Witold Szalonek - born in 1927 in Czechowice-Dziedzice, died in 2001 in Berlin, Polish composer. In 1949-56 he studied at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice. Following his first successes at international composers' competitions, he received a grant from Kranichsteiner Musikinstitut in Darmstadt. In 1962-63 he continued his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In 1967 he began to teach composition at the Katowice School and in 1970-74 was in charge of the Department of Composition and Theory. In the early 1970s he was invited by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst to work as artist in residence at West Berlin's Hochschule der Künste. In 1973 he won the competition to succeed Boris Blacher as Professor of Composition there, he has conducted numerous seminars and courses in composition in Poland, Germany and Slovakia. In 1990 he received an honorary doctor's degree from the Wilhelmian University in Münster. In 1963 Szalonek discovered and classified the so-called'combined sounds' generated by the woodwind instruments.
He is the author of theoretical studies on a wide range of subjects, including combined sounds, sonorism and Debussy. Suite from Kurpie for Alto Solo and 9 Instruments, 1955 Satire for Orchestra, 1956 1+1+1+1 per 1-4 strumenti ad arco, 1969 O, Pleasant Earth, Cantata for Voice and Orchestra, 1969 Musica concertante for Double-bass and Orchestra, 1977 Little Symphony B-A-C-H for Piano and Orchestra, 1981 Bagattellae di Dahlem, II for Flute and Piano, 1998 Witold Szalonek at Porta Polonica Documentation Centre in Germany Witold Szalonek at PWM Edition
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki was a Polish composer of contemporary classical music. According to critic Alex Ross, no recent classical composer has had as much commercial success as Górecki. Górecki became a leading figure of the Polish avant-garde during the post-Stalin cultural thaw, his Webernian-influenced serialist works of the 1950s and 1960s were characterized by adherence to dissonant modernism and drew influence from Luigi Nono, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Krzysztof Penderecki and Kazimierz Serocki. He continued in this direction throughout the 1960s, but by the mid-1970s had changed to a less complex sacred minimalist sound, exemplified by the transitional Symphony No. 2 and the hugely popular Symphony No. 3. This style developed through several other distinct phases, from such works as his 1979 Beatus Vir, to the 1981 choral hymn Miserere, the 1993 Kleines Requiem für eine Polka and his requiem Good Night, he was unknown outside Poland until the mid-to late 1980s, his fame arrived in the 1990s.
In 1992, 15 years after it was composed, a recording of his Third Symphony, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs—recorded with soprano Dawn Upshaw and released to commemorate the memory of those lost during the Holocaust—became a worldwide commercial and critical success, selling more than a million copies and vastly exceeding the typical lifetime sales of a recording of symphonic music by a 20th-century composer. As surprised as anyone at its popularity, Górecki said, "Perhaps people find something they need in this piece of music somehow I hit the right note, something they were missing. Something somewhere had been lost to them. I feel that I instinctively knew what they needed." This popular acclaim did not generate wide interest in Górecki's other works, he pointedly resisted the temptation to repeat earlier success, or compose for commercial reward. Apart from two brief periods studying in Paris and a short time living in Berlin, Górecki spent most of his life in southern Poland. Henryk Górecki was born on December 6, 1933, in the village of Czernica, in present-day Silesian Voivodeship, southwest Poland.
The Górecki family lived modestly. His father Roman worked at the goods office of a local railway station, but was an amateur musician, while his mother Otylia, played piano. Otylia died when her son was just two years old, many of his early works were dedicated to her memory. Henryk developed an interest in music from an early age, though he was discouraged by both his father and new stepmother to the extent that he was not allowed to play his mother's old piano, he persisted, in 1943 was allowed to take violin lessons with Paweł Hajduga. In 1937, Górecki fell while dislocated his hip; the resulting suppurative inflammation was misdiagnosed by a local doctor, delay in proper treatment led to tubercular complications in the bone. The illness went untreated for two years, by which time permanent damage had been sustained, he spent the following twenty months in a hospital in Germany. Górecki continued to suffer ill health throughout his life and, as a result, said he had "talked with death often".
In early 1950s he studied in the Szafrankowie Brothers State School of Music in Rybnik. Studied at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice between 1955 and 1960, he joined the faculty of his alma mater in Katowice in 1965, where he was made a lecturer in 1968, rose to provost before resigning in 1979. Between 1951 and 1953, Górecki taught 10- and 11-year-olds at a school suburb of Rydułtowy, in southern Poland. In 1952, he began a teacher training course at the Intermediate School of Music in Rybnik, where he studied clarinet, violin and music theory. Through intensive studying Górecki finished the four-year course in just under three years. During this time he began to compose his own pieces songs and piano miniatures, he attempted more ambitious projects—in 1952 he adapted the Adam Mickiewicz ballad Świtezianka, though his work was left unfinished. Life for the composer during this time was difficult. Teaching posts were badly paid, while the shortage economy made manuscript paper at times difficult and expensive to acquire.
With no access to radio, Górecki kept up to date with music by weekly purchases of such periodicals as Ruch muzyczny and Muzyka, by purchasing at least one score a week. Górecki continued his formal study of music at the Academy of Music in Katowice, where he studied under the composer Bolesław Szabelski, a former student of the renowned composer Karol Szymanowski; as Górecki was to follow, Szabelski drew much of his inspiration from Polish highland folklore. Szabelski encouraged his pupil's growing confidence and independence by giving him considerable space in which to develop his own ideas and projects, so that several of early pieces Górecki wrote were straightforward in the type of neo-classicism, during a period when Górecki was absorbing the techniques of twelve-tone serialism, he graduated from the Academy with honours in 1960. In 1975, Górecki was promoted to Professor of Composition at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice, where his students included Eugeniusz Knapik, Andrzej Krzanowski, Rafał Augustyn and his son, Mikołaj.
Around this time, Górecki came to believe the Polish Communist authorities were interfering too much in the activities of the academy, described them as "little dogs always yapping". As a senior administrator but not a
Kazimierz Serocki was a Polish composer and one of the founders of the Warsaw Autumn contemporary music festival. Serocki was born in Toruń, he studied composition with Kazimierz Sikorski and piano with Stanisław Szpinalski at the State Higher School of Music in Łódź and graduated in 1946. He continued in Paris, studying composition with Nadia Boulanger and piano with Lazare Lévy, before graduating in 1947-1948. Between 1946 and 1951 he performed many times as a concert pianist in Poland and abroad, but for the rest of his career, he was focused on composition. Serocki's output is concentrated in two main spheres: orchestral music and vocal-instrumental pieces to Polish texts selected with fine discrimination, his main compositional idea was to explore sound color in music. His last work – Pianophonie – used the possibilities provided by electronic processing of live piano sound. Serocki was one of the founders, along with Tadeusz Baird, of the Warsaw Autumn international contemporary music festival.
Together with Tadeusz Baird and Jan Krenz he formed the composers' group Group 49. He was vice-president of the central administration of the Polish Composers' Union from 1954 to 1955, he received a number of Polish and foreign awards, including several State Prizes, among them one in 1952 for his music to the film Young Chopin. He received a prize at the UNESCO competition in 1959, for the Sinfonietta and the award of the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts in 1963 for the whole of his work, he died, aged 58, in Warsaw. Suite for 4 trombones - 1953 Sonatina for trombone and piano - 1954 Dance for clarinet and piano - 1954 Improvisationen für Blockflöten-Quartett - 1959 Continuum - sextet for percussion instruments - 1966 Swinging Music for clarinet, cello or double bass, piano - 1970 Fantasmagoria for piano and percussion - 1971 Arrangements for 1-4 recorders - 1975-1976 Three Melodies from Kurpie for 6 sopranos, 6 tenors, chamber orchestra - 1949 Romantic Concerto for piano and orchestra - 1950 Symphony No. 1 - 1952 Symphony No.
2, "Symphony of Song" for soprano, baritone and orchestra - 1953 Concerto for trombone and orchestra - 1953 Sinfonietta for 2 string orchestras - 1956 Heart of the Night, song cycle for baritone and orchestra - 1956 Eyes of the Air, song cycle for soprano and orchestra - 1957 Musica concertante - 1958 Episodes for strings and 3 groups of percussion - 1959 Segmenti - 1961 Symphonic Frescoes - 1964 Niobe, music to extracts from a poem by Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński for 2 reciters, mixed choir, orchestra - 1966 Forte e piano, music for two pianos and orchestra - 1967 Poems, to words by Tadeusz Różewicz for soprano and chamber orchestra - 1969 Dramatic Story for orchestra - 1971 Fantasia elegiaca for organ and orchestra - 1972 Impromptu fantasque for recorders, guitars and piano - 1973 Sonatina for trombone and orchestra - 1974 Concerto alla cadenza per flauto a becco e orchestra - 1974 Ad libitum five pieces for symphony orchestra - 1973-1977 Pianophonie for piano, electronic transformation of sound and orchestra - 1976-1978 Suite of Preludes for piano - 1952 Brownies, 7 miniatures for children for piano - 1953 Sonata for piano - 1955 A piacere, suggestions for piano - 1963 Heart of the Night, song cycle for baritone and piano - 1956 Eyes of the Air, song cycle for soprano and piano - 1957 Songs of Midsummer Night, folk text - 1954 Suite, from the Opole Region in Silesia, folk text - 1954 Polish School PMC Kazimierz Serocki at PWM Edition Music in Movement Website Kazimierz Serocki Official Website Kazimierz Serocki on IMDb
Musical composition, or composition, can refer to an original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece, or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called composers. Composers of songs are called songwriters. In many cultures, including Western classical music, the act of composing includes the creation of music notation, such as a sheet music "score,", performed by the composer or by other instrumental musicians or singers. In popular music and traditional music, songwriting may involve the creation of a basic outline of the song, called the lead sheet, which sets out the melody and chord progression. In classical music, orchestration is done by the composer, but in musical theatre and in pop music, songwriters may hire an arranger to do the orchestration. In some cases, a pop or traditional songwriter may not use written notation at all, instead compose the song in their mind and play, sing and/or record it from memory.
In jazz and popular music, notable sound recordings by influential performers are given the weight that written or printed scores play in classical music. Although a musical composition uses musical notation and has a single author, this is not always the case. A work of music can have multiple composers, which occurs in popular music when all of the members of a band collaborates to write a song, or in musical theatre, when one person writes the melodies, a second person writes the lyrics, a third person orchestrates the songs. A piece of music can be composed with words, images, or, since the 20th century, with computer programs that explain or notate how the singer or musician should create musical sounds. Examples range from 20th century avant-garde music that uses graphic notation, to text compositions such as Karlheinz Stockhausen's Aus den sieben Tagen, to computer programs that select sounds for musical pieces. Music that makes heavy use of randomness and chance is called aleatoric music, is associated with contemporary composers active in the 20th century, such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, Witold Lutosławski.
A more known example of chance-based music is the sound of wind chimes jingling in a breeze. The study of composition has traditionally been dominated by examination of methods and practice of Western classical music, but the definition of composition is broad enough to include the creation of popular music and traditional music songs and instrumental pieces, to include spontaneously improvised works like those of free jazz performers and African percussionists such as Ewe drummers. Although in the 2000s, composition is considered to consist of the manipulation of each aspect of music, according to Jean-Benjamin de Laborde: Composition consists in two things only; the first is the ordering and disposing of several sounds...in such a manner that their succession pleases the ear. This is; the second is the rendering audible of two or more simultaneous sounds in such a manner that their combination is pleasant. This is what we call harmony, it alone merits the name of composition. Since the invention of sound recording, a classical piece or popular song may exist as a recording.
If music is composed before being performed, music can be performed from memory, by reading written musical notation, or through a combination of both methods. For example, the principal cello player in an orchestra may read most of the accompaniment parts in a symphony, where she is playing tutti parts, but memorize an exposed solo, in order to be able to watch the conductor. Compositions comprise a huge variety of musical elements, which vary from between genres and cultures. Popular music genres after about 1960 make extensive use of electric and electronic instruments, such as electric guitar and electric bass. Electric and electronic instruments are used in contemporary classical music compositions and concerts, albeit to a lesser degree than in popular music. Music from the Baroque music era, for example, used only acoustic and mechanical instruments such as strings, woodwinds and keyboard instruments such as harpsichord and pipe organ. A 2000s-era pop band may use electric guitar played with electronic effects through a guitar amplifier, a digital synthesizer keyboard and electronic drums.
Piece is a "general, non-technical term applied to instrumental compositions from the 17th century onwards....other than when they are taken individually'piece' and its equivalents are used of movements in sonatas or symphonies....composers have used all these terms in compound forms.... In vocal music...the term is most used for operatic ensembles..." These techniques draw parallels from visual art's formal elements. Sometimes, the entire form of a piece is through-composed, meaning that each part is different, with no repetition of sections; some pieces are composed around a set scale, where the compositional technique might be considered the usage of a particular scale. Others are composed during performance, where a v
Music of Poland
The Music of Poland covers diverse aspects of music and musical traditions which have originated, are practiced in Poland. Artists from Poland include world-famous classical composers like Frédéric Chopin, Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Karol Szymanowski and Henryk Górecki; the musicians of Poland, over the course of history, have developed and popularized a variety of music genres and folk dances such as mazurka, krakowiak, polska partner dance, oberek. Polish music exhibits influences from a broad variety of world music styles which are represented by critically acclaimed singer-songwriters and pop icons including Margaret, Maria Peszek, Edyta Bartosiewicz, Doda. P. Kaczmarek, Zbigniew Preisner, Krzesimir Dębski, Krzysztof Meyer among many others; the origin of Polish music can be traced as far back as the 13th century, from which manuscripts have been found in Stary Sącz, containing polyphonic compositions related to the Parisian Notre Dame School. Other early compositions, such as the melody of Bogurodzica, may date back to this period.
The first known notable composer, Mikołaj z Radomia, lived in the 15th century. During the 16th century two musical ensembles – both based in Kraków and belonging to the King and the Archbishop of Wawel – led the rapid innovation of Polish music. Composers writing during this period include Wacław z Szamotuł, Mikołaj Zieleński, Nicolaus Cracoviensis, Marcin Leopolita and Mikołaj Gomółka, who composed "Melodies to Polish Psalter". Diomedes Cato, a native-born Italian who lived in Kraków from about the age of five, became one of the most famous lutenists at the court of Sigismund III, not only imported some of the musical styles from southern Europe, but blended them with native folk music. During the 17th century, Polish composers from this period focused on baroque religious music, concertos for voices and basso continuo, a tradition that continued into the 18th century; the most renowned composer of this period is Adam Jarzębski, known for his instrumental works such as Chromatica, Sentinella and Nova Casa.
Other composers include Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, Franciszek Lilius, Bartłomiej Pękiel, Stanisław Sylwester Szarzyński and Marcin Mielczewski. In the last years of the 16th century and the first part of the 17th century, a number of Italian musicians were guests at the royal courts of Sigismund III Vasa and Władysław IV; these included Luca Marenzio, Giovanni Francesco Anerio, Marco Scacchi. In addition, a tradition of operatic production began in Warsaw in 1628, with a performance of Galatea, the first Italian opera produced outside Italy. Shortly after this performance, the court produced Francesca Caccini's opera La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d’Alcina, which she had written for Prince Władysław three years earlier when he was in Italy. Another first, this is the earliest surviving opera written by a woman; when Władysław was king he oversaw the production of at least ten operas during the late 1630s and 1640s, making Warsaw a center of the art. The composers of these operas are not known: they may have been Poles working under Marco Scacchi in the royal chapel, or they may have been among the Italians imported by Władysław.
At the end of the 18th century, Polish classical music evolved into national forms like the Polonaise and Mazurka — the first distinctively Polish art music. Polonaises for piano were and remain popular, such as those by Michał Kleofas Ogiński, Karol Kurpiński, Juliusz Zarębski, Henryk Wieniawski, Józef Elsner, most famously, Fryderyk Chopin. Chopin remains well known, is regarded for composing a wide variety of works, including mazurkas, nocturnes and concertos, using traditional Polish elements in his pieces; the same period saw Stanisław Moniuszko, the leading individual in the successful development of Polish opera, still renowned for operas like Halka and The Haunted Manor. The first national opera, Krakowiacy i Górale written by Wojciech Bogusławski and Jan Stefani premiered on 1 March 1794. In the 19th century the most popular composers were Maria Agata Szymanowska, Franciszek Lessel, Ignacy Dobrzyński. Important opera composers were Stanisław Moniuszko. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the most prominent composers were Władysław Zeleński and Mieczysław Karłowicz.
Karol Szymanowski gained prominence prior to World War II. Józef Koffler was the first Polish twelve-tone composer. Between the wars, a group of new and emerging composers formed the Association of Young Polish Musicians. Following World War II and the country becoming a communist system, some composers, such as Roman Palester and Andrzej Panufnik, fled the country and remained in exile. In the early 1960s, a number of Polish composers formed the Polish Composers' School, characterized by the use of sonorism and dodecaphonism; the style emerged from the political crisis following Stalin's death. In the same year the Warsaw Autumn music festival was inaugurated, both connected. According to conductor Antoni Wit composers were
Wojciech Kilar was a Polish classical and film music composer. His film scores have won many honors including the best score award for the music to Ziemia obiecana in 1975, followed by the Prix Louis Delluc in 1980 for the music to Le Roi et l'Oiseau / The King and the Mockingbird, an award at the Cork International Film Festival for the music to From A Far Country about the life of Pope John Paul II. One of his greatest successes came with his score to Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1993 which received the ASCAP Award from the American Society of Composers and Producers in Los Angeles, nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Music in a science fiction, fantasy, or horror film in San Francisco in 1993. In 2003, he won the César Award for Best Film Music written for The Pianist, at France's 28th César Awards Ceremony in 2003, for which he received a BAFTA nomination; the film's soundtrack featured his "Moving to the Ghetto Oct. 31, 1940" with the other 10 tracks being works by Frédéric Chopin.
The music in the movie includes pieces by Bach. Wojciech Kilar was born on 17 July 1932 in Lwów, his father was a gynecologist and his mother was a theater actress. Kilar spent most of his life from 1948 in the city of Katowice in Southern Poland, married to Barbara Pomianowska, a pianist. Kilar was 22 years old when he met his future wife. After studying piano under Maria Bilińska-Riegerowa and harmony under Artur Malawski, he moved from Kraków to Katowice in 1948, where he finished his music middle school in the class of Władysława Markiewiczówna, after which he went to the State College of Music in Katowice where he studied piano and composition under Bolesław Woytowicz, graduating with top honours and the award of a diploma in 1955 He continued his post-graduate studies at the State College of Music in Kraków from 1955 to 1958. In 1957 he took part in the International New Music Summer Course in Darmstadt. In 1959–60 a French government scholarship enabled him to study composition under Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
Kilar belonged to the Polish Avant-garde music movement of the Sixties, sometimes referred to as the New Polish School. In 1977 Kilar was one of the founding members of the Karol Szymanowski Society, based in the mountain town of Zakopane. Kilar chaired the Katowice chapter of the Association of Polish Composers for many years and from 1979–81 was vice chair of this association's national board, he was a member of the Repertoire Committee for the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music. In 1991 Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi made a biographical film about the composer titled Wojciech Kilar. Having received critical success as a classical composer, Kilar scored his first domestic film in 1959, went on to write music for some of Poland's most acclaimed directors, including Krzysztof Kieślowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Kazimierz Kutz and Andrzej Wajda, he worked on over 100 titles in his home country, including internationally recognised titles such as Bilans Kwartalny, Constans, Rok Spokojnego Słońca, Życie za Życie, plus several others in France and across other parts of Europe.
He made his English-language debut with Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Dracula. His other English language features — Roman Polanski's trio Death and the Maiden, The Ninth Gate and The Pianist, Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady — were typified by his trademark grinding basses and cellos romantic themes and minimalist chord progressions. In addition to his film work, Kilar continued to write and publish purely classical works, which have included a horn sonata, a piece for a wind quintet, several pieces for chamber orchestra and choir, the acclaimed Baltic Canticles, the epic Exodus, a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra dedicated to Peter Jablonski, his major work, the September Symphony. Having abandoned Avant-garde music technical means entirely, he continued to employ a simplified musical language, in which sizable masses of sound serve as a backdrop for highlighted melodies; this occurs in patriotic and religious pieces. During the summer of 2013, Kilar manifested signs of poor health, such as fainting and elevated blood pressure, but attributed those symptoms to his heart problems.
However, in September he fell while on the street. He was admitted to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, though news of his illness was only publicly released after his death, he underwent a successful surgery to remove the tumor. In addition, he underwent radiotherapy for six weeks, a process which left 81-year-old Kilar physically exhausted. In early December 2013, Kilar left the hospital to return to his residence in Katowice; as he did not have any children, he was taken care of by his niece. He was regularly visited by a Catholic priest and received the Holy Communion twice during the Christmas season, his condition deteriorated on 28 December and on the morning of Sunday, 29 December 2013, Kilar died. Following the cremation of his body, Kilar's funeral was held on 4 January 2014 at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Katowice. After the service, his
Tadeusz Baird was a Polish composer. Baird was born in Poland, his father Edward was Polish. Tadeusz Baird studied composition and musicology in Warsaw under Kazimierz Sikorski, among others teachers. In 1949 he founded Group 49 along with Jan Krenz; the aim of Group 49 was to write communicative and expressive music according to socialist realism, the dominant ideology in the Eastern Bloc at the time. In 1956, along with Kazimierz Serocki, he founded the Warsaw Autumn international contemporary music festival. In 1974 he began to teach composition at the National College of Music in Warsaw. In 1977, now a full professor, he was offered a post to teach a composition class at the Warsaw Academy of Music, a membership of the Academie der Künste der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik – Berlin in 1979, he died in 1981, aged 53. He wrote both large scale symphonies and chamber music, however, of great importance in his output are numerous vocal cycles inspired by poetry, he wrote Tomorrow, a musical drama based on a short story by Joseph Conrad.
He was a composer of a film and theatre music. Baird's music is lyrical expressive, intensely subjective, it is rooted in the post-Romantic tradition, despite serial techniques. Sonatina I for solo piano Sonatina II for solo piano Little Suite for Children for solo piano Two Caprices for Clarinet and Piano Cztery Preludia for Bassoon and Piano Divertimento for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon String Quartet Play for String Quartet Variations in Rondo Form for String Quartet Sinfonietta Symphony I - Polish National Prize, 1951 Colas Breugnon: a suite in the old style for string orchestra with flute Symphony II, quasi una fantasia Concerto for Orchestra Cassazione per orchestra Four Essays - UNESCO Prize, 1959 Variations Without a Theme Epiphany Music Four Novelettes for chamber orchestra Sinfonia Breve Symphony III - National Prize, 1970 Psychodrama Elegia Canzona Piano Concerto Four Dialogs for oboe and chamber orchestra - UNESCO Prize 1966 Oboe Concerto Scenes for cello and orchestra Concerto Lugubre for viola and orchestra Four Love Sonnets for baritone and orchestra to texts by Shakespeare Exhortation for reciting voice and orchestra to old Hebrew texts Erotyki for soprano and orchestra to texts by Małgorzata Hilar Five Songs for mezzo-soprano and six instruments to texts by H. Poświatowska - National Prize, 1970 Goethe Letters: Cantata for Baritone for mixed choir and orchestra to texts by Goethe and Charlotta von Stein Głosy z oddali for baritone and symphony orchestra to texts by J. Iwaszkiewicz Tomorrow, a musical drama to a libretto by J. S. Sito Baird's works have limited exposure on record, the principal recordings being a trio of Olympia CDs, focusing on his orchestral output and including the one-act opera Tomorrow.
The Colas Breugnon suite has been recorded twice, notably by the Polish Chamber Orchestra under Jerzy Maksymiuk on EMI. Polish School Baird page at the Polish Music Center Tadeusz Baird at PWM Edition Tadeusz Baird Page at the Polish Music Information Center