Introduction to Music – Report #6
Performance Information- Group #2
Date of Concert – Friday, November 20, 1998, 7:30p.m.
Type of Concert – Soloist Concert
Performer – Andrzej Grabiec, Violin
Accompanied by the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra

* Concert Programs were provided *

List of Works Performed
1. Mazur from Halka – Stanislaw Moniuszko (1819-1872)

2. Violin Concerto in A Major, Op. 8 – Mieczyslaw Karlowicz (1876-1909)

Allegro moderato
Romanza. Andante
Finale. Vivace assai
Andrzej Grabiec, Violin


Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra performed renditions of great musical pieces composed by Polish composers of the 19th and 20th century. The musical pieces were filled with vigor, emotion, and nationalistic themes. The energy and excitement of the musical pieces was due to the excellent utilization of the orchestra. The orchestra consisted of 23 violins, 9 violas, 9 cellos, 5 basses, 4 flutes, 4 oboes, 4 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, 1 tuba, 5 timpani/percussion instruments, 1 piano, and 1 harp.

Program Analysis
The first solo piece performed by Andrzej Grabiec was Mieczyslaw Karlowicz’s Violin Concerto in A Major, Op. 8. Karlowicz never considered himself a nationalistic composer. His concerto was composed at a time in his life when he began to defy and speak out against the narrow dependence of the Polish musical tradition and it’s national style (Information from Program notes).
Tchaikovsky had a major influence on Karlowicz’s passion for innovation as a Polish composer. This influence is seen as Andrzej Grabiec began the opening motif of the first movement, which is reminiscent of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto (Program Notes). As the orchestra opened with this motif, in a moderate, forte tempo, the French horns took over and led the melody with ascending, disjunct arpeggios which changed from major to minor often with Karlowicz’s carefully placed accidentals.
As suddenly as the orchestra had risen to a fortissimo with the ascending winds, the orchestra completely subsided to the solo voice of the violin. Grabiec introduces the first theme unaccompanied, playing disjunct ascending and descending multiple-stops with a medium range.
The first thing I noticed about Grabiec was his stage presence. He was a tall, but stocky man with a bit of a belly. However, he exuded a stately presence on stage with his straight posture and his semi-stern facial expressions. As he began his unaccompanied introduction of the first theme, I was not very impressed. Though he had a good clear tone, his double and triple-stops were very much lacking in good intonation that I would expect from a professional.
As the orchestra returned to the scene, Grabiec transitioned from his multiple-stops to ascending scales leading to long, legato half and quarter notes. The dynamics changed the mood of the piece as it changed from a forte to a piano, which led to a minor section of the piece. The soloist, changing with the mood as well, played a mysterious bouncing melody that rolled into double-stops that were particularly terrible. and then once again transitioned back into a major key. The music was very soft and light, and had a dancing/trotting texture. The strokes played on the violins were uniform and blended. Moreover, during this transition, the woodwinds and the string instruments seem to imitate one another in a polyphonic fashion. As the tremolo of the orchestra crescendoed, Grabiec began his cadenza with a series of harmonics. The cadenza overall had a comical bouncy nature to it which was attributed to the use of harmonics, spicatto, trills, and arpeggios in A major.
The placement of the cadenza was abnormal in that it was placed near the end of the movement instead of in the middle. Karlowicz placed the cadenza near the end to use it as a bridge to the recapitulation of the piece (Program Notes).
The ritardando at the end of the first movement went right into the second movement (attaca). The second movement began with the introduction of a new theme in a more adagio tempo that took over the recapitulation of the previous movement. The soloist began playing ascending octaves that were out of tune. The timpani then led the orchestra into a more somber mood as the orchestra put on their mutes and played a slow tremolo and accompanied the sweet legato strokes of the soloist. The serene atmosphere of the movement fades to an end as the ascending trills of