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Below we present a review of the concert by Joanna Mazurek:
„On 21 of October, in the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome, the Museum of the Family Home of Pope John Paul II in Wadowice and the John Paul II Foundation in Rome organized a special concert in honor of John Paul II, a great Pope and an extraordinary man loved by millions. Young artists from Poland played and song that night: Anna Lasota – soprano, soloist of the Music Theater in Poznań, Jakub Oczkowski – tenor, soloist of the Teatr Wielki National Opera in Warsaw and Piotr Żukowski – piano, lecturer at the Academy of Music in Poznan.
At the very beginning of the concert Piotr Żukowski conquered the hearts of listeners with the daring execution of the Polonaise in A major Op. 40 No. 1 of Fryderyk Chopin. It was followed by the very touching Ave Maria by Giulio Caccini, which was performed by Anna Lasota. The long, beautifully shaped phrases resounded in the temple walls. Jakub Oczkowski also seduced the audience with his noble sounding, full of strength and brilliance voice while performing Ave Maria by Michal Lorenc. All duets also proved to be incredible. Buddy Greene’s song „Mary did you know” is certainly one of the most interesting performances of the evening. The performers expressed the subtlety and deep sadness in the most amazing way. The concert was also full of dramatic, emotional entrances. The prelude C-Dur BWV 846 from the cycle Das Wohltemperierte Klavier by Jan Sebastian Bach, performed by Piotr Żukowski is yet another „pearl” of the evening. An extremely stylishly performed song was rewarded by audience with loud applause.
The music was accompanied by a word. The facts from the life of the Holy Father related to his meetings and relations with the Virgin (quoted by Łukasz Lech and Anna Maria Burzynska), were combined with beautiful songs, thanks to which the audience was put in a prayerful climate. During the celebration commemorating the 39th anniversary of the election of Karol Wojtyla to the Pope, the artists could not forget about Pope’s beloved songs. „Czarna Madonna”, „Maryjo Śliczna Pani” and „Barka” were song together with people from the audience, who were holding each other hands while praying and remembering the Polish Pope. This special evening will surely remain in our hearts for a long time. ”
In addition, on October 22, representatives of the Museum, including Rev. Jacek Pietruszka, took part in the mass celebrated by the President of the Administrative Board of the John Paul II Foundation and the Museum Council – Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, in concelebration with Archbishop Konrad Krajewski – Papal Almoner and Archbishop Jan Pawlowski. The mass was attended by Mr. Janusz Kotański, Ambassador of the Holy See, his Spouse, and by many faithful from Rome and Poland.