Inspired by Homer’s poem

Belarusian premiere of Organ Odyssey, by Polish composer and organist Dariusz Przybylski, held at Vitebsk’s Philharmonic, showing contemporary trends in musical culture

By Ruslan Kochetkovsky

The project brought together eight young composers from Poland, Belarus, the UK, Germany, Ukraine and South Korea. Inspired by Homer’s epic poem, the young musicians presented their own interpretation, using the organ to express their feelings. Listeners had a unique opportunity to assess their various techniques at the concert, as well as those of various national musical schools. Nelli Matsaberidze stresses that the project enables amateur organists to gain insight and learn of contemporary trends in musical culture, alongside modern musical language.

According to Dariusz Przybylski, the author of the project, the idea of combining the most ancient text with the most ancient musical instrument, using contemporary material, was born this year. Mr. Przybylski invited his friend-musicians and young composers to take part, having met many talented people at festivals. Homer’s text was chosen, since it exists in every language. Eight segments of the epic poem were selected, with each young composer taking responsibility for a segment — to create the Organ Odyssey.

Belarusian Konstantin Yaskov played one segment and read texts for the others during the concert in Vitebsk. The other musicians were Dariusz Przybylski, Eunho Chang, Ralph Bernardi, Alexander Campkin, Jagoda Szmytka, Bohdan Sehin and Tomasz Opalka.

The concert was organised with the assistance of the Polish Institute in Minsk and the premiere took place during the International Warsaw Autumn Musical Festival of Contemporary Music, in September. On the eve of the event, the recital was first given in Ukraine. The musicians are now touring the UK, Germany and Poland — enjoying their own ‘odyssey’.
Dariusz Przybylski is a pupil of the famous Polish musician Marcin Blazewicz, and currently teaches at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He has written several operas, as well as symphony, chamber and vocal works.

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