Szymanowski to Sufjan Stevens

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, The National’s Bryce Dessner, and American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens were all influenced by great composers. In this program they join forces with the source of their inspiration, Polish nationalists Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutosławski.

A favourite of Richard Tognetti’s, Szymanowski’s surging String Quartet No.2 is a fusion of neoclassicism and Polish folk music. Lutosławski’s Overture for Strings is an almost dizzyingly multifaceted experiment, with one foot in neoclassicism and the other in the avant-garde.

Bryce Dessner’s Réponse Lutosławski is a homage to Lutosławski, whom he credits with having illuminated the way forward in his own musical development. Jonny Greenwood cites another Polish composer, Krzysztof Penderecki, as contributing to his experimental musical language. The suite from Greenwood’s film score, There Will Be Blood, is foreboding, hopeful and beautifully evocative.

Sufjan Stevens is widely celebrated as an American indie luminary. Run Rabbit Run is a précis of his 2009 album Enjoy Your Rabbit. Rhythmic drive, catchy melodies and mesmerising string sounds make for an energising and immersive experience.


Richard Tognetti Director


Lutosławski Overture for Strings
Bryce Dessner Réponse Lutosławski (Australian premiere)
Sufjan Stevens (arr. Michael Atkinson) Suite from Run Rabbit Run
Penderecki Three pieces in Baroque style: I. Aria
Jonny Greenwood Suite from There Will Be Blood
Szymanowski (arr. Richard Tognetti) String Quartet No.2

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Presented by Australian Chamber Orchestra

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