The Palace on the Isle in the Royal Łazienki Museum in Warsaw
Poetry for children has a special charm – it is full of magic, colors, incredible stories, and surprising solutions. It’s an enticing material for composers who recreate original images enchanted in poems with the use of sound. In the case of the song cycles of Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutosławski, taking up themes suitable for children does not interfere with the shaping of sophisticated musical solutions, and the artistic craftsmanship of these works ensures they remain a staple in the repertoire of the most outstanding singers.
From the book Children’s Rhymes containing forty-nine poems, which – as was Iłłakowiczówna’s intention – “a child could write, and which a poet has the right to write”, Szymanowski selected and arranged twenty texts. Just as the poet looked at the world through the eyes of Krysia and Lalka, who showed the reader what was closest to their hearts, Szymanowski also illustrated the experiences of the little heroines with the help of melodies – sometimes humorous, sometimes full of reflection.
Children’s themes were also close to Lutosławski, the author of several dozen songs in this trend. One can see their diversity in the two series presented during this concert. Intended for the youngest audience members, Children’s songs from 1947 to the words of Julian Tuwim delight with their extraordinary simplicity and natural charm. The pieces from the collection Chantefleurs et chantefables from 1989-1990 to surreal texts by Robert Desnos are also full of humor. However, their level of difficulty and sophisticated melodic and harmonic solutions mean that they are classified as works aimed at adults – both performers and listeners.
Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) – Children’s Rhymes op. 49
text: Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna
1. Przed zaśnięciem
2. Jak się najlepiej opędzać od szerszenia?
6. Ślub królewny
7. Trzmiel i żuk
8. Święta Krystyna
10. Kołysanka Lalek
11. Gil i sroka
13. Wizyta u krowy
14. Kołysanka Krysi
16. Kołysanka Lalki
18. Zły Lejba
19. Kołysanka gniadego konia
20. Nikczemny szpak
Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994) – Six Children’s Songs
text: Julian Tuwim
2. Rok i bieda
4. Idzie Grześ
6. Ptasie plotki
Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994) – Chantefleurs et chantefables
text: Robert Desnos, transcript: Eugeniusz Knapik
1. La Belle-de-Nuit
2. La Sauterelle
3. La Véronique
4. L’Eglantine, l’Aubépine et la Glycine
5. La Tortue
6. La Rose
9. Le Papillon
Duration: approx. 1 h
The seats in the auditorium are not numbered.
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