Culture in Poznań



Komeda with nostalgia

All those of you who are anxious to see the 12th Nostalgia Festival Poznań can breathe a sigh of relief: the festival will go ahead after all, although on different dates, with a changed programme and at a whole new venue. What is there to expect of Poznań's most quintessentially autumn festival?

Oleś Duo, photo: Blanka Tomaszewska - grafika artykułu
Oleś Duo, photo: Blanka Tomaszewska

The event's fans were thrilled to learn of the choice of the special guests for this edition: the author and laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature Elfride Jelinek and the very talented young-generation composer Wojciech Blecharz. Sadly, these appearances were never confirmed. Neither was the original festival date in October. No reason to despair though as Nostalgia Festival will nevertheless go ahead to reminisce on the past, reflect on current year's developments and take a good look into the future. 

Komeda in the Museum

The festival will become part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Krzysztof Komeda's death. His music will reverberate at the National Museum, on the street where Trzciński (which is Komeda's original last name) grew up, on November 14-16 in an all new interpretation and an all new context. Ares Chadzinikolau will be there to open three festival nights. This Poznań-native, who is a singer, poet and pianist, will combine Komeda's world with Greek-jazz pathos. "I have been promoting Greek art in Poland and Polish art in Greece to build bridges between the two cultures. This latest project is yet another historic contribution of mine (...) As a visionary, not unlike Polanski, Komeda has never lost his amazing authenticity and freshness. Despite that, he remains unknown to many Poles and even more Greeks, whose country I am now touring", admits Chadzinikolau. The artist's solo project completes his book "Bez rozgrzeszenia" ("Without Absolution"). The concert will feature Ares's own compositions, including his most famous pieces, among them Kattorna and selected movie sound tracks, some of which come from Rosemary's Baby. The event will blend two very different emotional mindsets: the Slavic lyrical melodiousness and the hard-charging energy of the Greeks.

Day two of the festival is devoted to Komeda's music performed on vibraphone, bass and percussions. The new sound for Trzciński's compositions was created by the Oleś Brothers - the best known twin duo on the Polish improvised-music scene, made up of the composer Marcin Oleś on bass and the composer and music producer Bartłomiej Brat Oleś on drums. The brothers invited the vibraphonist Bartosz Pieszek to the nostalgic stage. Their joint project "Komeda Ahead" includes Litania, Astigmatic, Nighttime, and Daytime Requiem.

The festival will close with a concert by Piotr the Pianohooligan Orzechowski, who is already known to nostalgia fans. Piotr, whose plan is to improvise on Komeda's music, brought on board Kuba Więcek. "Kuba Więcek aspires to becoming the top young-generation musician on the Polish jazz scene. His creativity and engagement on the domestic and international scene (including Europe, USA, South America, and Japan) are downright dizzying", writes Tomasz Szachowski in Jazzforum

The film industry connection

More than any other Polish composer, Komeda has made his name in the film industry. His music for Roman Polanski's productions (including Two Men and a Wardrobe, When Angels Fall and the best known of them all: Rosemary's Baby) could well have made his international career were it not for a tragic accident. The Nostalgia festival will reverse the roles as rather than watching movies featuring Komeda's music, we will see films about Komeda. The line-up includes two documentaries on the composer: Komeda, Komeda directed by Natasza Ziółkowska-Kurczuk and Komeda: A Soundtrack for a Life directed by Claudia Buthenhoff-Duffy. Make sure not to miss a special session recording of Tomasz Stańko and Jimmy Scott's concert of music by Trzciński in the Warsaw Congress Hall. One extraordinary treat for film buffs will be a meeting with Jerzy Kapuściński and Leszek Dawid. This will be the first time that either the film producer or the movie director will discuss their upcoming feature film on the life and work of Krzysztof Trzciński. Both the screenings and the meeting will be held in Malta Foundation headquarters. 

Back to the past

Day one of this twelfth edition of the Nostalgia festival will take us on a nostalgic trip down the memory lane reminiscing on previous events to the music of Gia Kanczeli, as it was once played in Poznań. The sad news about the composer's death was released on 2 October. During the festival, Kanczeli's music will provide an opportunity to immerse oneself again in the unique sensitivity of this Georgian artist.

This year will also bring "Theatre and film miniatures for viola and piano." (...) The tunes featured in this collection of miniatures come from theatre and movie productions that span many periods. I have selected the themes I value the most hoping not to be the only one that finds them appealing", said the composer. We will hear his essential film and theatre music, including that for the movies The Crucible (1965), As You Like It (1978), Mother Courage and Her Children (1988), Cinema (1977), The Role for a Beginner (1980) and for the theatre plays King Lear (1987), Waiting for Godot (2002), Hamlet (1992), and Don Quixote (1988). The concert series will be performed by Marcin Murawski, Associate Professor of the Poznań Music Academy, on viola, and the Georgian pianist Nino Jvania from the V. Sarajishvili State Conservatory of Music in Tbilisi.

Aleksandra Kujawiak

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

  • 12th Nostalgia Festival
  • 14-16 November
  • Admission to National Museum concerts is free - collect your admission card at the Cultural Information Centre (CIK)
  • For more, see

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2019