Concert of Sacred Polish music celebrating the centenary of Polish independence
Agnieszka Wierzbicka, Aneta Wierzbicka – soprano
Olga Gajda-Lüpke, Anita Eydt-Schmit – alto
Jeff Mack, Marcin Wierzbicki – tenor
Szymon Bielecki, Henryk Mazur – bass
Sunday, November 11th, 2018, 19:30
Notre-Dame Cathedral, Luxembourg
Wincenty z Kielczy – Gaude Mater Polonia (1253)
F. Nowowiejski – Polish Fantasy op. 9 no. 1 (1911) for organ
F. Nowowiejski – Christe Rex (1929)
K. Szymanowski – Stabat Mater. Spraw niech płaczę (1926)
S. Wiechowicz – Nie nam, nasz Panie! (Non nobis, Domine. Psalm 115; 1927)
B. Szabelski – Sonate for organ, cz. III Allegro molto (1943)
A. Koszewski – Zdrowaś Królewno Wyborna (Ave Regina; 1963)
H. M. Górecki – Totus tuus (1987)
Z. Bujarski – Veni creator spiritus (1983) for organ
J. Łuciuk – Oremus pro pontifce Joanne Paulo Secundo (1992)
M. Borkowski – Regina caeli (1995)
P. Łukaszewski – Jubilate Deo (1996)
T. Paciorkiewicz – Preludium and fuga no. 1 (1985) for organ
M. Sawa – Ego sum panis vivus (1996)
M. Sawa – Deo Gratias (1994) on organs
R. Twardowski – O gloriosa Domina (1999)
J. Świder – Boże wiecznej mocy (2013)
R. Kania – Imrpvissation on the theme of Rota by F. Nowowiejski for organ
A. Kościów – Gaude Mater (2018) for vocal ensemble and organ
M. Wierzbicki – Ave maris stella (2018) for vocal ensemble and organ
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On this most solemn day, one hundred years after Poland regained its independence, we would like to present music that is not only Poland’s most beautiful, spiritual and profound, but is also highly relevant to the occasion. Polish Sacred music of the past 100 years is not only beautiful and rewarding - it is a witness to Polish history, which for centuries has been intertwined with Christian history in Europe. It should come as no surprise then that we begin the concert with one of the first Polish national anthems - the anthem dedicated to St. Stanislav, Gaude Mater Polonia. In the programme you will find echoes of key moments in Polish history- Fantazja polska for organ, written by Felix Nowowiejski on the eve of Poland regaining its independence, an organ improvisation on a theme of the same composer's Rota, and the finest piece of sacred music - Stabat Mater by Karol Szymanowski, as well as Totus Tuus by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Oremus pro Pontifice by Juliusz Łuciuk - commemorating the pontification of John Paul II, or finally the newest works, by composers like Paweł Łukaszewski or Aleksander Kościów. It is no coincidence that the programme is dominated by Marian pieces (O gloriosa domina, Zdrowaś Królewno Wyborna, Ave maris stella or the above-mentioned Totus tuus). The Virgin Mary had always played a special role in the spiritual life of Poles; the concert venue – the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Luxembourg - is of course also a Marian sanctuary, a place of the cult of Maria Consolatrix Afflictorum.
The concert celebrating the centenary of Polish independence will follow the Holy Mass for our motherland at 18:00 in Notre-Dame Cathedral.
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Hoquetus Ensemble is a Polish vocal quartet that was formed in Luxembourg in 2011. Its main focus was originally early music, but through hard work over the past few years, the group has expanded its repertoire and currently performs not only classical music - sacred or secular - but also jazz, gospel and pop. The ensemble is happy to take on contemporary repertoire too. It takes part in larger group projects, such as Musicals, Pops and More... – in collaboration with the Bourscheid, Reisdorf-Bettendorf and Vianden choirs, as well as the Vianden orchestra, where members of the group also performed as soloists. The group has participated many times in larger music events in Luxembourg, such as the Tour de la Musique, National Sangerdag, House Full of Music and Arts in Diekirch, Bicherfest in Vianden, RIFF World Village and Nocturnes at Bourscheid Castle. In 2017, the group was invited to take part in a carnival concert in the Łódz Music Theatre, performing from the Luxembourgish repertoire. The ensemble is often invited to take part in official national or international ceremonies. In 2013, the group provided musical accompaniment for the official award of the Mérite Européen Gold Medal to Prime Minister Donald Tusk by Jean-Claude Juncker and in 2016 they sang at the official dinner held by the Heir to the Throne of the Grand Duchy, Wilhelm, for representatives of the world of business and politics. In 2017 and 2018 the group sang at the official celebrations of the May 3rd Polish National Day in Luxembourg.
Aneta Wierzbicka (soprano), Olga Gajda-Lüpke (alto), Marcin Wierzbicki (tenor) and Henryk Mazur (bass) make up the core quartet. The group's other regular members are Agnieszka Wierzbicka (soprano), Iza Malec (alto), Arek Malec (tenor), and Szymon Bielecki (bass), as well as Robert Kania (organ).
Robert Kania is a pianist, organist, harpsichordist, as well as a composer and orchestrater. Right after finishing university, he worked in the Silesian Philharmonie and the Silesian Theatre in Katowice, and later at the Grand National Opera Theatre in Warsaw for 10 years. He has composed music for multiple children’s and adult’s ballets, performed in opera theatres in Poland. For many years he has been interested in early music; he himself is a proponent of historical re-enactment. Without a doubt, J.S. Bach remains in the centre of his interests, and a great portion of his artistic work focusses on improvisation and realisation basso continuo, however he takes great pleasure in performing jazz music as well.
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The organisers would like to extend their sincere thanks to the Republic of Poland’s Embassy in Luxembourg for their great help in organising the concert, as well as Kulczyk Investments SA for their substantial financial aid in this project.
Main sponsor of the concert: