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The Buffalo Philharmonic toasts Poland with rich and romantic music

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, taking its cue from Dyngus Day, is going Polish this weekend, with a program of rich and romantic music.

BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta is opening the concert with Mieczyslaw Karlowicz’s Symphonic Prelude from “The White Dove.” Karlowicz was a composer gone all too soon. He was a photographer and mountain climber, and in 1909, when he was 32, he died in an avalanche. “The White Dove,” a tone poem, was music of his youth and draws inspiration from Wagner and Tchaikovsky.

Jacek Muzyk, the BPO’s principal horn player, celebrates his Polish heritage as soloist in Penderecki’s “Winterreise” Concerto for Horn. The concerto has nothing to do with Schubert, whose famous song cycle bears the same name. It paints a different picture of a winter journey. Penderecki wrote it in 2007 after traveling to China and South America. Falletta and Muzyk will be among a delegation from the BPO traveling in May to Poland, where Falletta is conducting the Krakow Philharmonic.

To close the concert, pianist Yoonie Han joins the BPO in a perennial favorite, Chopin’s delicate and lovely Piano Concerto No. 1. Han, 30, is from South Korea, but can claim Polish credentials as first prize winner of the 2005 Kosciuszko Foundation National Chopin Piano Competition.

The concert takes place at 10:30 a.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Tickets are $34.50-$85.50. Call 885-5000 or visit

– Mary Kunz Goldman

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