Monday, June 9, 2014

#musicmonday: Songs Our Mothers Taught Us (video)

5:33 PM
This photo was taken at the wedding of my great-great-grandparents, Adolf and Paulina Drewitz, in Warsaw, Poland in 1896. She was five months pregnant--check out that terrifying corset action. Miraculously, the baby boy who would grow up to be my mom's "Grandpa D" was born alive and whole. He came to the states with his parents in 1900, survived their scandalous divorce and the loss of his dad a year later, lived for polka and early Broadway music, married a first-generation French-American girl, and raised a daughter who played the piano in a badass WWII-era all-girl swing band.

I've posted before about my mom's and my connection to Polish music and the performing we've gotten to do in Poland--and I've even mentioned the revamp of our Polish-American program that we'll be performing, locally and on the other side of the pond, next season. A Chopin program--which is how we initially billed our show, even though it also contained Gershwin and Kern like Grandpa D listened to--is a pretty natural choice for any pianist + collaborator. But the seed of our deeply personal program was really planted when we started investigating our Polish roots around 2006. [more + VIDEO after the jump]

For our performances this fall and next spring, we're expanding the program further--keeping the Chopin that worked best, likewise the Gershwin and Kern, but also adding pieces that represent other parts of our family history. Polish composer Mieczysław Karłowicz is certainly more rarely-heard than Chopin, but was a more prolific composer for the voice and came a little bit later--he was more of Adolf & Paulina's era. We're also adding Debussy (French side of our family) and Joplin (Grandpa & Grandma D in the Roaring Twenties. No polka, though. It's called Songs Our Mothers Taught Us.

I could not be more excited for this program, and I ended up with a video I liked of one of the songs on it after a recent recital. Wanted to share--if you like it, come see this and more in our show!

Details on local performance dates forthcoming.

About the author

I'm Andrea. Everything you need to know is here.