From left: Michał Pepol, Marek Czech, Izabella Szałaj-Zimak, Elwira Przybyłowska, photo. Łukasz Pepol.
The works of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski is revived in Spain at two major venues in the capital
Royal String Quartet performs a repertoire of works by Szymanowski and Debussy at the Madrid Teatros del Canal and the Royal High Conservatory of Music.
Between1903-1905 Karol Szymanowski was based in Berlin. It was here that he met Richard Strauss, by whom he was very much inspired and it was under Strauss's influence that Szymanowski composed his first symphonies. In 1914, whilst traveliung across Europe, he became fascinated by impressionism, especially the music of Claude Debussy- which also came to influence his work. He would also later write of the "new sounds" which he heard in Paris.
The Madrid programme incorporates two Szymanowski quartets and a piece by Debussy in order to highlight this influence. The concert also aims to show the varied influences that Szymanowski had from people such as Paweła Kochański and subcultures such as the Polish Highlander folk traditions as well as the composer's opennness to new musical forms and styles.
Royal String Quartet has gained a reputation as one of the most dymanic young string quartets in the world. They have won numerous awards. A review in "The Strad" magazine included the following comment: "I most clearly remember the Polish Royal Quartet whose playing is characterised by musical intelligence and fiennese". The Daily Telegraph also mentions: "Their concert was proof of the unique versatility of this talented quartet..." In April 2007 the Royal String Quartet found itself among the three finalist quartets nominated for the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Societu award. They have released six albums to date. In January 2009 the group's first international album was released, which featured two Szymanowski quartets as well as the relatively unknown Ludomir Różycki quartet. The album gained positive reviews in BBC Music Magazine (it was record of the month in February 2009), as well as The Strad, Gramophone and Le Monde de la Musique. The quartet's most recently released album also featured the compositions of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. It gained rave reviews in the Polish press (Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik, Neewsweek), as well as in important world press periodicals, such as: Gramophone (Editor's Choice), BBC Music Magazine (5 stars), Diapason (5 stars), and The Strad.
The Royal String Quartet performance is part of a series of concerts dedicated to the music of Karol Szymanowski, during which the Sinfonia Varsovia as well as the Madrid ORCAM orchestra also perform.
Karol Szymanowski- I String Quartet C-major, Op. 37
Claude Debussy- String Quartet g-moll, Op. 10
Karol Szymanowski- II String Quartet, Op. 56
Date: 2-4th of December, 2011
Venue: Real Conservatorio Superior de Música (2nd of December) / Teatros del Canal (4th of December)
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute