Young debutants of ”Old Tradition” Competition, ”The Music Redeemed” Conference and reverberating with various sounds Instruments Fair –these are only a few of many events that took place during the spring edition of the “Mazurkas of the World” Festival, which was spinning Warsaw from 25th to 30th of April.
Traditionally, the Festival started on Easter Monday. After a polonaise dance around the church in Bielany, we attended a concert of F. Chopin and K. Szymanowski mazurkas, performed by Joanna Maklakiewicz, followed by Grzech Piotrowski jazz impressions.
On Tuesday, during “The Music Redeemed” Conference, Polish archivists, researchers and practitioners recounted the today’s place of traditional music and ways to retain it. In the evening, we have recalled memories from the previous year’s Festival, while watching “Mazurkas of the World”, a movie directed by Tomasz Knittel.
Music of the youngest generation of musicians filled the third day of the Festival. “Old Tradition” Competition laureates had proven their excellence, and the performance turned into a spontaneous dance party. Concert of a Ukrainian band Bożiczi was an equally energetic finale of the evening.
During the workshops, which started on Thursday in the Mazovia Region Centre of Culture and Arts, one could learn basics of how to play drum, fiddle and dulcimer, get the taste of traditional singing or practice dances from Masovia and Wielkopolska.
The baroque „quest for Polish style” was a theme of Notre Orchestre de Pologne concert. On Thursday, Tadeusz Kubiak, a fiddler from Łęczyca Region, had won the hearts of audience, as he accompanied his own melodies with outstanding remarks – to sweeten the pot. The final performance was given by Kwadrofonik group, with their own interpretation of Karol Szymanowski’s mazurkas. In the Festival Club, we have witnessed a concert that was the realization of Jacek Mielcarek and Kasia Szurman project, called “Śliczne Goździki”.
The concert on Friday was an unforgettable musical experience. In Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio, songs from Kurpie region were performed by: The Polish Radio Choir directed by Stanisław Krawczyński, singers from Czarnia Parish and ”Monodia” - Adam Strug group. It was an excellent opportunity to listen to the original and choral renditions of traditional songs that have inspired Karol Szymanowski and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. Later, an all male group of contemporary style singers interpreted the same melodies.
In the Festival Club we could enjoy a jazz sound played in the rhythm of mazurka by Marcin Pospieszalski and his band.
Hurdy-gurdy, barrel organ, suka and harmonium – these are only few of many unique instruments we could get acquainted with on Instruments Fair. The Festival has ended with a Dance Night, and we were spinning to the music of – among others – Jan Gaca band, Aleksander Krupya band, Kapela Brodów and Jan Cebula, Edward Markocki, a bagpipe band, winners of “Old Tradition” Competition and Janusz Prusinowski Trio.