Our traditional concert is dedicated to St. Nicholas, otherwise known as Santa Claus. Marek Stefański of Poland offers a special selection of compositions: sacred works by Bach and Polish composers and an improvisation in honour of St. Nicholas.
Born in Rzeszów in 1969, he continued his musical studies with Joachim Grubich at the Music Academy in Cracow from where he graduated with distinction in 1994.
Marek Stefański made his concert debut at the very beginning of his studies during two tournees as the organist – solist with the Academic “Organum” Choir which gave numerous concerts in the European cities.
Successful participation in the international festivals of sacral and organ music and the numerous prizes he won made him the doors to other festivals of organ music, as well as to the concert halls and churches open. Not only in the European countries, but also all over the world (for example USA, Israel, Russia among others).
In 1996 Stefański began his work as the organist at the church of St. Mary in Cracow, where until now he not only plays during the church celebrations, but also performs over a dozen recitals every year.
In 1999 he accepted the post at the Music Academy in Cracow, where he teaches in the Faculty of Organ. In 2007 he defended doctor’s thesis from for devote styles of organ improvisations from the 18th through to the 20th century. In 2013 “doctor habilitatus” (description of a CD recording: “Sources of artistic inspirations and forms of their expression in organ music of Cracow’s composers 20th century”).
Marek Stefański has already given concerts in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Moldova, Israel, USA, Equador, Russia, Korea, Uzbekistan and Hungary.
Marek Stefański is a great propagator of Polish organ music, especially 20th century music, which he performs together with the organ improvisation.
He also made numerous archival recordings for the Polish Radio, Polish TV and foreign broadcasting stations, as well as for the phonographic companys.
Apart from being active as a solist, Marek Stefański cooperates with the choir ensembles and with many outstanding vocalists and instrumentalists.
His artistic activity has been honored with numerous prizes and distinctions.
In cooperation with Radio Kraków, Marek Stefański realizes a programme series “An Anthology of Cracovian Organs”. For Radio Rzeszow, he records archival organs of the Subcarpathian region, which are later broadcasted on the Radio.
Tabulatura Jana z Lublina (16th c.)
J. S. Bach
Chorale and fugue from the cantata Meine Seel erhebt den Herren (arranged by M. Stefański)
Fantasia and double fugue from the cantata Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden (reconstructed by J. Rifkin, arranged by M. Stefański)
Chorale aria Vater unser im Himmelreich from the cantata Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden (reconstructed by J. Rifkin, arranged by M. Stefański)
Improvisation on the theme of the Polish sacred song Kto się w opiekę odda Panu swemu
Kyrie eleison – Christe eleison – Kyrie eleison from Litania Ostrobramska (arranged by M. Stefański)
Tabulatura Jana z Lublina
Four early Polish dances
Bukoliki (Bucolics, arranged by M. Stefański)
Improvisation dedicated to St. Nicholas
We listened to: