National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia

Oct 10, 2018

The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Poland (after more than 100 years of partitions and occupation) and the independence of Estonia. It creates a perfect opportunity for both nations to tighten their relationships.

One of the highlights of the celebrations is a symbolic exchange of instrumental gifts: a kannel, considered a national instrument of Estonia and a cymbały, a hammered dulcimer-type instrument described in Adam Mickiewicz’s Koncert Jankiela and still used in several parts of Poland, including Rzeszowszczyzna (Rzeszów Region). The latter instrument is strongly linked with the heritage of some Slavic and Baltic nations, and can be used as a symbol of musical traditions of the border lands. The exchange of the instruments has also given both countries a chance to learn about each other’s musical traditions and cultural contexts.

The festive occasion will be held on 24 November 2018 during the autumn edition of the festival Mazurkas of the World (Wszystkie Mazurki Świata). The Polish gift for the Estonians has been made by Futoma-based Marek Kruczek and Jerzy Panek, well-known musicians from the region of Podkarpacie. The pair also appears in the latest episode of the Instruments with Soul series featuring the cymbały rzeszowskie (hammered dulcimer of Rzeszów)

The exchange of instruments is connected with the ongoing long-term project of cooperation, initiated in 2018, between the Polish Institute of Music and Dance and the Estonian Traditional Music Centre. In July 2018, Poland hosted a group of Estonian musicians. Ann Maria Piho, Maarja Sarv and Katariina Tirmaste spent five days (between 15 and 19 July 2018) in the village of Futoma, Rzeszów Region in the south of Poland, where they studied the art of playing the cymbały with the Polish maestros of the older and middle generations (Stanisław Szajna and Marek Kruczek), as well as the younger players (Andrzej Baran and Szymon Tadla), who try to keep the ancient traditions of their ancestors alive. The Estonians were also shown round the workshop of Marek Kruczek and Jerzy Panek, who were producing the Polish gift to the Estonian nation. During their stay, Ann Maria, Katariina and Maarja learnt how to play the melodies of the traditional Polish folk dances (polkas, krakowiaks, walczyks and chodzonys), individually and together, as well as solo and in an ensemble. During the evenings of music making, the female artists from Estonia could perform alongside the ‘classic’ Rzeszów Region ensemble, made up of the violin, the second violin (sekunda), the double bass and the cymbały itself. Janusz Prusinowski, a violinist and a cymbały player, was the guide and the organiser of the Futoma visit.

The return visit of Polish musicians (Andrzej Baran, Fryderyk Kruczek, Szymon Tadla and Janusz Prusinowski) will take place in Estonia between 10 and 14 October 2018. The schedule includes visiting the kannel workshop in Kandlekoda (www.kandlekoda.ee), meeting the kannel maestro Rait Pihlap and learning how to play the national Estonian instrument. The Polish artists from Rzeszowszczyzna will present their own traditional music during a workshop organised at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn and the Estonian Traditional Music Centre in Viljandi. They will also play in a concert at the dance club in Tallinn (Hopner House 10 October at 8 pm), at the Traditional Music Centre in Viljandi (12 October at 2 pm), at the Dance Festival Sabatants in Tartu (12 October at 9 pm) and at the Kannel Festival in Tallinn (Muusikamaja, Uus 16c, 13 October at 1 pm and 8.30 pm).

The ‘National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia’ project, executed by IMiT, is funded by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

The partners and co-organisers of the project include the Traditional Music Centre in Viljandi, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tallinn and the Estonian Ministry of Culture.

Information about the current events can be found on the project’s fan page https://www.facebook.com/kannel.cymbaly/.

photos – documentation Visit of the Estonian artists to Rzeszowszczyzna

photo by Janusz Prusinowski

  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski
  • National Traditional Instrument for the Centenary. Poland – Estonia | fot. Janusz Prusinowski