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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish sacred music showcased in UK

01.11.2021 10:00
Polish sacred music from the 13th century to the present is to be featured at a four-day festival which opens on November 2 in London. 
Poster for Joy  Devotion, a festival of Polish sacred music.
Poster for Joy & Devotion, a festival of Polish sacred music.photo: AMI promo materials
Held under the motto “Joy & Devotion”, it is organized by the Warsaw-based Adam Mickiewicz Institute. It writes on its website that the event “gives UK audiences the opportunity to experiences the many glories of Polish sacred music, both traditional and contemporary”, adding that “the UK is the perfect home for Joy & Devotion as the UK is celebrated worldwide for its numerous choirs and choral tradition.”

Joy & Devotion is planned to be an annual event. Its artistic director Paweł Łukaszewski, himself a prominent composer of sacred music, has told the media: “This year’s programme is a stirring introduction to the abundance and emotion of Polish sacred music. I am as excited to bring the works of well-known and much-loved composers such as Penderecki, Górecki and Roxanna Panufnik to audiences as I am presenting more obscure works not yet widely known in the UK from centuries-old Polish masters and the world premieres of two composers just starting their careers.”

Taking place at London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields, the festival brings together such renowned choral groups as The Gesualdo Six, Tenebrae and Echo.

Featured composers include Wincenty of Kielcza (13th cent.), Jerzy Liban (15th cent.), Mikołaj Zieleński and Wacław of Szamotuły (16th cent.), Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki (17th cent.), alongside household names in 20th-century music such as Andrzej Panufnik, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, as well as works by modern composers: Roxanna Panufnik, the daughter of Andrzej Panufnik, and up-and-coming Polish talent Aleksandra Chmielewska and Anna Rocławska-Musiałczyk.

(mk)