Saturday 29 March 2008

On An Overgrown Path: Carla Bruni's musical connections

On An Overgrown Path: Carla Bruni's musical connections

Via Crucis receives UK premiere

'Qui passus est pro nobis.
Jesu Christe, miserere nobis.'

This exquisite choral refrain - increasing in intensity through simple repetition - punctuates Paweł Łukaszewski's Via Crucis, the UK premiere of which we gave last night in Norwich Cathedral. Impassioned, heartfelt, both large-scale and intimate, it displays an unerring sense of drama as it tells the story of Christ's Passion through the Stations of the Cross. Britten Sinfonia and Polyphony are joined by Iestyn Davies, Allan Clayton and Andrew Foster-Williams, with Roger Allam as narrator. Stephen Layton conducts. We are giving a further performance tonight in Cambridge. There are just a few tickets left: call 01223 357851.

Wednesday 26 March 2008

Jasnogórska Golgota by Jerzy Duda-Gracz

Paweł Łukaszewski was born in 1968 in Czestochowa, spiritual capital of Poland. He lived through the Solidarity era in Polish politics. As a small boy, he worshipped in the Jasna Góra Monastery, praying in front of the ikon of the black Madonna. Jasna Góra has long been a symbol of religious strength in the face of occupation. During the Second World War, the Nazis occupied the monastery and Himmler used to stay there. The monastery contains the ashes of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, the chaplain of the Solidarity movement who was murdered by the secret police in 1984. In 1982, during the Jaruzełski regime, Lech Wałęsa gave his Nobel Peace Prize medal to the monastery as a votive offering. John Paul II, on becoming Pope, celebrated a mass for a million people on the monastery steps. This painting is one of a series, ‘the Stations of the Cross', housed in Jasna Góra. These paintings were the inspiration for Łukazewski's Via Crucis, which we are performing in Norwich and Cambridge at the end of the week.

Tuesday 25 March 2008

Roger Allam narrates Via Crucis

Olivier Award-winning actor Roger Allam will join Britten Sinfonia and Polyphony for our two concerts of Polish composer Pawel Lukaszewski's Via Crucis at the end of the week. The spoken interventions are integral to Lukaszewski's central concept, whereby dramatic iterations accumulate station-by-station, and so we wanted to work with an actor of stature, and who better than the man cast by Stephen Frears as Rogen Janvin in the film The Queen.
Roger won his Best Actor Olivier Award for his performance as Captain Terri Dennis in Privates on Parade at the Donmar Warehouse in 2002. He has worked extensively at theRoyal National Theatre, with Trevor Nunn, John Caird and Phyllida Lloyd, and at the RSC with Steven Pimlott and Tim Albery.
Check full details of the concerts in Norwich and Cambridge on our website.