PROJECT: PHOENIX CITIES
MOTTO OF THE PROJECT
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE, WITHOUT FORGETTING THE PAST
PHOENIX CITIES - MUSIC and HISTORY
"War Horns" is a concerto composed for horns and it became the foundation of Pawel Pudlo’s multidisciplinary project called "Phoenix Cities", that combines history and music. Through these two complimentary narrations – language of art and language of facts – Phoenix Cities Project tells the stories of the most destroyed cities of World War II, that since has risen from the ashes. The Project’s premise combines historical lectures and the music concert, which allows Phoenix Cities to attract a broad and diverse audience.
Phoenix Cities project is dedicated to the following cities:
Warsaw, Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Coventry,
Manila, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo,
Stalingrad (Volgograd) and Leningrad (Saint Petersburg).
The premiere of the project – dedicated to Warsaw – took place on 11 October 2017 at the Warsaw Uprising Museum in Warsaw (Poland) on the scene set against the unique backdrop of a Liberator plane. In accordance with the project’s premise, the event consisted of a history lecture about pre- and post-war Warsaw and its citizens and the concert of the ‘War Horns’ piece.
"War Horns" is a concerto composed for ten horns. The instrument was chosen purposefully – its symbolism centers around courage, majesty, heroism and melancholy. For thousands of years, horns were used for communication during battles and hunts. And war is always a hunt – for humans.
Contrary to this image, this time the sound of horns carries the message of peace – through the remembrance of war and the tribute paid to its civilian victims, to whom the "War Horns" concerto is dedicated.
This music piece is a reflection on the subject of war, that is a repetitive process of human history. It brings forth the suffering of the civilians and condemns all acts of war.
WAR HORNS album received the distinction for the "Album of the Year 2018" (classical music) awarded by the prestigious magazine 'HI-FI i Muzyka'.
Horn performed by:
- STEFAN DE LEVAL JEZIERSKI
- GRZEGORZ MONDRY
- MATEUSZ FELIŃSKI
- CZESŁAW CZOPKA
- ŁUKASZ ŁACNY
- ROBERT WASIK
- ANNA MONDRY
- GABRIEL CZOPKA
- IGOR SZELIGOWSKI
- MICHAŁ SZCZERBA
Conducted by PAWEL PUDLO
Recorded by DUX label
Mixed by ARTUR WILNIEWCZYC and PAWEL PUDLO.
The recording session took place in the Witold Lutoslawski’s Concert Studio of the Polish Radio in Warsaw between 8th and 10th of August, 2017.
‘Pawel Pudlo composed a concerto for ten soloists, who play also as an orchestra […] Excellent arrangement. An exceptional record.’
Hanna and Andrzej Milewski - HI-FI i Muzyka Magazine
‘If you've ever wondered what sounds a horn can produce except those you know, then you should listen to the ‘War Horns’, a concert for 10 horns by Poland's Pawel Pudlo. This is an absolutely brilliant piece. […] a symphonic poem that describes the war, the resulting chaos, and the painful consequences. It's an anti-war piece, says Pudlo. It premiered in Gdansk, a symbolic city in the Second World War, but also the birthplace of the ‘Solidarnosc’ freedom movement. The performance by 10 Polish horn players is phenomenal.‘
Remy Franck's Journal – Pizzicato. Classics In Luxembourg
‘[...] an interesting new contribution to the horns-in-mass phenomenon created by Polish composer, Pawel Pudlo [...] The horn playing of the recording is superb [...] What you hear is cinematic and blockbuster, reminiscent of the evilest moments of film, such as Saruman’s “Caverns of Isengard” in the Lord of the Rings, or the angry, horrifying horning in "Cape Fear" movie [...] Kudos to Pudlo for his innovative method of marketing this work.‘
Nathan Pawelek - The Horn Call Magazine (International Horns Society USA)
‘The ‘War Horns’ piece sounds very interesting. The tone of ten French horns and interesting, raw harmonic and rhythm structure are the main value of the music album.‘
Bronislaw Tumilowicz – Tygodnik Przegląd Magazine
‘Atypical set of musicians allowed Pudlo to create an original and predatory sonic texture at the symbolic level seamlessly compatible with the piece theme and its message. […] plasticity of sound in conjunction with the melody of recurring themes, make the piece closer to the film scores. […] Pudlo is also a producer and the creative director of his initiated projects the scale of which usually goes spectacularly beyond the score itself. […] Once again, the marketing flair of the composer and his ambition to offer the listeners high-quality products can be seen.‘
Krzysztof Ruszkowski – Soundtracks pl
‘Listening to the piece written for an ensemble of 10 French horn players is impressive. Pawel Pudlo harnessed the power inherent in the instruments in the form of a pacifist message to the world mired in wars. In his music, we see the suffering, the pain, but also firm opposition to the reality around us. […] War Horns is one of the most remarkable recording projects of 2017.‘
Robert Ratajczak – Longplay Blox pl
‘The playing is excellent; powerful, dynamic and full of character. […] I have to stress how much I enjoyed the actual playing and indeed – given Pudlo's cinematic background – he achieves some striking and dramatic musical effects. […] some rather unrelentingly sombre writing – lots of musical gloom and doom.‘
Nick Barnard. Musicweb International
Premiere of the concerto
‘War Horns’ World premiere took place on 23 August 2015 in Gdansk in the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, during the Solidarity of Arts Festival – only few kilometers away from Westerplatte, a place of particular symbolism to Poland and the entire world. During the world premiere the piece was played by the musicians from Poland, Germany, Russia, Italy and Spain.
On the day of the ‘War Horns’ world premiere in Gdansk, in the foyer of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, there was an exhibition of the sculpture installation created by the sculptor, Paweł Stępień. The sculpture installation is an integral part of the War Horns project.
CONCERT IN NOSPR
The ‘War Horns’ concerto was also performed in Katowice (20 May 2017) by the horn players from the National Symphonic Orchestra of Polish Radio (NOSPR). The concert was a part of the Night of Museums program at NOSPR and gathered an audience of over 1800 – filling to the brim the main concert hall. Music was accompanied by the lights choreography that served to underscore the message of the piece. The performance was met with standing ovation from the audience.