Katarina Głowicka at ISCM, October 2014
William Anderson’s review of ‘Kyrie’:
Katarina Głowicka-her powerful Kyrie made me fight to maintain my composure. Of course this begs the question of why was I in that receptive mode for her and not for others. I admit that I lost it when I started seeing images (in my mind) from Alfons Mucha’s Slovanská epopej (Slav Epic) behind the singers. I had never heard great new Polish music in Poland before, and I was deeply deeply moved by that experience. Also, that her work is a Kyrie. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Penderecki Mass celebrates the fact that the Soviets could not succeed in eradicating Christianity in Poland. And again, correct me if I’m wrong, but the church is now struggling to keep members? There’s a joke— how to stop people from going to church?— give them an Episcopalian baptism…. This complex history creeps out of the Kyrie, especially when we realize that the words of the Kyrie are boiled down, reduced to phonemes, in Głowicka’s work. Obviously, something was striking from the very beginning, and then she didn’t blow it. It was finely paced. I have no idea why the harmonies and melodies worked so powerfully–3 women sang, along with electronic processing of what they sang. Eastern European composers are not afraid to evoke a religious tone. This is what makes Arvo Part hot and Reich and Glass cool. That is not a value judgement. We like cool jazz, we like hot jazz. Głowicka’s music—was it either? It was primal and that’s hot, I guess. It moved well. It sustained itself.