I return once again to the question of the meaning of Eve (by Baczyński). This is the anti-Eve, or the eve of the end of the world, the apocalyptic eve. Tomek’s idea of naming the entire piece (Baczyński’s songs in combination with Kindertotenlieder by Mahler) APOCALYPSIS is spot-on. A mother awaits the arrival of her son into the world. The son is hers, but not of herself, but of God. And not as in the known story, but in different ways, backwards. The woman is not a young mother, but an old woman on the threshold of death. The son is not a newborn, he had lived before but died and now the mother needs him, calls him, as a deliverance, but not for the world, only for herself from the world. She knows she is dying and she asks for a guide. The son arrives, impatient and reluctant, but fulfils the request. Three newcomers, “dark, bent, searching in the wardrobe for a long while” – The three Wise Men finding only a dead body. The evening before the birth of God 2021 years ago was the joyful beginning of the Church; here church means a building – a lofty one, but already empty and cold.

I confess that I am moved by a story from the New Testament. The vision of a man born in somewhat murky circumstances, from an extramarital pregnancy (at a time when this was a very poor prognosis for the future), who turns out to be an all-time superhero, knowing always, from a young age, what to say and what to do, modest yet brave and steadfast, sincere and honest, yet with his own dark secrets that he faces in isolation. From the very outset he senses his fate and purpose in life, terrifying and full of pain, which he nevertheless accepts and surrenders to, despite his fear, while Being virtually defenceless. He seems to feel that he is right and that by letting himself get nailed to the cross he is still doing the right thing, but in the end doubt catches up with him; in spite of that doubt he keeps his dignity, or, as they say, saves his face. He dies in a way that symbolises damnation for the worst sort, and by that death and all the way leading up to it, for an initially small handful of people giving rise to a thousand years of tradition spanning many generations, he transforms that symbol of damnation into a symbol of sanctification and hope; the right way, balancing self-love and humility, making everyone equal before the great mystery.

The coda of the story, on the other hand, appeals to me less. The triumphant return from the afterlife, the fanfare, the lights, the ascension, etc. are, if I may, an unnecessary element. Just like the incompatible with myth is the ending of Orpheus imposed on Monteverdi. Not much good comes from such additions, soothing explanations, I think. Let the “why have you forsaken me” phrase, which does not give an unequivocal answer, resound with the right force, understandable for everyone and somehow purifying in this catastrophe of a drama, and not be immediately drowned out by an unnatural turn of the plot towards, roughly, “but then they lived happily ever after”. That this fairy-tale coda has become the crux of this millennia-old, multi-generational tradition seems strange and unfortunate to me. But perhaps I’m picking at things here.

There is an element of autobiography – generational autobiography – in the Eve, in the counterpoint to the Saviour's biography. If the story of Christ is a story about hope, about the victory of good in the unequal fight with evil and about a readable, assessable and applicable hierarchy of different roads to different goals (worse, better and best), then the scene at Baczyński’s Christmas Eve’s table is a counter-story about an entire generation of young saviours whose efforts, undertaken in the best of faith, are in vain, melting like snow on a dirty pavement, and about their mothers crying after them. But this is probably not a confession of disbelief but, precisely, an echoing question about the reasons for absence.

The orchestration has gained momentum and the end is in sight, within a week or so.

(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)