More from Miechów

Posted on January 27th, 2014 by

Last night, the student musicians of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra (GWO) performed in the Bascilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechów, Poland. This 14th century Gothic Bascilica, rebuilt in Baroque style in late 18th century after a fire, incorporates some Romanesque stone-work from the 13th century. The origins of the church date back to 1163, when some monks who had been guarding the Holy Sepulchre of Jesus in Jerusalem after the first Crusade were brought to Miechów, a town now about the size of St. Peter a short distance north of Kraków.

Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Miechów, Poland

Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Miechów, Poland


As it was a Sunday, there had been several Masses in the church, including one in the afternoon attended by several members of GWO, at all of which many attendees had to stand (and kneel) in the aisles and out in the entranceways because all of the pews were full. That was also the situation for our concert. The audience, ranging from elderly to young children, listened with rapt attention as the GWO performed a wide variety of music in the opulent splendor of this gold-gilded Baroque edifice. The local Priest was seen setting up extra chairs in the center aisle, and the audience included such dignitaries as a MP (Member of Parliament) with his wife, and a visiting Vatican Representative. The music they heard ranged from the biting dissonances of the Czech/American composer Vaclav Nelhybel to the rhythmic vitality of the American composer Frank Ticheli and the lush sounds of Aaron Copland. Two soloists were featured, Prof. Karrin Meffert-Nelson playing a movement of the Ticheli Clarinet Concerto and Emeritus Prof. David Fienen on the organ. Running the gamut of emotions was the longest selection on the program, the Symphonic Dances by Leonard Bernstein. We have five more audiences to share this music with before bringing it home to Bjorling Recital Hall.

GWO prepared to begin concert in Miechów, Poland.  Note the Polish and American flags hung from the pulpit just for our concert.

GWO prepared to begin concert in Miechów, Poland. Note the Polish and American flags hung from the pulpit just for our concert.

Concert poster

Concert poster

Dr. Meffert-Nelson rehearsing her Concerto with GWO

Dr. Meffert-Nelson rehearsing her Concerto with GWO

Dr. Fienen at the organ in Miechów

Dr. Fienen at the organ in Miechów

Can you find the (Swedish) three crowns in the plaster relief on this wall of the Basilica?

Can you find the (Swedish) three crowns in the plaster relief on this wall of the Basilica?

 


6 Comments

  1. Thomas W. Young says:

    Glad to hear and see that all is going well.
    Looking forward to the next post

  2. Megan Myhre '11 says:

    Looks like a blast!

  3. Cheryl Dietz says:

    It is wonderful to watch each day of outstanding musicians perform in these breathtaking cathedrals and churches. We are so proud to be able to be apart of this from back in Pewaukee Wisconsin.

  4. Lynnette Renneke Wiest says:

    Magnificent! All the places and pictures and descriptions are fantastic! We continue to look forward to updates! What an amazing experience for all!!

  5. robert churchill says:

    I remember that smile and that look from Dr. Fienen at the console!

  6. Pastor Rod Andersonl says:

    I found the 3 Crowns!!! Great blog !!!

    20 below here in Northern MN tonite!!!

    Stay Warm! Stay Connected!!!
    Pastor Ambassador Rod Anderson