32 concerts – symphonic, chamber, solo and for children – will make up the program of Crazy Music Days. The popular festival will take place between 23 and 26 September in three Warsaw locations. The hero of this year’s edition will be Ludwig van Beethoven.
– In 2020, we were to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday around the world. Unfortunately, almost all events – in Tokyo, Warsaw, Yekaterinburg – have been canceled – said René Martin during the Wednesday conference. The French is the originator and head of the festival taking place in several places around the world in the same formula, which can be briefly described as follows: dozens of short, approximately 50-minute concerts, accumulated over a few days, affordable ticket prices (in Warsaw: PLN 20-25 ).
The idea of the event was summarized by Waldemar Dąbrowski, director of the Grand Theater of the National Opera: – Crazy Days of Music is a great artistic initiative, but above all a social one. It carries the greatest sense of culture to people who are not in the habit of attending philharmonic halls, who do not even know yet that they can be delighted with it. We make it easy for them.
The festival returns after two years, but – as Martin pointed out – there will be fewer concerts than in previous editions. “I hope the spirit of Music Mad Days will remain with us,” he added.
The smaller number of concerts results from the postovid situation: musical life is only just rebirth, facing many adversities. Restrictions still apply, audiences may not be more than 75 percent full, and listeners must wear masks.
Prelude in Kamionek
The main venue of the event is the Grand Theater-National Opera (four rooms). – But before we come here, we play two days at Grochowska (rehearsal hall and concert tent – ed.) To convince the wonderful residents who are our neighbors that they do not have to bother all the way to the center, they have Crazy Music Days at their place, in our headquarters – explained Janusz Marynowski, director of Sinfonia Varsovia, the organizer of the festival. And he expressed his hope that in five years the entire festival could be held in Kamionek. The construction of a modern concert hall and the adaptation of the historic buildings of the former Veterinary Institute are still moving in time.
The third (new) location will be the church of creative circles at Plac Teatralny.
This year, there will be no music school bands that performed in a tent in front of the theater building. – These wonderful young musicians were not able to prepare themselves because the schools were closed – explained the director of Sinfonia Varsovia. He admitted that there will be fewer large, symphonic performances, which are always the highlight of the program. However, we managed to invite outstanding soloists, conductors and chamber ensembles.
Orchestra from / by the kitchen
The circumstances created a unique opportunity to present Beethoven’s masterpieces in unusual arrangements. Known for his unconventional approach to classical music, Marcin Masecki will present his arrangements of “Wellington’s Victory” and the 5th Piano Concerto in E flat major “Imperial” for an unusual brass band line-up.
Liya Petrova (violin), Aurélien Pascal (cello) and Jonas Vitaud (piano) together with Sinfonia Varsovia under the baton of Bassem Akiki will perform the Triple Concerto in C major. The pianist François-Frédéric Guy will conduct Beethoven’s first two piano concertos, and Bass Akiki will conduct the 6th Pastoral Symphony in F major. Sinfonia Varsovia, conducted by Alexander Liebreich, will play Symphony No. 7 in A major and accompany Liya Petrova in the Violin Concerto in D major and “Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies” – a piece for orchestra and bell by the ice cream maker – recently deceased composer Louis Andriessen.
The performance of Sinfonietta Cracovia led by Jurek Dybal will have an unusual setting. – We will cook during the concert. Three chefs from the Wife Krawca restaurant will stand in front of the orchestra and cook Beethoven’s delicacies. It will be an exceptional event – revealed Janusz Marynowski.
Jazz in the evening time
A large part of the program, however, consists of chamber ensembles with smaller or larger forms in their repertoire, but designed for smaller ensembles. In front of the Warsaw audience, i.a. Meccore String Quartet, Trio Owon, Sinfonia Varsovia Camerata or Lutosławski Piano Duo (supported by violin and cello). The piano solo will be played by Jonas Vitaud and Paul Lay, the latter in jazz improvisations about Beethoven.
A series of concerts for children, Smykofonia, and other proposals combining music with fun have also been prepared. Details of the program on the festival’s website. Ticket sales start on September 1.
Main photo source: mat. organizer