“MAZURKAS OF THE WORLD” FESTIVAL
For a week (from 6 to 12 May) Polish traditional music, performed by fiddlers and accordionists from all over the country, could be heard during various workshops, concerts and in the festival club. On Saturday, the best Polish village bands played during the Dance Night. Hundreds of guests from Poland, Sweden, Austria and other countries participated in workshops in the day, and at night they danced in the festival club.
This year’s edition is a part of “Learning from the Roots” European project. Guests from: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Turkey came to the festival in order to learn Polish traditional music and dances and to perform the workshops of their native cultures.
The main motif of this year’s, fifth edition of the festival was “The Polish rhythms”, which were transmitted from Poland to Sweden in the 16th century and since then have become the canonical Swedish national dances. The migration of these tunes was discussed by Magnus Gustaffson during the festival’s opening conference. Several concerts included the Swedish tunes called “polska”, along the Polish dances such as kujawiak, mazurka and chodzony.
“Polska” tunes were performed by the Finnish-Swedish group Nordik Tree, the Danish fiddler Harald Haugaard and Nyckelharpa Trio – musicians who play on keyed fiddle (“nyckelharpa”), this instrument inspiring the band’s name. The festival stage also hosted a number of spontaneous performances by the Swedish fiddlers, various musicians and traditional music teachers.
As every year, “Mazurkas of the World” festival was a setting for extraordinary musical meetings. Jazz musicians (Zbigniew Namysłowski Quintet), improvising composers – the Mud Cavaliers and the early music ensemble – Orkiestra Czasów Zarazy, played alongside the village musicians and their city disciples (Brodów group, Adam Strug).
All of the artists in their own, characteristic manner related to folk music motifs, either old or contemporary.
Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej from Katowice brilliantly performed the early pieces of Witold Lutosławski (“Bucolics”, “Dance Preludes” and “Little Suite”).
The festival hosted guests of honor from Russia and Ukraine. Romoda and Hulaj Horod groups, with the accompaniment of Warszawa Wschodnia band, presented songs for dancing from their countries, both reconstructed and the ones that are still played. Marina Krukova from Moscow searched for analogies between Russian and Polish violin music.
The festival week was a real musical feast. It showed that “Mazurkas of the World” gradually gain new enthusiasts, fascinated by the traditional, but living, music.