JAN ADAM MAKLAKIEWICZ (1899-1954): Grunwald, ROMUALD TWARDOWSKI (b.1930): Grunwald 1410 for Bass and Orchestra, STANISLAW MORYTO (b.1947): The Year 1410, JANUSZ BOGDAN LEWANDOWSKI (b.1955): Fanfare for Polish Knighthood.
Catalogue Number: 11M012
Description: In 1410, Polish knights defeated the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Grunwald, helping establish the conditions which led to the later growth of the large empire of Poland and Lithuania which stretched from the Baltic to the Black Seas. Three of these works are commissions for the battle's 600th anniversary. Twardowski sets Latin texts by contemporary scholar Jan Wecowski to music of surging martial romanticism with more than a hint of a film score for a historical epic (if this sounds vaguely familiar, it's because these two collaborated for the Exegi Monumentum which we offered this past January on Acte Préalable which I likened to a combination of the "romantic Penderecki, Orff and Rósza"). Moryto's 15-minute "overture" is equally dramatic and almost as cinematic, making sparing use of expressive dissonance in places, but traveling the same arc from determination to battle to victory and thanksgiving. Lewandowski's contribution is a three-minute fanfare which also makes a significant impact. But for some, the most interesting will be Maklakiewicz' 18-minute tone poem written during the years of Nazi occupation. The notes tell us nothing about the works themselves but this probably contains thematic material from the 15th century Polish hymn Bogurodzica, which was sung before the battle. It's everything you'd expect from a Polish musician resisting oppression - majestic, solemn and with a rousing, long battle sequence. Jaroslaw Brek (bass), Olsztyn Philharmonic Orchestra; Janusz Przybylski.