Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Polonia Restituta"

The Polish Independence Day is on the 11th of November (1918). Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as DAI's Friends all gathered at al-Maidan Cultural Centre to celebrate on Monday the 8th of November.

The enthusiastic audience looked upon the stage with anticipation waiting to hear music from an organ, a piano, and a choir.

The Polish ambassador HE Janusz Szwedo was the narrator of the musical performance; which took the audience on a journey through Poland's history. The music expressed the misery, suffering and liberty of Poland. With the knowledge of the history of a specific period, as well as an explanation of the song, we experienced the ups and downs of Poland's move towards independence.

Maestro Valentina Maria Baginska performed several impressive organ solos and the exceptional vocalists sung Polish national songs. One of the vocalists, Karol Kusmider performed on the cello accompanied by Maestro Valentina on the organ. We were also treated with a beautiful piano solo by the talented Anna Maria Maszkowska.

Even though the performance was dedicated to Poland, it was celebrated by all nationalities evident by the international vocalist group which consisted of a New Zealander, Venezuelan, Indonesian and several other nationalities. The audience as well was very international.

The concert was enjoyed by everyone including the young girls sitting next to me who waved their arms in the air imitating the conductor!

Maestro Valentina expressed how honored she was to perform on the occasion of Polish Independence Day and how it took her 6 months to prepare and construct this program. It's a challenging task to express the history of a country with music in limited time. But the performance was a night to remember in honor of the Polish Independence Day.

Polonia Restituta. "Poland Reborn"

[Note: I would like to remind attendees to please turn off their cell phones or set them to silent whenever there is a musical performance or lecture at al-Maidan Centre. This concert was unfortunately interrupted four times!]  


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