Many years ago, on the occasion of 200 anniversary of first democratic Constitution in Europe and second in the world (after American Constitution) – the May3rd Constitution of Poland, I was involved in preparing many celebration of this event in Alberta. One of the main one, was a concert in Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary with world renowned pianist Janina Fijalkowska from Montreal. In Edmonton the music of Chopin was to be played by Marek Jablonski, very well known to Edmontonians since he spent many years in that city. For many years, a laureate of world famous competitions and concerts was the most popular Canadian pianist of Polish descent. And always more than obligingly kind to Polish communities in Canada to promote Polish culture, especially musical one. After a long tenure with the Royal Canadian Conservatory, the pianist returned to his home in Edmonton were he took professorship with the Alberta University. Marek Jablonski died in that city in 1999.
As fate would want, in 1998 there was another talented and well recognized pianist from Poland, who moved to Calgary and took musical tenure at Calgary’s Mont Royal University. His name is Krzysztof .. Jabłonski. Born almost 30 years later (in Wrocław, Poland), Krzysztof Jablonski has already a very distinguished musical career spanning continents. One could say that such a coincidence in names, country of birth, profession and amazing achievements on world stages is almost magical. As is their music that they play. Specially the music of Polish composers, chiefly by Frederic Chopin, of course.
In September 26 and 27 the CALGARY PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA will present a special concert POLISH SPECTACULAR: CHOPIN, GÓRECKI AND OTHER MASTERS.
With conductor Edmond Agopian and no one else, but said Krzysztof Jablonski at the piano. Both will present a compositions by:
Chopin: Polonaise, Prelude and Mazurka
Górecki: No. 3 from Pieces in the Olden Style
Tchaikovsky: Polonaise from Eugene Onegin
Szymanowski: Concert Overture Op. 12
Wrzaskala: Adagio from Centennial Suite
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 Sept. 26
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 Sept. 27
Except for Peter Tchaikovsky, all other composers were Polish and two of them were or are emigrants: Frederick Chopin, who emigrated to France where he spent the rest of his young life and Ryszard Wrzaskała – another Polish-Canadian, who emigrated to Vancouver about thirty years ago.
It would be really pointless to describe Chopin here. But to those who are not diligently active in the history of Polish or Canadian music few words about Wrzaskała. He moved to Canada after more or less full and completed professional musical career in Poland. Both as a composer and conductor. His second career in Canada could be described as a career of a Renaissance man. Wrzaskała himself was not only composing but become just about the best performer of his own music. Specially the lighter one, pop music for which he developed a great liking. And, similarly as Marek Jablonski, Ryszard Wrzaskała was always very close and kind to Polish community in Canada. He participated, and still does actively, in many endeavours that promote Polish musical culture. Eminent member of the Canadian Composers Association, Wrzaskała composed also classical music with Canadian themes. Such was the Centennial Suite which will by performed by Krzysztof Jabłonski with Calgary Philharmonics.
I am sure, that for the lucky ones, who would be able to attend the concert, it will be an unforgettable musical evening.