Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Piano Concerto 1: I. Preludium: Andante con moto" by Wojciech Kilar

I have been transfixed by this piece of music for some time now and I only just realized I have yet to post it. The "Piano Concerto 1" (1996) by Polish composer Wojciech Kilar (1932-2013, probably best known for his film music for "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and "The Pianist" for which he won a César in 2003) is simply miraculous. The first movement is what seizes my heart. It starts in a gentle place, contemplative but mysterious. Soon a tension emerges, strings hanging and shimmering high above us making us hold our breath, as this contemplation turns to melancholy and sorrow but not of the paralyzing, inactive kind: the mood is ramped up into one of pounding, agonizing emotion. Kilar wants us to break, to cry, to find the ultimate cosmic compassion for all of creation. As soon as this threshold is reached, we are released...

Here is a recording of the first movement played by Waldemar Malicki and conducted by Antoni Wit with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

No comments: