The names of Górecki and Penderecki are ones indispensable in thinking about cultural heritage. The festival dedicated to these composers is a tribute to be paid on their 85th birth anniversary by NOSPR and its guests. During the festival, spanning the period between the joyful dates of the composers’ births, we will witness the creative odyssey of the gods’ chosen ones. This odyssey has seen moments of brilliance and moments of shadow, critics’ awe and dislike, years of wandering winding paths to find one’s own musical identity, and finally – finding this identity and taking to the high seas in full sail.
Although the personalities and sonic worlds of Górecki and Penderecki are so different, there is a bond of brothers in spirit between their lives and works. After all, they were both angry young men presenting an uncompromising challenge to music and together they became the most important composers of Polish 20th-century avant-garde. It was also at a similar time that they turned away from that direction in order to return to “paradise lost”: patterns and inspirations drawn from the inexhaustible richness of tradition and Sacrum.
Eventually, Górecki chose the path of reducing the matter of music to the benefit of the essence of its meaning, while Penderecki turned towards a “new romanticism”. What strength of character and spirit, combined with artistic confidence, does one need to swim against the tide of contemporary tendencies in composition and political limitations! Further, what genius is needed to sing the songs of the past with a new language, ahead of its times...
The composers’ works span almost all types of compositions. The ones selected for performance during the fourteen days of the festival will range from choral songs, through chamber pieces, to great symphonic forms. We will also present works by the masters’ masters-teachers, who nurtured the development of their extraordinary talents (Szabelski, Malawski, Wiechowicz), as well as by those for whom Górecki and Penderecki became indispensable guides among the constellations of the artistic universe (Knapik, Krzanowski, Wnuk-Nazarowa, Nepelski).
To paraphrase Krzysztof Penderecki: whether we term their works traditional or avant-garde, they will be, no doubt, authentic. For fidelity to oneself and artistic truth are the factors which constitute the mysterious irresistible power compelling us to follow Górecki’s and Penderecki’s music