Piotr Moss in tribute to the Young Poland maestro

NEWS | 03-03-2021
The newest album of Szczecin philharmonics "Mieczysław Karłowicz -Songs" is now available for sale and in the largest music services. The orchestra conducted by Rune Bergmann and accompanied by mezzo-soprano Małgorzata Walewska performed Karłowicz's works in unique and unprecedented orchestrations, for which the composer Piotr Moss is responsible. It is thanks to his work that the album acquired a unique character.

A versatile composer


Piotr Moss was born on May 13, 1949 in Bydgoszcz. Although his studies (with Grażyna Bacewicz, Piotr Perkowski and Nadia Boulanger) were situated in the neoclassical trend, the composer describes himself as a Neo-Romantic. The search for an individual style is visible not in its form, but in the musical expression of his.

Contact with Nadia Boulanger completely changed my way of thinking, it influenced my artistic ethics. Thanks to Nadia Boulanger, who was already a living legend of world music at that time, I realized the artist's responsibility, that the talent is a gift belonging not only to the creator, that the artist's responsibility consists, among other things, in practicing his profession as strictly as possible, so as not to waste the gift so as not to waste what is not yours.

Piotr Moss is a versatile composer – he writes not only orchestral, sacred, chamber and solo works, but also for theater, jazz, literary and hit songs as well. He has won several dozen awards at composition competitions all over the Europe. He lives permanently in Paris, where in 2002 he was awarded the Order of Arts and Letters. We highly recommend listening to the conversations with the composer before the concert, recorded on the Ninateka website as part of the "Notes from the Present times".

As far as I can remember, I have always combined my career as a composer with the work of an orchestrator. It started while I was still in college, where it was necessary to orchestrate already existing, usually in the piano versions, pieces in order to pass the subject called "instrumentation". My first "professional" orchestration was an arrangement of a song by my professor of composition, Piotr Perkowski, commissioned by the Warsaw Polish Radio and Television Orchestra. Stefan Rachoń, the director of the Orchestra, apparently "sensed" something in me, because then I made a lot of different types of orchestrations for this ensemble for both symphonic and chamber ensembles. And that's how it started ...

In 2000, Piotr Moss was appointed the Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, in 2007 he was awarded by the French Académie des Beaux Arts and in 2009, on the occasion of his 60th birthday and 40th anniversary of artistic work, he received a special award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. He is also awarded with the Medal of Merit for the Polish Culture.

Karłowicz Songs Orchestrations


Mieczysław Karłowicz, a composer of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, went down in the history of music mainly as a creator of orchestral works, but at the age of about 20, somewhat on the verge of "school" music, the young artist also wrote some songs. During the year (from the end of 1895 to the end of 1896), almost all of the 29 songs were written – 22 of them have survived to this day. In these very personal artistic statements, the researchers of Karłowicz's work look for a harbinger of the composer's later style and the characteristic longing that permeates his works.

These songs are the Master's early pieces, but they already foreshadow the enormous talent of the future creator of "Eternal Songs". Their texture is very piano-like, but easily translated into an orchestra. Sometimes I had to "make this texture more attractive", introducing frequent contrasts between the various groups of the orchestra. I did not "add anything" to Karłowicz, sometimes I only introduced minor counterpoints resulting from harmony, instrumental solos that are in the dialogue with the voice (eg in the song "Goes to the Fields").

On the newest album of Szczecin philharmonics, "Mieczysław Karłowicz – Songs", Piotr Moss was responsible for the orchestration of the pieces. The composer perfectly reflected the spirit of the era and the compositional style of Karłowicz, arranging works originally written for the voice and the piano, especially for the record. Moss breathed some freshness and lightness into Karłowicz's works. lightness, while maintaining the characteristic melancholy atmosphere of Young Poland.

Karłowicz's songs are, above all, very melodic and quite simple in structure. One of them, "Enchanted Beauty", is definitely different from the others. It is not a song with the piano accompaniment, but an extensive dramatic scene, where you can already feel the orchestra of Karłowicz in the piano part. From this piece, I started my work on the whole cycle. It should be added that some of the songs were only made in the instrumental version.

Listen and buy the CD


The album of Szczecin philharmonics "Mieczysław Karłowicz – Pieśni" is now available for sale and the largest music services. It can be purchased in the Philharmonic's online store Philharmonic's online store at a promotional price of PLN 32.

 
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