In Krakow, ‘Saturday nights alright for Chopin’

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Killian Beeler, Rome Correspondent

Rome sig photoGREECE — On a cold Saturday night in Krakow, Poland ,three spring Romers, David Deaton, Anthony Masterson and myself, managed to wind up in a relatively small but delightful room of the Bonerowski Palace (est. 1514) with about 15 other people (all middle- aged or older), enjoying a performance of some of the Polish composer Chopin’s greatest works.

The music on its own was breathtaking, and combined with the beautiful unique atmosphere of the palace, the concert became a truly magical experience.

Probably the one thing that defined the awesomeness of the moment was the backdrop of windows behind the pianist that looked onto the large snow-filled main square of Poland.

We could see the lights, the historic buildings, the churches, the Polish people celebrating life, a father dancing in the snow with his young daughter on his shoulders, all of this with the accompaniment of some of the best music ever composed in Western civilization.

During the intermission, the host of the event, surprised to see young people at the concert, asked us about ourselves, where we were from, and why we came to the performance.

It was one of those neat moments that you could feel proud about being American. There were no young Europeans there and the rest of the audience was very impressed to see us.

We hit it off with the host talking about music, and I mentioned that both Deaton and Masterson played the piano. The host jokingly suggested that they should give a small performance after the concert.

As the performance ended and we got up to leave, it seemed the host was no longer joking. After everyone left the room, he let Deaton play the piano. All alone in the room, Masterson and I were treated to beautiful renditions of “Arrietty’s Song,” “Comptine D’Un Autre: C’Apres Midi,” and “La Valse D’Amelie.”

As I listened to Deaton play and I looked onto Krakow and the beautiful tapestries in the palace room, (not to sound cheesy, but) I felt like crying. The only thing I can compare it to is the art-museum scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip to Poland.

The words of my companions describe it perfectly.

“To me, music invokes the truest emotions and ideas,” Deaton said, reflecting on the influence that the music had on us artistically. “The Chopin concert, and my own brief performance after, completed my trip to Krakow by influencing my own style of musical performance. No one should visit Poland (or any country) without experiencing its music!”

Masterson illustrated the capacity of the music to tell the human story.

“The Chopin concert was really an encounter with Poland’s heart and soul,” he said. “For me, it was the highlight of the weekend. Music has a unique capability of speaking what every person wants to say in their heart of hearts. At the concert I felt that the music was speaking what I had been wanting to say about Poland since I arrived.”

 

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