Friday, 12 February 2016 10:10

Polskie Wesele: A Polish Wedding

PolishWeddingsAd4 AmPolRadio special on Polish weddings premieres on Classical 94.5 WNED

On Sunday, February 14 at 4 p.m., Classical 94.5 WNED will premiere a new radio special entitled “Polskie Wesele: A Polish Wedding.” Eileen Koteras Elibol will host the one-hour program, which explores the unique nature of a Polish wedding, whether in old Poland or among Polish neighborhoods across North America. Commentary will be provided by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab, author of “Polish Wedding Customs and Traditions” and Rev. Czeslaw Krysa, pastor of St. Casimir Church in Buffalo. This radio special is part of a series of programs that Classical 94.5 is producing on the Polish culture and its traditions. Funding for this project was awarded by the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius College.

The program’s producer, Stratton Rawson, is the music director at Classical 94.5 WNED.

As a non-Pole, he was fascinated to learn about the many rich traditions that revolve around a Polish wedding. “Many contemporary weddings emphasize the relationship between the bride and groom. The focus of the marriage becomes the many stresses and trials the couple face to maintain their union in an uncertain future. But I found in Polish weddings a wondrous and very healthy spirit of inclusiveness. It isn’t just about the couple and their future together, but about two families and friends and a neighborhood going forward strengthened by this marriage. A Polish wedding is unique because it actively enlists the participation of the whole community of friends, relatives, neighbors and clergy. This dates back to the oldest times in Poland.”

Eileen commented that "this can still be seen in some Polish-American communities today.

The “Oczepiny,” or the unveiling of the bride, is one of the oldest and most important of Polish wedding customs. It symbolizes the bride’s transition to becoming a married woman and is described in detail in the radio program. I remember witnessing this ceremony at many Polish wedding receptions over the years. There is even a movement to include more and more such meaningful symbolism in today’s more contemporary weddings.”

The music Rawson chose to highlight the various aspects of a Polish wedding is steeped in history. From “Veni creator spiritus” to the “Twelve Angels Waltz,” the unique traditions are beautifully expressed by a wide variety of musical pieces.

Sophie Knab, who has done extensive research in Poland on all aspects of Polish heritage, provides some colorful anecdotes about the historical meaning behind these wedding traditions. Even as a young man here in the U.S., Father Krysa remembers seeing a wedding party assemble down the street from his house, as a bride and groom gathered to receive a very special blessing from their parents.

Sit back and relax, and listen to a beautiful collection of words and music that celebrate one of the most memorable days in our lives. On romantic Valentine’s Day, Classical 94.5 WNED brings you what it truly means to enjoy a Polish wedding.



Published in Programming Highlights

American pianist Andre Watts is returning to Buffalo February 20 and 21 to play Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with JoAnn Falletta conducting the BPO. Immediately following the assassination of JFK, while in Buffalo, he was asked to perform the slow movement to that work for the first time, on TV! Find out how he handled it.

Conductor David Handel and Geoffrey Herd speak with WNED's Peter Hall about the  Amherst Symphony Orchestra Valentine's Day Concert, February 14 at 3pm -  "Russian Splendor" - with music by Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky.

Buffalo born pianist and composer Amy Williams returns home for a concert at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center on Friday, February 12 at 8:00 p.m. to play a variety of works involving combinations of piano, cello, flute, percussion, and voice. Each half of the concert begins with Bach and ends with Williams, and in between are works by both Robert and Clara Schumann, as well as contemporary works. Amy spoke from her Pittsburgh home with WNED's Peter Hall.

Soon to be 80 years old, New England composer Paul Gay is very active in the music scenes in Boston, Vero Beach (where he met JoAnn Falletta when the BPO was on tour), and now Buffalo when the finale of his ballet "Due Sorelle" (Two Sisters) will be premiered at Kleinhans, January 30 and 31.


Page 1 of 18