The ICE Congress Centre in Kraków will witness the world premiere of a previously unknown oratorio by the late Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki tomorrow evening.
Conductor Jacek Kasprzyk will lead the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, alongside the choir of the Krakow Philharmonic and soloists Wioletta Chodowicz and Artur Ruciński in a programme whose highlight will be the hour-long oratorio, Sanctus Adalbertus op. 71. Originally intended to mark the visit to Poland of Pope John Paul II in 1997, the piece was shelved by Górecki before his death in 2010 and recently uncovered by his son, Mikołaj.
Górecki’s early works were written in a dissonant Modernist style and garnered little attention outside Poland. He later dedicated himself to spiritual music, as the Adalbertus oratorio indicates. Górecki became one of the most commercially successful composers of the twentieth century when his Third Symphony, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, was reissued as a commemorative piece for victims of the Holocaust.
The performance will form part of a gala concert in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Polish Musical Publishing (PWM), who own the rights to Górecki’s beloved Third Symphony. The ensemble will also perform Eternal Songs by nineteenth-century composer Mieczysława Karłowicza, and a fanfare written for the occasion by Paweł Mykietyn.