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Revolutions at Gargunnock

This concert was a celebration of two anniversaries: 170 years since Jane Stirling brought Frédéric Chopin to Scotland and 100 years since Poland regained its hard-fought independence. The event was, therefore, an opportunity to demonstrate the multitude of ties that connect the Polish and Scottish nations.

In 1848 Chopin visited a number of stately houses in Scotland, mostly the homes of Jane Stirling's family, where he gave numerous concerts en famille. Most likely one of these was Gargunnock House, once the home of Jane's brother - Charles Stirling. Its drawing room still houses the 7521 Broadwood Grand Pianoforte on which Chopin played in 1848. It is on this very instrument that the music of Frédéric  Chopin, Franz Liszt and Ignacy Jan Paderewski was performed to commemorate Jane Stirling's involvement in preserving the Great Romantic's legacy and to pay tribute to her and all those who have in so many ways committed their lives to the Polish cause on Caledonian soil. The grand piano was recently brought to a working condition by theAboutProject Foundation, where Anna holds the position of Member of the Board.

The audience included members of Scottish aristocracy as well as representatives of Polish communities such as Izabella Brodzińska from The Scottish-Polish Cultural Association in Edinburgh and The Consul General of Poland in Edinburgh, and Henrietta Somerveell, the grand-grand niece of Jane Stirling. The Hostess of the concert was Susan Stirling-Aird of Kippenross.

Part one of the concert was a solo recital of Anna Dębowska featuring, inter allia, F. Chopin's Etude No 12 in C minor op. 10, Liszt's  Etude No 3 D flat major from "Trois Etudes de Concert" and Paderewski's Nocturne No 4 in B flat major op. 16. Part  two included a selection of songs by Chopin, Liszt and Paderewski, as performed by the phenomenal Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha.

 

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