Greenpoint Gazette
Michael Cesarczyk
Mieczyslaw Gubernat, Krzysztof Kuznik, Wojciech Szczech and Maurycy Banaszek

Seven Last Words

BY Michael Cesarczyk

The Slavic Arts Ensemble celebrated Easter early in North Brooklyn. On Saturday, March 31st, the world-renowned string quartet played Joseph Haydn’s “The Last Seven Words of Christ” at one of their favorite venues: the Greenpoint Library.

Classical music enthusiasts and curious onlookers both enjoyed a strong performance of the holiday favorite (commissioned for a Good Friday service in 1785, Haydn adapted it for a string quartet two years later). Mieczyslaw Gubernat, founder and director of the Ensemble, and Krzysztof Kuznik (violins), Maurycy Banaszek (viola) and Wojciech Szczech (cello) delivered the first seven sections of the piece with a meditative calm, before bringing the final “Earthquake” movement to a rousing conclusion.

Though newcomers to the library might have been surprised by the weekend concert, longtime patrons have been enjoying free shows by the Greenpoint-based Polish chamber group for over 10 years. “[The show] was very, very good,” said librarian Izabela Barry, who organized the event. She first met Gubernat through his wife while singing in choirs. “It was very appropriate for the Easter season. But even apart from the religious aspect, it’s just beautiful music.”

For more information about the Slavic Arts Ensemble, visit www.slavicartsensemble.org.

Michael Cesarczyk

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1 comment

  • Turlough McConnell:

    Through the years we have been truly blessed with the wonderful music of the Slavic Arts Ensemble — and just like the classical music they play the Ensemble simply improves with age — although mostly the musicians appear to be under 30 years of age. Bravo to Greenpoint’s musical anchor. Long may they entertain and inspire us.

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