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A year in Polish music in sixteen albums – ANAKLASIS celebrates its first birthday

2020-11-20

The ANAKLASIS record label, created by PWM just one year ago (on 22 November 2019), already boasts sixteen albums, and it shows no signs of slowing down, with further releases announced. 
 

As the director - editor-in-chief of PWM Edition, Daniel Cichy PhD, stated a year ago during the label’s launch at Mała Warszawa, ‘ANAKLASIS documents what is happening in Polish music now, what happened during the twentieth century, what interests or irritates us, and also what fascinates us’.

 

This is all organised into six series. The recordings of Polish music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries – both archive and specially produced recordings – display a uniform graphic design. The name ANAKLASIS comes from the title of what is perhaps the most famous avant-garde composition by Krzysztof Penderecki, from 1977. The word itself is Greek for ‘refraction of light’, and that is reflected in the minimalist graphic design by the Full Metal Jacket studio, dominated by irregular, refracted geometrical figures. 

 

In defiance of the pandemic, which unfortunately occurred during the young brand’s first year on the market, we have succeeded in releasing new albums in each of the six series of ANAKLASIS. 

 

The monographic blue series PORTRAITS, devoted to contemporary composers, includes a disc of works by Romuald Twardowski, the composer who has worked with PWM for the longest time, celebrating his ninetieth birthday this year (ANA 010), as well as discs of music by Maciej Zieliński (ANA 004) and Roman Palester (ANA 003). The green series SOUNDS, celebrating outstanding interpreters and their instruments, opened with Piotr Orzechowski, aka ‘Pianohooligan’, performing compositions by Zygmunt Krauze, Sławomir Kupczak, Marcin Stańczyk and Aleksander Nowak on a Rhodes electric piano (ANA 001). That was the first disc on the ANAKLASIS label. The second was devoted to Zygmunt Krauze, with a concept album on which he juxtaposed his own compositions with works by Fryderyk Chopin and John Cage, performing himself at the piano (ANA 002). 

 

The orange series REVISIONS represents the crossing of borders and playing with conventions. To date it boasts experiments by the quartet of Kuba Stankiewicz, who is fascinated by Roman Statkowski’s opera Maria, in which he seeks sources of Polish jazz (ANA 008). Agata Zubel, Andrzej Bauer and Cezary Duchnowski, meanwhile, broke down the boundaries of genres and turned to songs by Stanisław Moniuszko on the album E-ŚPIEWNIK (ANA 009). Also drawing on the Romantic legacy was the High Definition Quartet, which – in keeping with Piotr Orzechowski’s pseudonym ‘Pianohooligan’ – offered a rakish treatment of the second part of Adam Mickiewicz’s Forefathers’ Eve, replacing the guests from the otherworld with iconic composers of experimental music (ANA 007). Appearing in this series less than two weeks ago was Krzysztof Herdzin’s album IMPRESSIONS ON PADEREWSKI, with jazz reinterpretations of the great pianist’s works (ANA 011). And 11 December sees the premiere of BAJGELMAN. GET TO TANGO, with compositions by one of the most famous Jewish composers from between the two world wars, performed by the well-known Cracow-based Bester Quartet.

 

The crème de la crème of ANAKLASIS is the purple series IMAGES. This features audio-visual recordings of shows and concerts in the ultimate Blu-ray standard, complemented with documentary films devoted to composers. Here we have Agata Zubel’s Bildbeschreibung (ANA 002 AV), Andrzej Krzanowski’s Audycja V (ANA 003 AV) and Aleksander Nowak’s much publicised and enthusiastically received opera ahat-īli – sister of gods, with a libretto by the Nobel prize-winning author Olga Tokarczuk. 

 

Polish music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries means not just composers and living, active performers of that music. There are also rich phonographic collections from the Polish Radio archive in the series HERITAGE. ANAKLASIS has turned to these collections twice, both times specifically to Stanisław Moniuszko, whose two-hundredth birthday was recently celebrated by the whole of Poland. SONGS / ARIAS / OVERTURES is a selection of excerpts from Moniuszko operas in performances that might be called canonic and exemplary, featuring Andrzej Hiolski, Bernard Ładysz, Halina Słonicka, Grzegorz Fitelberg, Jan Krenz and Jerzy Semkow (ANA 006). Also belonging among those performances is The Raftsman, with Słonicka and Ładysz, as well as Bogdan Paprocki and Andrzej Hiolski (ANA 005). 

 

The latest series is OPERA, which features the first work by Aleksander Nowak and Szczepan Twardoch, Drach. Dramma per musica. Its premiere at the AUKSODRONE festival in Tychy was hailed as the ‘Event of the Year’ and won a Coryphaeus of Polish Music statuette this year. The CDs are complemented by vinyl releases. ANAKLASIS has already announced another release of an opera by the same duo – Syrena. Melodrama aeterna, recorded at this year’s AUKSODRONE. And that’s just the start!

 

All the ANAKLASIS releases are available at leading bookshops and music stores, on digital platforms and on the virtual shelves of the empik chain.

Most popular:

PWM Edition’s 75th anniversary album GREAT ENCOUNTERS

GREAT ENCOUNTERS are performers’ meetings with excellent music, but also the encounters of great personalities from the past with composers who enjoy successes in our own times. Fryderyk Chopin, Henryk Wieniawski, Stanisław Moniuszko, Karol Szymanowski, and Ignacy Jan Paderewski did for Polish music what the three great Romantic bards and the giants of positivistic novel achieved in the field of literature. Their music not only impresses audiences with its beautiful form and emotional charge, but also provides modern-day artists with an inexhaustible source of inspiration. That music preserves for us the idiom of Polishness, to which, willy-nilly, by way of homage or rebellion, successful generations of artists and music lovers continue to return as to a point of reference. On GREAT ENCOUNTERS, this is done by the most outstanding representatives of Polish jazz and popular music.

What Do We See When We Are Listening? ACOUSMATIC MUSIC from ANAKLASIS

Music is normally supposed to be listened to. Still, it also flows through our other senses. Is it, however, connected with them in a necessary and inseparable manner? After all, we can close our eyes, open up our imagination, and let unexpected experiences flow through our minds. On its brand-new 2CD release from the PORTRAITS series, the ANAKLASIS label invites you to play with your experiences and expectations. The album ACOUSMATIC MUSIC presents the philosophy of music as interpreted by one of the most intriguing contemporary composers – Marcin Stańczyk.

“All is darkness, all is quiet. What will happen here tonight?” FOREFATHERS’ EVE comes out on a gramophone record on 17th March

FOREFATHERS’ EVE by High Definition Quartet, a mesmerising fusion of jazz, ambient, and electronics, will also be available on a gramophone record as of 17th March. The album features a galaxy of experimental music stars and will be released in the REVISIONS series under the ANAKLASIS label, as the second vinyl in that label’s catalogue. Apart from the Quartet, this release brings together such world-famous giants of ambient as William Basinski, Krzysztof Knittel, Robert Rich, Christian Fennesz, and Igor Boxx of Skalpel Duo.

Polish Music Library: PWM Edition sums up the project with an attractive animation

The Polish Music Library is the youngest member of the top flight of Polish libraries, exceptional in terms of its collection and unrivalled for accessibility. It is maintained by PWM Edition, the biggest Polish publisher of sheet music and books about music, which thanks to its international prestige effectively promotes the output of Polish composers around the world. PWM sums up this project, which has been realised since 2017, with an attractive animation presenting the process through which its resources have been digitised.
 

POLISH HEROINES OF MUSIC – a new album in the SOUNDS series

Does music call for gender equality? It can surely defend itself. Nonetheless, the artistic advantages of excellent present-day women-composers and their eminent predecessors are worthy of being noticed and highlighted. Women have their separate and distinctive voice in Polish music. In recognition of the need to acknowledge that voice, on 29th January ANAKLASIS will release the CD POLISH HEROINES OF MUSIC, comprising orchestral works by Elżbieta Sikora, Hanna Kulenty, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Agata Zubel.
 

Tangos from the library of oblivion – a new disc in the series REVISIONS from ANAKLASIS

A panorama of compositional output combining Polish and Yiddish inter-war hits with sorrowful, despairing tangos from the Ghetto. The disc Bajgelman. Get to Tango represents a twenty-first-century take on the output of the outstanding musician Dawid Bajgelman, from Łódź. These arrangements and reworkings of selected works by one of the greatest composers of Jewish theatre music were produced by the outstanding musician and composer Jarosław Bester. The album comes out on 11 December.
 

A year in Polish music in sixteen albums – ANAKLASIS celebrates its first birthday

The ANAKLASIS record label, created by PWM just one year ago (on 22 November 2019), already boasts sixteen albums, and it shows no signs of slowing down, with further releases announced. 
 

‘Music from Chopin’s Land’ – an international project of PWM Edition

PWM Edition has launched a campaign and an international educational project, which brings the works by Polish composers closer to the audiences worldwide. ‘Music from Chopin’s Land’ encompasses more than just pieces by Chopin – it also means Paderewski, Szymanowska, Moniuszko, Kilar, Kurpiński and many other composers.

The premiere of Aleksander Nowak’s opera 'Drach' named Event of the Year! The laureates of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music awards 2020 have been announced

On 7 November 2020, during a gala broadcast on TVP Kultura, the laureates of the 10th edition of the Coryphaeus of Polish Music awards were announced. The award for Event of the Year went to the premiere of Aleksander Nowak’s opera Drach. Dramma per musica, given at the AUKSODRONE festival. Aleksander Nowak’s work, to a libretto by Szczepan Twardoch based on his heralded novel, was rewarded for ‘emphasising local dimensions in universal processes, for the strength of its musical and cultural message’. 
 

Krzysztof Herdzin’s 'Impressions on Paderewski' – a new release on ANAKLASIS

Paderewski was a great composer. Herdzin is a great improviser. The fusion of the worlds of these two musical giants has given rise to a new phenomenon, which we share with you today. On the 160th anniversary of the birth of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, it is time to prick up our ears to the most beautiful impressions on his music.