Sinfonia Varsovia String Quintet:
Anna Maria Staśkiewicz 1st violin
Kamil Staniczek 2nd violin
Katarzyna Budnik viola
Marcel Markowski cello
Michał Sobuś doublebass
Krzysztof Penderecki String quintet “Leaves of an Unwritten Diary” (version of String Quartet no. 3)
Tadeusz Baird Play for string quartet
Ignacy Zalewski “Anitya” – String Quintet **
** first performance
Ignacy Zalewski’s “Anitya” – String Quintet has been cofinanced by the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport’s Culture Promotion Fund within the Composing Commissions programme, implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance.
Organised by Sinfonia Varsovia
The Sinfonia Varsovia String Quintet’s concert at this year’s Warsaw Autumn will revolve around memory. The evening will open with String Quartet No. 3, Leaves from an Unwritten Diary by Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020). The composer wrote this piece in 2008 and adapted it for string quintet in 2015. The composition has been very popular and frequently performed in both Poland and abroad since its premiere by the Shanghai Quartet on 21 November 2008 at the Krzysztof Penderecki Festival in celebration of the composer’s 75th birthday. The quartet features a catchy Hutsul theme, which – as Penderecki himself recalled – “almost took over my work”. The kolomyika folk melody was passed down to the composer from his father, who grew up in Rohatyn on the frontiers of Poland. The titular unwritten diary would be a kind of external memory in which only some files can be opened after many years have passed and thus evoke more vivid images.
Penderecki was perhaps the most frequently performed composer at the Warsaw Autumn Festival, a co-founder of which was Tadeusz Baird (1928-81). The author of another piece featured in the Sinfonia Varsovia String Quintet concert had, like Penderecki, a predilection for large orchestral ensembles, but he left behind three important string quartets. The second one, Play (1971), commissioned by the Danish String Quartet, was an international success. The work was also appreciated by its home festival and performed three times at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1972, 1989, and 2006. Sinfonia Varsovia chamber musicians will perform it for the fourth time to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the composer’s death (2 September 1981) and to mark the fact that he spent his whole life in the Saska Kępa neighborhood and, through his father, was connected with the Institute of Veterinary Medicine, which now houses the Warsaw Orchestra.
The highlight of the evening will be the premiere of the Anitya (अनित्य) Quintet by Ignacy Zalewski (1990). The young composer had his first significant success in 2010 when he won the 51st Tadeusz Baird Young Composers’ Competition. As he himself explains, the Sanskrit title of the Quintet stands for impermanence, which is a key concept of Buddhist philosophy asserting that all physical and mental events are impermanent. The composer dedicated the piece to the memory of Marcin Błażewicz (1953–-2021), his teacher and friend.