• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland


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  • 14 August 2017

    Warsaw is the city of Chopin: it is here that his phenomenal talent matured; it is here that his aesthetic tastes and predilections were formed. He went out into the world – to Vienna and then to Paris – as a mature (though still very young) artist. While he did remain under the influence of such masters as Bach and Mozart, he himself was soon to become a source of inspiration.

    The Fryderyk Chopin Institute’s August festival looks at Chopin’s œuvre via the masterpieces of other artists, especially those upon whom he drew. It also refers to times contemporary to the brilliant composer, presenting – among other things – the œuvre of Chopin’s close circle of friends: Polish composers for whom the memory of posterity has turned out to be less gracious, but who left behind works of great value, such as Dobrzyński, Nowakowski, Lessel and Krogulski, as well as those with whom he co-created the music world of Europe in the first half of the 19th century, and those who clearly remained under his influence. A special place in the program of each festival is also occupied by the œuvre of Polish 20th- and 21st-century composers: Karol Szymanowski, Witold Lutosławski, Andrzej Panufnik, Paweł Szymański.


    A particularly valuable part of Chopin and His Europe is the evocation of the original sound of the pieces, which – performed on period instruments or copies thereof – permit us to familiarize ourselves with the sonic aura of Chopin’s time. Legendary ensembles and soloists specializing in historical performance are regular guests of the Festival, bringing a magical picture of times past closer to us. The pianists play pianos from the collections of the Institute, which has at its disposal a set of instruments from Chopin’s time: famous Pleyels and Erards, a Broadwood and a copy of a Graf piano. And now in the spring of 2018, the collection will be supplemented by an extraordinary acquisition: the first contemporary copy of Chopin’s Warsaw instrument from the manufactory of the then esteemed Fryderyk Buchholtz.


    Chopin and His Europe can boast of a group of musical friends that includes stars of the piano world, distinguished chamber musicians, virtuosi of various instruments, conductors, superb ensembles… among those who have visited Warsaw multiple times at the Institute’s invitation are Martha Argerich, Nelson Freire, Nelson Goerner, Garrick Ohlsson and Kristian Bezuidenhout, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Europa Galante, Collegium 1704, Sinfonia Varsovia.


    The festival is a foundation for the Institute’s continually-expanding collection of CD and DVD releases, which is gaining international recognition.


    13. The Chopin and His Europe International Festival will last until August 30th, 2017. This year’s edition, subtitled ‘Before the Great Jubilee – From Bach to Chopin’, is a peculiar prologue to the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regaining of independence, which will fall in 2018.


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