• Yours for only £1131/$1767 …

No author likes being remaindered, but this Amazon ad (sent to me by Raymond Yiu) is absurd.  What planet are they on?  £1131/$1767?  That’s £11/$17 dollars per page.

My extremely modest little paperback study, Grażyna Bacewicz: Chamber and Orchestral Music, was published in Los Angeles in 1985, and remains the only book in English that explores Bacewicz’s music in any detail.  I’ve no idea what the print-run was, though it wouldn’t have been large.  Scarcity is one thing, but imagining that anyone would pay anything over the list price (c.£11/$17 – equivalent to a single page at this ad’s rate) is plain ridiculous.

There is another used copy on Amazon, on sale for $350, which is preposterous in itself.  If anyone interested in Bacewicz’s music would like to see what I sketched out in 1985, just get in touch and I’ll see what I can do.

…….

Another friend, Justin Geplaveid, alerted me this week to a Polish TV documentary on Bacewicz, made in 1999 to mark the 90th anniversary of her birth and the 30th of her death.  It’s an old-style, chronological account, and none the worse for that.  It is in Polish only.  Even so, much can be gleaned about her life and work.  There are plentiful excerpts from an interview with her sister Wanda and appearances by her teachers Kazimierz Sikorski and Nadia Boulanger. Keen observers will also glimpse Lutosławski, Mycielski and Serocki in company with Boulanger and Bacewicz.  There are some home movies and, most importantly, excerpts of live performances of her music.  There is a full list of performances and performers at the end of the film.

Included in these archive performances are Divertimento (1965), Witraż (1934), Violin Concerto 1 (1937), Oberek (1949, Grażyna Bacewicz, with her brother Kiejstut), Concerto for String Orchestra (1948, the first movement in a compilation of recordings, including one conducted by Yehudi Menuhin), Olympic Cantata (1948), String Quartet 4 (1951), Symphony 3 (1952), Music for Strings Trumpet and Percussion (1958), Musica sinfonica (1965, as a ballet), The Adventure of King Arthur (1959, radio opera), String Quartet 7 (1965) and Violin Concerto 7 (1965, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki).

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