Bartłomiej Nizioł does not rest on his laurels. After many successes – the last of which was connected with the Szczecin Philharmonic, because it was here where the recording of the Polish Radio Award winning album with Karłowicz's Concerto A major was made – the time has come for a recital. The violinist returns to the pieces he played during his studies (Ysaÿe’s sonata), and there will also be new compositions performed in a new sound score, i.e. with the accompaniment of world famous guitarist Łukasz Kuropaczewski.
Artists who have been awarded many a time on the mature professional stage often return to works they had practiced at the beginning of their careers. Usually their interpretations are enriched by years of experience, gaining in value like wine. Ysaÿe’s and Paganini's compositions, which are featured in the Wednesday recital program, are well-known to the artist: "I never fought for a high technical level, I did not practice the etudes. I trained caprices, which were also interesting musically. These were Wieniawski’s and Paganini's caprices, as well as Ysaÿe's sonatas." The varied recital program also includes Hispanic songs, which is probably a nod to the accompanying instrument, i.e. a guitar. And so Manuel de Falla’s "Siete canciones populares españolas" is one of the most famous collections of Spanish songs, originally intended for soprano and piano (from 1914). The different parts of this ethnographic series refer to dances from different regions of Spain, such as asturian (north, Asturias), seguidilla (flamenco type, Murcia, south-east) and iota (Aragon, north-east). All dances-songs are, of course, about love and courtship, showing the joyful, serious and tragic side of feeling. "Bachianas brasileiras no. 5” by Heitor Villa-Lobos are also vocals. The series of songs is related to Brazilian music culture and is intended for various constellations of instruments and voices (created between 1930 and 1945). "Bachianas" are an interesting combination of Brazilian folklore with a shade of pop culture, in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Bach inspirations also resonate in the sonata of Ysaÿe, which – as stated by Bartłomiej Nizioł – was so important to his musical development. Belgian artist Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931) once listened to Joseph Szigeti’s performance of Bach’s "Sonata G minor" for violin solo, and this fact inspired the composer to create violin works. In his sonatas he applied the most important 20th century techniques: whole-tone scales, dissonances, quartertones.
The individual sonatas have sub-titles in which we find important figures of 20th-century music.
And so on the notes of Sonata in A major Op. 27, which we will hear in the interpretation of Bartłomiej Nizioł, there is the name of Jacques Thibaud, the French violinist and friend of the composer. In this piece there are a number of quotations from famous works of the past: a fragment of the third "Violin Partita" by Bach and the theme of "Dies Irae" from the mass for the dead, to name but two..
"Sonata in three moods" by Aleksander Nowak is a composition that was conceived from the beginning as a duet for violin and guitar. It was ordered by the Ludwig van Beethoven Association and was due for its premiere in 2015. Aleksander Nowak graduated from the Academy of Music in Katowice in the composition class of Aleksander Lasoń. He is an award-winning creator: in 1999 and 2000 he twice won second prize in the "Crescendo" Competition for Young Composers in Tarnów. In 2001 he was a finalist of the composer competition for a piece for a classical guitar organized at the festival Silesian Guitar Fall in Tychy. One of his most famous works is "Space Opera", which was premiered at Teatr Wielki in Poznań in 2015.
"Duo concertante" by Mario Giuliani is also a song originally designed for violin and guitar. Giuliani was one of the greatest guitar virtuosos in the nineteenth century, but in this concerto, the violin takes the lead (singing, the classic phrase). Niccolò Paganini (though mostly remembered as a violin virtuoso) is also among the great nineteenth-century guitarists. In the third opus of this artist we will find six sonatas destined for guitar and violin. Two of them, in A Major and E minor keys, will be heard during the recital. There is no doubt that this is not an elaborate sonata form, but rather a technique variation that is the backbone for those pieces full of charm and singing.
"Romanian folk dances" by Béla Bartók is an orchestral piece, an effect of the ethnomusicological peregrination of the composer, who said that he was primarily a musical ethnographer, and later a composer. The popularity of these seven dances made us often hear them in different instrumental ensemble (violin and piano, violin and guitar, two pianos).
On the stage of the Szczecin Philharmonic there will be two world performers: the laureate of many awards, performing from Japan to New York City, guitarist Łukasz Kuropaczewski and still on a roll Bartłomiej Nizioł.
Mikołaj Rykowski PhD
Musicologist and clarinetist, doctorate, and associate at the Department Music Theory at the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań. Author of a book and numerous articles devoted to the phenomenon of Harmoniemusik – the 18th-century practice of brass bands. Co-author of the scripts "Speaking concerts" and author of the spoken introductions to philharmonic concerts in Szczecin, Poznań, Bydgoszcz and Łódź.