Jazz, violin, and a legendary pianist on one stage. The world premiere of Mateusz Smoczyński’s Concerto for violin, piano and symphony orchestra will take place on October 7, 2022 at the Szczecin Philharmonic.
Mateusz Smoczyński, a jazz violinist known for his work with the Atom String Quartet and Turtle Island Quartet, is increasingly boldly venturing with his works into areas that until recently were reserved for classical symphonic music composers. His latest composition, the III Concerto for violin, piano and symphony orchestra entitled “Fallen Angel”, is dedicated to the legend of piano playing – Janusz Olejniczak.
It was Olejniczak who, closely observing Mateusz Smoczyński’s artistic development practically from the beginning of his career and being deeply impressed by the Warsaw premiere of the I Violin Concerto “Adam’s Apple” at the National Philharmonic in 2021, stated that Smoczyński’s body of work must be expanded to include a symphonic piece for the piano. As a result, “Fallen Angel” was created, a concerto that combines classical form with romantic piano and improvised elements drawing from jazz and even rock in the violin part. The orchestra is treated fully symphonically and, unlike many works that straddle genres, is not merely a backdrop for virtuosic solo instrument displays, but shows the maximum sound and technical possibilities, creating an extremely spectacular whole for the listeners. As with “Adam’s Apple,” the title remains in the biblical concept, and once again references the American composer John Adams, specifically his piano concerto.
Smoczyński’s innovative style of compositions requires modern production. Not without reason, Szczecin and the repeatedly awarded in contemporary architecture competitions headquarters of the Philharmonic named after Mieczysław Karłowicz were chosen as the venue for the premiere of Fallen Angel. The premiere will feature the aforementioned Janusz Olejniczak (piano) and the author of the piece – Mateusz Smoczyński (violin) as soloists, accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of the Szczecin Philharmonic under the baton of Wojciech Rodek.
The partners of the premiere of Fallen Angel are the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin and the Association of Performing Artists STOART. The creation of the piece was co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund as part of the “Commissions of Composers” program implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance.
Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
Janusz Olejniczak – piano
Mateusz Smoczyński – violin
Wojciech Rodek – conductor
Mateusz Smoczyński – Fallen Angel Double concerto for violin, piano, and orchestra (premiere)
César Franck – Symphony in d-minor