Songs of the Valley of Josaphat

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  • Saturday, October 7, 2017, 7:00 PM

Welcome to the world of the imagination of a rather different artist; one who has his own, distinctive style exhibiting the freedom and courage to combine songs with high culture and sacred concepts with everyday ideas.

Composer of songs, theatre music, film soundtracks, monumental oratorios and cantatas, pianist, vocalist, cofounder of the Anawa ensemble, one of the artists from the Piwnica pod Baranami cabaret, architect by education, painter specialising in the gel-art technique of his own design, and Honorary Shepherd of Podhale: Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz celebrates his 75th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his work this year. 

To commemorate the occasion, the artist is joined by the Krakow Festival Office in hosting an anniversary concert at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre, presenting his oratorio Songs of the Valley of Josaphat. “I wrote the libretto myself,” says the composer, continuing, “but my input was rather small, since the main contributor was Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy.” We will hear soloists Iwona Socha and Elżbieta Towarnicka (sopranos), Magdalena Idzik (mezzo-soprano), Aleksander Kruczek (tenor) and Kamil Zdebel (baritone), accompanied by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and a hundred-strong choir led by Wiesław Delimat, with Ewa Strusińska conducting the performance.

Although the work touches on important issues (according to Christian dogma, the Valley of Josaphat is where humankind will gather to await Judgement Day), the composer describes it with his usual distance: “Songs of the Valley of Josaphat is a concert of songs whose premiere was originally intended to be held much, much later. I am talking about the time which will come after the Last Judgement (as is written in Scripture), so a time in a distant and unknown future. But my natural impatience has made me decide to premiere the work rather earlier, on 7 October at ICE Kraków. Welcome!” (Barbara Skowrońska)

 

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