ANGEL, DEVIL AND DEATH SING OLD-TIME CAROLS
Concert premiered on 4 January 2013 in the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio
Christmas is a special time when conflicts, differences, laws of nature and even time are suspended. We can celebrate the mystery of Life by getting together to talk and sing. All the visitors from another world, The Carol Singers – the angel, the devil, the Santa, the Gypsy, the Jew, the Magi, the shepherds, the animals, and finally the death himself – sing about the birth of Baby Jesus, about love that creates the world and revives the Paradise on Earth.
Singing Christmas carols with friends and family brings back an image of tradition, where bonds are based on kinship and shared experience of eternity and God’s presence. Oftentimes, the carols are the origin of the joy we feel while singing, playing and listening to music. We wish to return to this kind of emotion and invite you to our world.
“Everything has changed like never before, wine is running like a river, it is warm like in the summer…”
Kaja Prusinowska, Janusz Prusinowski
For Kaja and Janusz singing together is an answer to various life situations. They browse through old songbooks and archives, they meet village singers and write songs for themselves and for others. They authored and performed lullabies based on the poems by Joanna Papuzińska. They also sing secular and religious songs for different occasions in life and during the liturgical year.
Instruments that accompany them include: hurdy-gurdy, pump organ, fiddle, hammered dulcimer and many more. Kaja and Janusz are also in charge of children’s theater Słuchaj Uchem (Play by Ear). Christmas carols are particularly close to them.
Kaja Prusinowska – vocals
Vocalist, painter, teacher and mom of five children. With Janusz Prusinowski Trio she performed throughout Europe. While working in elementary schools she carried out a program about Polish culture and traditions. She is inspired by old musical traditions and decorative arts: for instance, she composes melodies to contemporary children’s poetry, paints images for these melodies and creates set design for concerts and performances of Słuchaj Uchem (Play by Ear) theater.
Janusz Prusinowski – hurdy-gurdy, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, pump organ, vocals
Members of Janusz Prusinowski Kompania
Some musicians are so passionate about carols that they have sung the tales of king Herod and the Savior’s birth even during a harsh winter’s frost.
Piotr Piszczatowski – drums, vocals
Piotr Zgorzelski – folk bass, vocals
Michał Żak – wooden flute, clarinet, shawm and other wind instruments, vocals Szczepan Pospieszalski – trumpet, vocals
Singers from Gałki Rusinowskie
Zofia Kucharczyk, Maria Pęzik, Maria Siwiec, Maria Oracz, Jadwiga Dziedzic, Zofia Bykowska
The village of Gałki Rusinowskie near Przysucha is famous for the great female vocalists and dancers. All the ladies have been singing since childhood, perpetuating the centuries-long local tradition of song.
What is remarkable about their singing are: the timbre of their voices, rhythmicity, phrasing and lyrics. Above all, they have an amazingly rich repertoire of old ritual songs, ballads, and of course carols. The singers are also masters of improvisation and splendid housekeepers, telling plenty of fascinating stories about the tradition of village music played in the home.
The group has often been awarded at many important festivals. It is the winner of the prestigious Oskar Kolberg Prize. They have have also received the prize during the traditional dance competition in Rzeszów. Additionally, Maria Pęzik and Maria Siwiec are the laureates of the folk music festival in Kazimierz Dolny, where they won first prizes.