The main aim of the project With Music unto Independence is to celebrate the centenary of Poland regaining her independence, but also the promotion of Polish musical culture abroad, as well as broadening knowledge of the scope of Polish hymnal and patriotic songs. After regaining its independence, Poland didn’t have an official national anthem between 1918 and 1927. At that time, a number of unofficial anthems were sung: Bogurodzica (Mother of God), Boże coś Polskę (lit. God Save Poland), Warszawianka (The Song of Warsaw 1831), Rota (The Oath) or Dąbrowski’s Mazurka. During the preceding period and at the time of regaining independence, there appeared a number of interesting hymnal forms and patriotic songs which laid claim to the title of national anthem or anthems of military formations.
They had a nationwide reach, being the externalisation of a feeling of pride and solidarity, an expression of national unity. They etched themselves indelibly in the memories of Polish women and men.
The musical presentations of the hymns will be accompanied by a verbal commentary about the history of the hymns and the chronology of the events from the period of regaining of its independent status. Mention will be made of the fathers of independence: Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski, Wojciech Korfanty and Ignacy Jan Paderewski (two of whose works will be performed).
The second aim of the project is to remind us of the fact that the preservation of our national identity was possible thanks to anonymous creators of folk music. It is also thanks to their songs, passed down from generation to generation, that knowledge of the Polish language and the cultural distinctiveness of the Poles endured, both at home and amongst those whose destiny took them far away from their country. That is why the concert programme includes reworkings of folk melodies from southern Poland (where the musicians participating in the project originate), complemented by works specially composed by Janusz Kohut for the commemoration of the centenary of independence.
The effect of the project, apart from celebrating the centenary of regaining independence, will be the deepening of knowledge about the history of the national anthem, the events leading to the regaining of independence, and national emblems, as well as the approach that should accompany their public presentation.
Anthems, patriotic songs, folk melodies, the music of Polish composers and their authority internationally– especially that of the pianist and composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski – all these enabled the retention of Polish identity during her enslavement, and laid the foundations for the regaining of independence. The concerts are aimed at audiences of all ages.