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Sacrum Profanum 2023



The Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art - Main Building - II floor


Execution of Intelligence


The starting point of the piano recital by Reinhold Friedl, familiar to Sacrum Profanum’s audiences from his performances solo (prepared piano) and with the zeitkratzer ensemble, is Zbigniew Karkowski’s Execution of Intelligence. It is likely to be the last instrumental composition by this Cracovian composer which is yet to be premiered. Like many of his other works, it was written for a specific performer, in this instance Friedl on amplified piano; however, this time it doesn’t feature accompanying tape with electronic backing. Kraków has resounded with many of Karkowski’s instrumental works in the past, and this time we will hear the world premiere of the score penned almost two decades ago.

The context for this event comes from three works built around just three sounds. Unstern! Sinistre, disastro – a musical vivisection of despair – is Franz Liszt’s last work, composed shortly before his death. It served as inspiration for György Ligeti’s Musica Ricerata II, which reached global acclaim through Stanley Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut. The concert closes with a work by Terre Thaemlitz – composer, musician and queer and trans rights activist. Her simple Ten-Thirty, also based on a triad, has a completely different harmony and brings a sigh of relief from the tension built up earlier.

Franz Liszt – Unstern! Sinistre, disastro (1886) 6’
György Ligeti – Musica Ricercata II. Mesto, rigido e cerimoniale (1951-53) 4’
Zbigniew Karkowski – Execution of Intelligence (2002) 30’ (world premiere)
Terre Thaemlitz – Ten-Thirty (version for Reinhold Friedl) (2020-21) 10’ (world premiere)

Reinhold Friedl – piano