the very end.
Ars Moriendi. Requiem Giocoso is an opera about death built on three planes: “symbolic-anthropological”, a ludic vision of death, deeply rooted in Polish and European culture; The “ontological” poetic layer, dealing in a philosophical way with departing, loss and the various faces of death, and the “biological” layer devoid of emotions, prompting questions that leave a person feeling a special kind of cognitive anxiety. All three layers have a common denominator – the inevitability of the ultimate end. […]
In terms of music, I have combined contemporary musical language with certain traditional elements. Baroque and folklore inspirations coexist side by side with electronic music and modern orchestral texture. […]
Tomasz J. Opałka
DEATH JOANNA FRESZEL
WOMAN I / QUEEN / PEASANT KATARZYNA KRZYŻANOWSKA
WOMAN II / SENATOR ANNA RADZIEJEWSKA
POPE / CARDINAL RAFAŁ ŻUREK
MAN / BISHOP / BURGHER WITOLD ŻOŁĄDKIEWICZ
EMPEROR / NOBLEMAN PAWEŁ MICHALCZUK
PRINCE / POET MARCIN GADALIŃSKI
NARRATOR KRZYSZTOF ŁAZICKI
PERCUSSION SOLO LESZEK LORENT
THE CHAMBER CHOIR OF THE POLISH ROYAL OPERA
JAKUB SZAFRAŃSKI CHORUS MASTER
RENATA SZCZYPIOR CHAMBER CHOIR MASTER
DAWID RUNTZ MUSICAL DIRECTOR, CONDUCTOR
Duration: 70 min
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