After honouring the film works of Andrzej Wajda last year, the Krakow Film Music Festival decided to highlight the many memorable moments of Polish Director Roman Polanski this year. Co-organised by the cities of Krakow and Katowice, the premier of the concert “Polish Music Gala: Scoring4Polański” took place at the NOSPR concert hall on Tuesday, before the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Dirk Brossé brought the magical music of Polanski’s favourite composers to the ICE Kraków Congress Hall.

Thanks to Polanski’s vast amount of cinematic work he has brought to the world of cinema, the concert was clearly a journey through time. Having worked with the great Krzysztof Komeda, Wojciech Kilar, Philippe Sarde, Vangelis, Ennio Morricone, Jerry Goldsmith or lately also Alexandre Desplat, it was a very fitting opening to this year’s edition of the Krakow Film Music Festival.

Celebrating Jazz, Krzysztof Komeda and Tomasz Stańko

The big star of the evening, besides Polanski and Desplat, happened to be Tomasz Stańko, Polish jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader as described on his website. That being said, The New Yorker put it better, where he was called “one of the most original and creative jazz trumpet players in the world.” Stańko’s performance last evening was astonishing, especially considering his age of 73 years, which is hard to believe when you experience him live on stage. He received a well-deserved warm applause many times throughout the concert.

Thanks to Polanski’s longtime collaboration with Polish jazz pianist and composer Krzysztof Komeda, the second half of the concert was opened by two extensive suites of Komeda’s film music work – my personal highlight of the evening. It was a very pleasant variation to the usually mostly orchestral concerts of the Krakow Film Music Festival.

The Obara International Quartet shared the stage with Tomasz Stańko and you can watch a video snippet from last night’s concert below:

You can also watch Polanski’s silent short film Two Men and a Wardrobe below which happened to be the first time Komeda ever wrote music for a film:

'Two Men and a Wardrobe' ('Dwaj ludzie z szafą', 1958) by Roman Polański

Celebrating Wojciech Kilar Award Winner Alexandre Desplat

Roman Polanski and Alexandre Desplat happened to sit sit only six seats away from me and so I was lucky to experience the joy they felt throughout the concert from very close. It was especially obvious when Alexandre Desplat, winner of the the second Wojciech Kilar Award, received a bouquet of flowers together with Roman Polanski at the very end of the concert and – seated on the second rank of the concert hall – decided to joyfully throw many of the flowers into the audience.

You can listen to a snippet of Alexandre Desplat’s score for Polanski’s Carnarge below:


All in all it was a wonderful evening not only for film music fans but also for lovers of great cinema or art in general enabling everyone to contemplate on the development of the past 50 years of cinema. You can find out more about the Krakow Film Music Festival on the official website and via following our Live Blog.

Full setlist (incl. links to scores):

Posted by Peter F. Ebbinghaus

Based in Berlin, Germany. Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief. Music Producer at Eon Sounds Productions. Founder of Composers for Relief. Keeps Moving.

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