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Works by Agata Zubel and Krzysztof Wołek Premiere at the Warsaw Autumn Festival

Sep. 26, 2022

Works by Agata Zubel and Krzysztof Wołek Premiere at the Warsaw Autumn Festival

On September 17, the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music presented the world premieres of Agata Zubel’s Flash and Krzysztof Wołek's COH (Chocolate, Oranges and Ham) for ensemble and electronics, performed by the Talea Ensemble, led by James Baker, and by Tempo Reale. 

“I see no need to describe this piece in words. It is described in images,” states Agata Zubel when reflecting on Flash. The piece was commissioned by the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the Library of Congress for New York’s Talea Ensemble.  

Listen to Agata Zubel's Cleopatra's Songs (2017): 

(Cleopatra's Songs/Agata Zubel/Klangforum Wien/Johannes Kalitzke, conductor)

COH was written specially for Talea Ensemble as a commission from the Warsaw Autumn Festival and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. The electronic part was created in collaboration with the Tempo Reale computer centre in Florence.  Wolek notes:

“The title refers to the composer’s experience of growing up in Poland before the political, economic, and social transformation of 1989. Chocolate, oranges, and ham were all in short supply in the 1980s. Polish families’s contact with these goods was frequently limited to Christmas or Easter parcels sent by relatives living abroad. On the level of ideas, the composition deals with the society’s political transformation as experienced by a child who is not fully aware of the meaning of the events it witnesses. The awareness of how crucial these transformations were only comes with time, influencing his later attitudes and faith in the individual’s ability to change the surrounding world.”

Listen to Krzysztof Wołek's 2051: Space Odyssey (2022):

(2051: Space Odyssey/Krzysztof Wołek/Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition/
Grossman Ensemble/Vimbayi Kaziboni, conductor)

To learn more about Agata Zubel and Krzysztof Wołek, visit:

Agata Zubel
Flash (2021)
for percussion and ensemble

Krzysztof Wołek
COH (Chocolate, Oranges, and Ham) (2022)
for ensemble and electronics