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Sacrum Profanum 2023



Aula Florianka


Not so early music

A concert of three original artists. They do not follow the beaten path of the popular trends – instead, they keep working on their own styles, often creating songs that reverberate in the music communities. They do not even belong to the same generation, yet they have a lot in common – rebelliousness, courage and the lightness and ease, with which they create, surprise, joke and gain recognition.

Paweł Mykietyn is undoubtedly one of the most important Polish composers alive today. This year he celebrated his 50th birthday – and we want to give a nod to this anniversary during the festival – hence the Polish Radio Choir's programme, featuring his latest composition. The Choral and Canon commissioned by the choir were based on Leyla Daryoush's poem about misplaced hope for a new life and a mother's despair over the loss of her child, written to an earlier melody from the finale of Krzysztof Warlikowski's production of Twelfth Night.

Agata Zubel's Madrigals series refers to the eponymous songs in a perverse and unique way. In her composition, Zubel refers to a historical genre, presenting her own bold interpretation. Her madrigals are deprived of the purely verbal narrative, putting them in opposition to the traditional ones, which featured every day, secular stories. The composer made the decision to focus on the clear and intense emotional punch, which is a feature characteristic of madrigals, and she has done so by means of only vocalizations and other contemporary vocal techniques.

Paweł Szymański's Phylakterion for vocal ensemble and percussion instruments was inspired by a Greek inscription found a few years earlier by Polish archaeologists in a crypt of the Christian kingdom of Makuria in the Middle Nile valley. The music mimics the sounds of the desert and takes us on a journey to the early Christian world. Szymański said: “Knowing that beneath the surface, one can find the invisible world of the past, that it is enough to remove a few layers of soil to discover the old walls and bones, which are far more fragile and which tend to disintegrate upon unearthing, becoming lost forever, mixed with the desert sand – knowing that there is this old reality, which re-emerges from oblivion was very inspiring for me. Traces of thoughts turn out to be much more durable than fragile human bones.” A choral piece, a canon, madrigal and motet – all alluding to archaeology, mystery, history processing, distant inspirations and past eras are yet another thread that binds the programme of the festival together.

Paweł Szymański – ΦΥΛΑΚΤΗΡΙΟΝ (Phylakterion) for vocals and percussion instruments (2011) 32’
Agata Zubel – Madrigals for 5 voices (2015) 10’
Paweł Mykietyn – Choral and canon, lyrics Leyla Daryoush (2020) 12’
Paweł Szymański – In paradisum motet for a male choir (1995) 10’

Polish Radio Choir
Maria Piotrowska-Bogalecka – conductor

Liliana Pociecha
Aleksandra Krzywdzińska
Matylda Staśto-Kotuła
Paweł Fundament
Andrzej Zawisza

Percussion trio:
Adam Bonk
Wojciech Herzyk
Lucjan Krochmalny

Project co-financed by the City of Krakow