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Warsaw Philharmonic Archive

A record from the Warsaw Philharmonic collection titled “The 1st Concert In The Rebuilt Hall 1955” opens a cycle of valuable archival publishings of the Warsaw Philharmonic Archive. The album presents original, remastered from the master tape, recording of the first concert held in the new hall of the Warsaw Philharmonic, rebuilt after the Second World War. The repertoire of the concert, which took place on 21 February 1955, included works of the most prominent Polish composers. The Symphonic Orchestra of the Warsaw Philharmonic under the baton of Witold Rowicki, the legendary Polish conductor, performed Stanisław Moniuszko’s “Bajka “ (Fairy Tale) Concert Overture, Witold Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra and Karol Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35. The soloist was Wanda Wiłkomirska, at that time a young very talented violinist, who later became the icon of the Polish violin studies.

The publishing includes the full recording of the concert together with accompanying speeches (by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz and Włodzimierz Sokorski),and the performance of the Polish national anthem. In this way the original atmosphere of the evening, which opened a new chapter in the history of the Warsaw Philharmonic, was preserved. The concert left unforgettable impressions not only because of its historical context. The interpretations by Rowicki and Wiłkomirska electrified the audience and wowed music critics, and the precision and sound of the orchestra amaze by this day.

The album is enclosed with two booklets devoted to the Warsaw Philharmonic "wczoraj i dziś" (yesterday and today), containing among others description of the record plus biographies of Witold Rowicki and Wanda Wiłkomirska prepared by a notable musicologist, Stanisław Dybowski. The materials include also selected reviews that were published at that time in the press and numerous photographs. The recordings were remastered and re-edited by outstanding sound engineers, Grammy Award winners: Aleksandra Nagórko and Andrzej Sasin (CD Accord).

The record was published by Warner Classics in 2016.