- POSK temporarily closed
Review by Richard Williams
London Jazz News preview
"strongly performed Polish opera"
as part of the Insiders /Outsiders festival
Opera Now magazine, May issue
Review in Opera Now magazine
Proposed new constitution for POSK
Dominic Williams for London Jazz News
At the last Concert with Coffee we heard a remarkably interesting repertoire performed by a talented duet: Cellist Evva Mizerska accompanied by pianist Emma Abbate. The artists took their audience on a journey on the musical map of Europe, presenting the most interesting compositions of international composers.
“A rising star” – as Evva was called by the prestigious magazine The Strad. “A wide scale of expression and impressive competence” - words used about the duet formed with Emma. The press specialising in classical music leaves no doubt that there is a great career ahead for these two young musicians. Evva, born in Poland and educated there and in Great Britain, despite her young age has won several prizes: first place in the international competition in Brno, the Vivian Joseph Cello Prize and Leonard Smith Duo Prize in London. She has also won several scholarships including the Darlington Summer Music School in Great Britain, Kronberg Academy in Germany and Third World Cello Congress in Baltimore in USA.
Emma keeps up with Evva with her achievements; she has performed at many festivals including Salzberg, Lisbon, Sorrento, Bristol and Aldeburgh. She has won many prizes such as: the Anglo-Czechoslovak Trust Award, the International Ibla Grand Prize, Grover Bennett Prize and AMA Kalabria Award. She is from Naples and the Italian music press describe her as an amazingly talented pianist. As well as accompanying Evva she also accompanies vocalists as at earlier concerts in the main theatre in POSK. Among her special interests is twentieth century chamber music.
Together they make a well-matched tandem, whose positive energy can be immediately seen. They performed together in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Georges in Bristol and during the Chester Festival, and also on prestigious platforms in Austria, Brazil, Czech, Germany, Italy and Poland. They have been playing together for 11 years since they first met in college. They admitted that they not only came together for concerts but also met every as friends. “Because we know and understand each other well certainly help us,” said Emma “It is not easy to play with someone you do not like but we have a common understanding and language.”
From the Czech republic by way of Great Britain to Russia
The language which brings them together is music. When they first came on the stage you could immediately notice that they communicate without words. The first piece which they played in the main theatre auditorium of POSK was Pohadka by the Czech composer, Leos Janacek. He was fascinated by Moravian culture and was a collector of peasant songs and you can feel his fascination in his creativity. From there we transferred to Poland thanks to the sentimental work, Blue Note by Weronika Ratusińska. The next stop was Great Britain and Fantasiestücke by Algernon Ashton. This once-famed composer whose work is now largely forgotten was mentioned by Evva at the beginning of the concert. The latest recording by the duet is wholly dedicated to his creativity.
After a short interval there was a strong energetic emphasis with the last of the Viennese classics, Ludwig van Beethoven with variations on a theme of Mozart’s Magic Flute. The end of the musical journey was in Russia with compositions by Sergei Prokofiev. The musicians admitted that this was the cherry on the cake, since the Sonata in C in one of their favourite pieces. At the end the organiser of the concert, Barbara Bakst, underlined the contribution of both artists in promoting Polish culture in Great Britain.
This was the second concert by Evva in POSK. Emma however has performed here four times. “It happens that I often have the opportunity to work with Polish artists. I can see a great similarity between our cultures, starting with the Catholic faith, through a sharp temperament, to family values. “Thanks to this it's easy to make contact,” she states. “This relationship is double-sided since Emma is attracted to the Poles and I am attracted to the Italians, since my husband is Italian,” added Evva with a smile.
Emma likes contemporary serious Polish music and thanks to Evva she has been able to get to know it better. “Our first concert together in POSK was based on very classical Polish music - we played Chopin among others. Today, since we assumed our audience knows us and is more demanding, we have chosen a more modern and international repertoire to show another side in our performance. We hope that you enjoyed it.” said Evva in conclusion.
Text & photo: Magdalena Grzymkowska
Translation by Janek Kaczmarek