A PLACE WORTH FREQUENTING! HOW LUCKY WE ARE!
On October 1, an opening concert to celebrate a new seat of Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice took place. There was a lot of buzz in Polish media about this since it was an exceptional event. I would like to point how important it is for me, because I am so proud and happy that the Orchestra founded in Warsaw in 1935 by Grzegorz Fitelberg has gotten a new seat and world class concert hall and all of it in the city were I was born and now I need only 20 minutes to get to a concert. Shortly speaking life music in delicious performance is almost at the door steps and we need to take this opportunity as much as possible. There are two concert halls in the building which is a masterpiece of architecture. The big one can host 1800 listeners and the small one up to 300. It is worth pointing that the place was designed or rather charmed out – a better term – by an architect from Katowice – Tomasz Konior and his team. The acoustics was perfected by Nagata Acoustics from Japan, led by maestro Yasushisa Toyota. The inclusion of Nagata to the project was suggested by Krystian Zimerman and now we can be grateful for it to our piano virtuoso.
For someone who designs and builds loudspeakers an access almost daily to the sound “standard” is not be underestimated.
Krystian Zimerman has said, and we can rely on his opinion, that the acoustics of the NOSPR concert hall in Katowice is a top notch in Europe and one of the best in the world, so with even greater eagerness I was waiting for the moment of my personal experience.
I had first occasion on October 22 when Nicholas Payton with his band and together with NOSPR performed The Black American Symphony. Also – and as it turned out it was her birthday – Urszula Dudziak gave a short performance. That’s how she describes the event on her official website: “My 71 birthday! Celebrated by a concert with my beloved band, NOSPR orchestra and NDR Bigband in a metaphysical concert hall – in Katowice! I’m in ecstasy and I’m only beginning! I’m grateful to my band who with its music and friendship makes me young, happy, fulfilled women ready for next challenges!”
She’s a volcano of energy! Urszula performed three songs from her latest album “Wszystko gra” interleaved with anecdotes and on top of it as cherry she performed Papaya. Just imagine how it sounded in this setup. Urszula and her band plus NOSPR orchestra plus NDR Bigband. It was like a salvo from all guns on both sides of the ship! Nota bene the performances of songs Cajon, Wookies Walk and finally exquisite Turkish Mazurka were energising!
At the end NOSPR and NDR Bigband performed Modest’s Musorgski’s Pictures at an exhibition orchestrated by Maurice Ravel with … additional improvisations by NDR Bigband musicians. The Pictures like this unheard never before. So the evening was indeed fully packed with energy.
Then came November 6 concert, were we could listen to the “Danse” poem by Claude Debussy, orchestrated again by Maurice Ravel. That evening NOSPR orchestra was conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk. Second point in program was “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” by Manuel de Falla with piano performed by Kun Woo Paik – magic!
Following was Claude Debussy’s ballet Jeux, and to close the evening Maurice Ravel Boléro. The public was ecstatic and the maestro Maksymiuk had to make encore with a fragment of Boléro. By the way Maestro said to the public that this concert hall is like New York :)
So acoustically is “phenomenally” . So far I was listening to the concerts on the second (highest) balcony were the blend of sounds coherent and very well balanced reaches. What is most astonishing that it can be heard that this melange is mixed up from sounds emitted by individual instruments. Focusing it is possible to fish out the instruments from the crowd. Amazing!
Next we plan to participate will take place December 4, and in program Hector Berlioz – Harold in Italy for viola and orchestra, Claude Debussy – Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun and Igor Stravinsky’s – The Firebird Suite (1945).
Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier.
I invite you to follow the program, to choose something that suits your taste and come over to Katowice and enjoy the music in this magical venue!
Here is the official NOSPR website.
The first photo on this post as well as the picture of orchestra in icon by Bartek Barczyk.