Portrait of Peter Paul Koprowski thumbtack


music notesEpitaph for Strings, a work composed in 1980 by Peter Paul Koprowski... allowed the orchestra sound to glow with nuances and the comfortable warmth of an open fire.”

October 16, 2000 - Berliner Zeitung

music notes “It must be stated that NACO is an excellent orchestra. The performance of Mozart's Symphony No. 40 had enormous cohesion and force. Epitaph, a work by Canadian Peter Paul Koprowski was equally filled with meaning and direction.”

1999 - Le Soleil

music notes “After the intermission, the orchestra, augmented by more strings, performed Koprowski's Epitaph. Again the word to describe their playing is intense. The dissonant chords that engulfed the orchestra had a ferocity and a yearning quality that was soul-stirring.”

1999 - Daily Gleaner

music notes “...Pinchas Zukerman began it with some Canadian content, Epitaph for Strings by Peter Paul Koprowski...

Koprowski’s idiom rests comfortably between the great strings masterworks of the repertoire and modernisms that had informed much of Canadian music since Second World War. It is doubtless a good piece to take on tour.”

October 14, 1999 - Ottawa Citizen

music notes “If we find good Canadian music, I'll be the first one to do it. And so far, I've found a few.

He found Peter Paul Koprowski's Epitaph, which the NACO played on its tour, and at RTH on Monday. It's a well-crafted piece, and Zukerman and company performed it with clarity and a degree of conviction you don't often hear from Canadian orchestral musicians playing the work of their countrymen.”

March 08, 2000 - Globe and Mail

music notes “A highlight of this half was a piece by Canadian composer Peter Paul Koprowski, entitled, Epitaph. The piece was composed in December 1980 to commemorate the death of his former teacher.

This is a very powerful piece of music. The prevailing mood is one of extreme anxiety, sadness and despair. Koprowski does an interesting thing with the orchestration, by setting a quartet of the principal string players up against the rest of the orchestra.

The result of this is that extremely harsh chords and dense orchestral textures alternate with the simpler, more pure sound of the string quartet. This gives the listener the impression of something menacing encroaching on an otherwise still environment.”

October 8, 1999 - Kingston Whig-Standard

music notes “On muted strings, a quartet of NACO first chairs made up the concertino for Peter Paul Koprowski's anguished dialogue for string quartet and strings, Epitaph. The feeling of loss gives way to a central section (with well-controlled Bartok pizzicato in the double basses) of tense agitation and the brief amalgam of mournful emotions was well caught.”

October 21, 1999 - Edmonton Journal

music notes “Peter Paul Koprowski has been recognized widely during the past ten years for his very careful and sensitive control of sound in musical composition. To hear a Koprowski score is to hear the contemporary idiom with all the complex harmonies and rhythms in the guise of the discreet sensuousness of earlier times.

Koprowski has a well developed sense of what psychologist call "gestalt". His works always have a strong sense of unity, of purpose, of control and expressiveness.” — (about Epitaph)

1983 - from Program Notes for K-W Symphony by Gordon Greene

music notes “The true splendour of the evening, however, was a work written by Peter Paul Koprowski.

The Polish-born Canadian, who was in the audience last night and received a standing ovation after the work was performed, is a true gift to this country's musical talent.

The brilliant work written for strings only… is a tribute to Koprowski's late father...” — (about Intermezzo)

October 2, 1998 - Ottawa Sun

music notes “...the piece (Ancestral Voices) makes a strong emotional statement without pandering to an audience.

...David Allan Miller displayed another credential by speaking lucidly yet succinctly about the work from the podium. He described Koprowski as "a towering figure in North American music.”

September 30, 1996 - Berkshire Eagle

music notes “Peter Paul Koprowski’s Ancestral Voices is a most attractive tone poem for strings. It has a frequently sombre sound, but on the whole it is a moving and affirmative piece, eclectic in its antecedents, but individual in identity.”

May 15, 1998 - Ottawa Citizen

music notes Of Koprowski’s Ancestral Voices David Allan Miller said: “In about 15 minutes it traverses an incredible universe of sound.”

September 27, 1996 - Berkshire Eagle

music notes “Composer, cellists draw forth colours in gripping premiere”

“Sure enough. Ancestral Voices, conducted by the composer, proved the highlight of Saturday's concert. Over the past decade, Koprowski has followed a welcome trend away from academic modernism toward more accessible - one might say more generous - styles. Ancestral Voices, in fact, pays homage to composers and styles of the past. Slavic and Eastern European voices predominate: Stravinsky in a section of percussive chord clusters; Prokofiev in a deformed waltz section; Orthodox Christian chant and the Estonian minimalist Arvo Part in a moving, sustained chordal section near the end. The gorgeous opening - a sustained threnody for three cellos - is a knockout, its dense lyricism redolent of Shostakovich.

The piece is highly sectional, and on first hearing, I didn't grasp its overall shape - perhaps it's best heard as a kind of personal documentary of 20th-century music. But it was gripping from beginning to end, thanks in part to Koprowski's dynamic, expressive conducting and to the kaleidoscope of sound colours and textures he presents. It's a measure of Koprowski's artistic personality that the piece never sounds like a pastiche”.

June 17, 1996 - Globe and Mail

music notes “It is highly individual voice of one the Canada's leading composers Peter Paul Koprowski's Ancestral Voices.”

Keith Horner - host of "Mostly Music"(CBC Radio)

music notes “Composer Koprowski took up the baton to conduct the first performance of his Fable Mystique de Rachel...

It was a terrific piece, exciting and engrossing, well structured, full of rich melodic material in a thoroughly accessible idiom. It deserves a place of honour in the standard string repertoire.”

May 7, 2000 - Ottawa Citizen

music notes “Koprowski's Sinfonia Concertante was commissioned by the NAC and is being given more than the traditional first performances. Decker will take the work on his program when the NAC Orchestra tours southern Ontario in early March. The work will be heard live in concert and is being broadcast by the CBC.

The piece was composed as a challenge for the players, demanding the utmost virtuosity of the winds and a solo string quartet. The players met these challenges head on and made the most of the opportunity.

The work is in four contrasting movements, each substantially different from the others. The moods range from quiet desperation to manic panic and explore a mixture of human emotions. That the piece ends without resolution is representative of our time.”

February 25, 1993 - Citizen Valley