Warsaw Autumn 2006 – XVI

The final concert of this year’s Warsaw Autumn festival was orchestral music at the National Philharmonic Concert Hall. In the end it was sort of a very strange concert and for me a rather anti-climactic way to end the festival. The pieces performed were:

  • Roman Haubenstock-Ramati – Symphonie ‘K’
  • Juraj Beneš – Piano Concerto No. 3
  • Eugeniusz Knapik – Introduction to Mystery

Some notes on the pieces:

Haubenstock-Ramati- incredible writing, very physical sound, string glissandi writing particularly excellent, great sense of timing and form; end felt little flat; would have liked to have heard it in a louder hall as the sound felt muted and wondering if it’s inherent to the writing (frequencies canceling out) or just that our seats weren’t in the best place for acoustics(more likely I think); didn’t have a strong listening experience but recognized there was a lot there and the listening situation sub-optimal; want to listen to this piece again

Beneš-circus of a piece, number of quotations; not serious in tone but not very entertaining either; not really sure what this piece is after and even if it achieved it if it’d do much for anyone; orchestra often covered the piano (partially the performer but I think more so in the writing), was not very interested in the piano part and was more curious about the cimbalon than anything else; did not find the form well shaped; seemed trying to be witty

Knapik- mostly tonal, lots of big chord progressions of full orchestra and choir; seemed to keep on going but without draw to do so; lot of ideas reminded me Stravinsky “Firebird” and Wagner in general; didn’t like text setting for baritone(English sounds strange sung in most cases for me though), could have been performer as he seemed a bit out of tune at times; some parts had Hollywood film-score feel

Not much to say on this concert except I’d like to listen to the Haubenstock-Ramati again (and more of his work in general, it’s been a while since I heard much of his work and even then I didn’t spend enough time with it or learning about him). After so many concerts this week where I felt there was a lot to think about I felt strange to leave a concert pretty unmoved.

Overall though I found the festival a very successful one with a great deal to think about, but will reserve that for another entry when I have a little more time to review and contemplate…

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