The Kosciuszko Foundation Presents
The Winter Journey
An American premiere of Franz Schubert's Winterreise
with the new texts by Stanislaw Baranczak
Tomasz Konieczny, bass-baritone
& Lech Napierala, piano
Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
The Kosciuszko Foundation, 15 E 65th Street, NYC
The event is organized in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music Program.
About The Winter Journey:
Read: Schubert's Winterreise with Polish Texts by Roman Markowicz
In 1827, Franz Schubert composed a series of twenty-four songs titled Winterreise (Winter Journey) to the poems of romantic poet Wilhelm Műller, which turned out to be a performed worldwide masterpiece. Acclaimed Polish poet and translator, Stanislaw Baranczak had developed such a fascination with Winterreise that in 1994, he published his own Podróż Zimowa (The Winter Journey), a set of 24 poems (with one exception, original works - not translations) with the intention of performing them together with the Schubert's music.
Stanisław Barańczak has repeatedly studied the anatomy of winter, sometimes putting the sign of equality between the season of the year and modern civilization. The result is an emigrant's quite bitter account of a journey through the winter of his own life, through the memories from the homeland, through a frosty exile to which he had been condemned for most of his adult life. The narrator travels by car, sometimes walks the city streets with headphones in his ears, or flies by plane over agglomerations at altitudes bound by eternal frost. Sometimes he stops at the crossroads, halted by a red light, or sneaks by a lorry driver urinating at a roadside. And these are the only encounters with other people in Podróż Zimowa. The hero is therefore lonely, alienated, estranged, thinking back to the unlovely images of fumes from factory chimneys of his homeland, of yellow snow on dirty Polish roads. A bitter, painful memory...
Podróż zimowa as we discover it, starts increasingly relating to us and surrounding us. Finally, we come to realize this is a tale about us...Deciding to take a journey together with Schubert and Barańczak, we decide to confront the meaning of our own existence. This is a journey into oneself.
The Album Podróż zimowa (Winter Journey) by Schubert/Barańczak was recorded by Tomasz Konieczny, bass-baritone and Lech Napierała, piano in December 2017 and it's premiere performance took place in August 2018 in Warsaw, Poland.
Stanislaw Baranczak (1946-2014) - Polish poet, literary critic, scholar, editor, translator and lecturer at Harvard University. He is known for his English-to-Polish translations of the dramas of William Shakespeare and of the poetry of E.E. Cummings, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Wystan Hugh Auden and others.
TOMASZ KONIECZNY, bass-baritone
In the end, it was the vocal performances that carried the day. Most impressive was the stunning debut of Tomasz Konieczny as Alberich, who showed a complete vocal and dramatic transformation in his character over the course of the afternoon.
- New York Classical Review, March 10, 2019
The standout member of the cast was Tomasz Konieczny, a powerhouse bass, in a breakthrough Met debut as Alberich. I tend to prefer portrayals that bring out Alberich's suffering and bitterness; with a big, penetrating voice that can slice through the orchestra, Mr. Konieczny made Alberich sneering and dangerous.
- The New York Times, March 10, 2019
Tomasz Konieczny has established himself at the forefront of outstanding dramatic Bass-Baritones of his generation. Besides WOTAN in the Ring, Vienna has invited him to sing MANDRYKA, JACK RANCE, AMFORTAS, SCARPIA, CARDILLAC, PIZARRO, KURWENAL.
Among his future plans he has guest contracts to sing with the, Teatr Wielki Polish National Opera in Warsaw, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Bayreuther Festspiele, Teatro Real.
Tomasz Konieczny was born in 1972 in Lodz/Poland, where he first studied acting at the Film, TV and Theatre Academy. He made his debut in a film directed by Oscar prize winning director Andrzej Wajda The Ring with a Crowned Eagle, following which he worked as actor / director in many TV Film and Theatre productions in Poland. It was at that time that he began his vocal studies at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy in Warsaw, after which he went to Dresden where he joined the class of Prof. Christian Elßner at the Hochschule für Musik. MORE
LECH NAPIERAŁA – a pianist born in Bydgoszcz. Graduated with honors the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna in Professor David Lutz's vocal-accompaniment class. Before he studied also in Warsaw with Andrzej Sefanski, Krzysztof Jabłoński and Barbara Halska.
He is a many-sided artist. Napierała gives concerts as a soloist, chamber musician, but mostly as an respected vocal accompanist – he regularly performs with Olga Pasichnyk, Tomasz Konieczny, Monika Bohinec, Aida Garifullina, Paul Schweinester and many others. He performed at such a meaningful concert halls as Vienna Musikverein, Konzerthaus, philharmonies in Berlin, Warsaw, Sofja, Ljubljana, Bukarest etc. He regularly performs in Europe (Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldavia, Italy) and Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, China). MORE