Buster Keaton’s first feature-length masterpiece, a true display of creative imagination and precision, is an exquisite comedy inspired by a famous conflict between the Hatfields and McCoys from the 2nd part of the 19th century, characterized by splendid drama work, excellent editing adding to the narrative fluency, beautiful settings and a large dose of comedy, with gags serving the plot, as opposed to other films of the genre.
Keaton’s intention was to prove that the comedy might mean more than mere clowning. Thus, he applied the rule of educating through entertainment; the seriousness of violence treated playfully exposed its absurdity and added to the picture’s universal dimension. Keaton, given artistic freedom for the first time, moved the story back to the thirties of the 19th century, what let him reconstruct the realities of the epoch, including a steam locomotive called the Stephenson’s Rocket (the comic was a great fan of the railway), and make it yet another source of humour (vide Willy’s bicycle). The actor, traditionally, did all acrobatics – it almost cost him his life when a rope snapped in the final river sequence. Three generations of the Keatons met on the set: the comedian’s father Joe, Buster and his son Buster jr., the artist’s wife Natalie Talmadge – in her second pregnancy, for whom the lead of Virginia was written.
Miłosz Pękala and Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala are virtuosos of the marimba, vibraphone and other percussion instruments. One can recognize this while listening to Miłosz Pękala’s solo album Monopercussion (2018) or recordings of the Pękala/Kordylasińska/Pękala duet and the Kwadrofonik quartet. The musicians have released two albums: Pieces for the Percussion and Electroacoustic Instruments (2016) and Modular (2018). The Pękala/Kordylasińska/Pękala specialise in performing the 20th and 21st century music, and particularly in minimal or electroacoustic compositions. The artists have first performed dozens of works, and cooperated with such musicians as: Adam Strug, Artur Rojek, Felix Kubin, Asuna Arashi, Barbara Kinga Majewska and Mitch Mitch band. During the festival concert they will present their original music to the Keaton’s film.
Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun gave rise to the musical impressionism. It is the first piece which moves with no direction; it seems to rather reflect the mood and atmosphere of a hot afternoon, than to show the hero in a particular situation. A multitude of shaded textures combined with the subtly outlined musical theme give the effect of a multifaceted experience and density, but also etherealness of the whole situation. Debussy chose a mythical creature for the main character, the one who was believed in by the ancients, but did they actually see it? One may have an impression that the composer encourages to feel rather than to see…
Antique and mysterious atmosphere emanates from Epigraphs written for 4 hands. Intimacy of the six miniatures does not only result from the very character of the music, but also from the pianists’ intertwining hands. Maurice Ravel invites us to the child’s world or – one could say – asks us, adults, to never leave it. He creates musical fairies, which to this day make grown-ups emotional. There is both ultimate simplicity in them, as expressed in Pavane for Dead Princess, and virtuoso – as in the exotic Japanese Princess. Finally, there is the last movement - The Fairy Garden, in which Ravel masterfully leads us from a modest chorale to final, sparkling glissandos and a luminous chord in C Major. The listener is not able to notice when and how it happened. Therein perhaps lies the artistry of the impressionists – we stop at a beautiful detail, observing intricate strokes of a music brush, and after taking a few steps back we suddenly marvel at resounding cathedrals, magical gardens or figures losing themselves in waltzing.
Ravel’s La valse emerges, as if, from the underground. It loops, vaporises, shifts directions and inexorably leads to a tragic finale – total destruction. The work was created between the years 1919 and 1920; a certain epoch was over, forever barred with the gate of the First World War. Here the waltz symbolises its conventions and principles which, despite providing meaning and direction to lives of the millions, did not find their ultimate direction in the composition. From the very beginning they relentlessly led to the tragic finale, as if attracted by the gravity of wrong decisions made by previous generations.
Debussy and Ravel were the first to break away from the classic piano duet division for the primo and secondo parts. The pianists’ hands work on the whole keyboard, frequently crossing, playing beneath or in turns, giving way to each other from note to note. All successive 20th century composers would apply their ideas, and so did Igor Stravinsky, whose monumental work The Rite of Spring will crown the concert of the Lutosławski Piano Duo - celebrating this year their 20th anniversary.
A new interpretation of the New York artist Moondog – a blind American musician, composer and poet, who spent 30 years leading a life of a street eccentric. The pieces will be performed by Raphael Rogiński and his special guests - Natalia Przybysz and the Slovenian Širom trio. We will hear brand new interpretations of ‘the New York Viking’s’ songs. Their richly instrumented blues-guitar arrangements will be performed in Warsaw for the first time.
Rogiński is one of the most original Polish guitar players, creating his language in dialogue with music of the roots (Slavic, Jewish, Middle-Eastern, American), Bach, Coltrane, Purcell, and now – Moondog.
He will be performing together with Natalia Przybysz – a charismatic singer-songwriter, winner of the phonographic Fryderyk Award, with whom Rogiński collaborated, among other things, in Shy Albatros band, or created unique, acoustic versions of songs by David Bowie, Nina Simone or Wanda Warska. His interpretations are oftentimes based on trans, emanate concentration and rawness. He invited the Slovenian Širom for a reason, as both the ensemble and their Polish stage partners share broad horizons and multidimensional sound explorations. Both their style and experience reveal commitment to their own artistic process, thanks to which they avoid mere recreation of existing patterns. As a result, they create an original, stylistically homogenous form of expression, which balances between a wide array of folk tunes and modern reflections in the acoustic rock style.
A piece for keyboard instruments and percussion is a musical comment on how the members of the ensemble interpret the phenomenon of light, not only as a physical force, but an ancient myth, pure energy, which existed from the very beginning of the universe, and is identified with goodness and life-giving energy.
The name refers to the German, poetic version of the ‘primal light’ symbolising what was first and pure. It is a particle which builds the Universe and life, driving humanity forward and creating relations between us and the world around. The Kwadrofonik’s Urlicht project is a variation based on chorale and its counterpoint, which resonate separately or enter into a dialogue. The musicians refer to the very phenomenon of light as a pure, life-giving energy, the force present in the oldest myths and tales, including old Hebrew books describing shekhinah – the divine presence manifested through the supernatural light, and the Persian mythology – a parable of Ohrmazd and his creation of the eternal, infinite light – where seeds of nature and all creation […], whose number and quality he envisaged, [about which he knew] they would appear after centuries and epochs, and that they are needed for development, conception, reproduction, for creation, formation, incarnation and procreation, for the ruled ones and those who rule […]