The Dearborn Symphony will celebrate Poland’s rich musical lineage at 8 p.m. Friday at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. The spirit of the Polish people and the character of their national culture are manifest in the music of four composers: Chopin, Moniuszko, Lutoslawski, and Karlowicz.
The concert opens with Stanislaw Moniuszko’s overture to the opera “Halka,” regarded as Poland’s national opera. A tale of jealousy and sacrifice, the opera portrays the tragic love of the highlander girl named Halka for the noble Janusz who abandons her to wed the daughter of the esquire. While the story is tragic, the overture is a lovely little bubbly curtain raiser, filled with patriotic Polish folk themes.
The concert continues with Frederic Chopin’s “2nd Piano Concerto.” It was a young, desperate love that inspired the “F minor Concerto” by the teenage Chopin. Too shy to declare his feelings for his love, he wrote, “I say to my piano what I would like to be saying to you….” Chopin master Kazimierz Brzozowski will perform this concerto characterized by rich ornamentation, striking harmonic progressions, flawless piano stylization and fresh, intricate melodies.
Brzozowski has earned international acclaim for his captivating performances, in particular the music of Chopin. A graduate of the Frédéric Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, he has won awards in national and international competitions and festivals and received scholarships from the Chopin Society of Warsaw, Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, and the Barbara Pinsecka Johnson Foundation. Brzozowski is the founder and director of the International Summer Music Festival, held annually in Naleczow, Poland.
A resident of Michigan, he frequently performs with many area symphonies, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Performance highlights include a New York Carnegie Hall debut, performances in Warsaw with the Polish National Radio Orchestra, recorded live for Public Radio and TV, concerts at the Mozart Festival and the Chopin Festival in Warsaw, recitals for the Chopin Foundation in Florida, and concerts in Japan.
The love-inspired music continues with the tragic true story and song of fatal attraction of “Stanislaw & Anna of Oswiecim” by Mieczyslaw Karlowicz. This very poignant music is notable for its colorful and imaginative orchestration and fresh and original harmony.
The concert ends as it began, with a lively, happy composition, “Little Suite” by Witold Lutoslawski. The young composer had just been severely chastised by the post World War II government and Communist Party for the modernist tendencies of his “First Symphony” when he was offered this commission for an orchestral piece for the orchestra of Radio Warsaw. This orchestra was known for its light and popular music. He was obviously being given a chance to show he could conform to the Party’s requirements for accessible music.
To enrich the concert experience, the audience is invited to attend Jim Walters’ insightful and humorous preview of the evening’s music one hour before the concert — 7 p.m., free with a concert ticket.
The Dearborn Symphony has partnered with local restaurants to offer a 20 percent diners’ discount for symphony ticket-holders on concert nights. Advance reservations are recommended at Andiamo Dearborn, La Pita, The Early American Room at the Dearborn Inn, Kiernan’s & Silky’s, Parisian Bistro, and The Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn.
Call the symphony office at (313) 565-2424 for tickets —$30 to $15 for adults and $10 for students — or go to the symphony Web site www.dearbornsymphony.org. Tickets are also available at the Ford Center box office, (313) 943-2354.