Camerata Silesia – the Katowice Singers’ Ensemble
Camerata Silesia – the Katowice Singers’ Ensemble of both early and contemporary music. The singers’ unusual technical efficiency, along with an emission and intonation appropriate to the early music performance canon, has attracted the attention of both critics and composers. The former have been generous with praise while the latter have composed pieces specifically for Camerata, dedicating them to various singers and to a lady conductor, who were all specially sought out for first performances of these pieces.
The choir’s discography embraces dozen CD’s, which have repeatedly been awarded. Special attention attracts the latest CD’s edition: Musica Claromontana – Tenebrae vol. 45, Requiem by Andrzej Siewiński and contemporary music K. Baculewski – Choral works and Camerata Silesia sings Kilar; all the four nominated to fonographic awards “Fryderyk”.
Every year since 1993 the ensemble has been invited to take part in the international festival of contemporary music Warsaw Autumn. Its performances of Anton Webern’s Cantatas with orchestra Sinfonia Varsovia, conducted by Ed Spanjaard (1995), and Trois Poèmes d’Henri Michaux by Witold Lutosławski with the National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio, conducted by Anna Szostak and Antoni Wit (1996), have been heralded as the
greatest events to grace this festival. Also belonging among the choir’s most important achievements is a performance of Sinfoni by Luciano Berio at the inaugural concert of Warsaw Autumn in 1999.
Camerata appeared by special invitation thanks to Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk in the renowned Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Opéra Comique (Paris) gave concerts in Taipei (Taiwan), Mei Lanfang Theatre (Peking Beijing), La Monnaie (Bruxelles), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and also appeared during a cycle of concerts at the EXPO 2000 in Hannover.
The Ensemble has performed for the first time in Poland (December 2005) pieces by L. Berio, G. Scelsi, L. Nono during an International Festival “Days of the Italian Contemporary Music” to Cracow.
For several years Camerata has collaborated with the famous English soprano Emma Kirkby, and recently with Barbara Schlick (at its concerts in Düsseldorf and Katowice). Polish music very often appears in the programs of the ensemble’s abroad concerts. During festival Ile-de-France (2004), Camerata appeared twice: the first of these concerts featured Polish renaissance and baroque music, as well as music by contemporary composers; in the second one the ensemble, together with the instrumentalists of Musicatreize from Marseille, performed Trois Poèmes d’Henri Michaux by Witold Lutosławski in the Saint-Louis des Invalides cathedral in Paris. Later the same composition was performed in Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels with the accompaniment of National Belgian Orchestra.
The year 2006 was rich in performances of music by K. Penderecki. St. Lucas Passion has resounded in Münster, Cracow and Hamburg. In 2012 the Ensemble enlarged to 40 singers took part in performances and recordings to a DVD edition of the stage version of Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Secundum Matthaeum by K. Penderecki, stage direction by G. Jarzyna.
July 2006 passed as a month of XII International Congress of Baroque Music in Warsaw where the Ensemble has remembered lately discovered after 358 years and reconstructed work by M. Scacchi Missa per omnium tonorum. Particularly important is performing – continued till now – forgotten works of old Polish music from cathedral archives from Claromonte, Gniezno and Gostyń.
In February and March 2005, the ensemble appeared in a premiere performance of Parsifal by Richard Wagner, staged in Gran Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, under the baton of Gabor Őtvős and directed by Denis Krief. In 2008 and 2009 Camerata is invited as festival choir by Sommerfestspiele in Bregenz (Austria) where has performed both stage- and concert productions together with soloists and Wiener Symphoniker orchestra under the well known conductors as Chris Moulds, Ulf Schirmer, Carlo Rizzi, Lothar Königs. The large programme contain pieces from Solomon – oratorio by G. F. Haendel through the operas Karl the Fifth by E. Křenek, Tosca by G. Puccini, Aida by G. Verdi, King Roger by K.
Szymanowski. Composer’s interest in writing for Camerata Silesia has led to premieres of compositions by Rafał Augustyn, Krzysztof Baculewski, Ryszard Gabryś, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Krzysztof Knittel, Stanisław Krupowicz, Krzysztof Penderecki, Zbigniew Preisner, Bogusław Schaefer, Witold Szalonek, Agata Zubel, and will surely be followed by others.
Lately Camerata Silesia realized a special project of Responsoria in Hebdomada Majore by Marc’Antonio Ingegneri together with one of best improvising musicians Tomasz Stańko (trumpet). The coicidence of an old choral music with improvisation in jazz style gives interesting result.