• Panufnik Revised: 1. Tragic Overture

With last year’s Panufnik centenary and this year’s imminent publications – an expanded reissue of his autobiography (Toccata Press) and the English-language translation of Beata Bolesławska’s 2001 monograph (Ashgate) – it seems a good time to share a series of articles that I hope will shed new light on Panufnik’s music from his Polish period.

Panufnik was an inveterate reviser, but the post-war decade was also conditioned by his situation in communist Poland, especially by his decision to leave in 1954 and settle in England.  (Last October I put up a couple of posts and related articles on this latter topic: Panufnik’s Escape (1) ☛ article: Berne Legation Memo // Panufnik’s Escape (2)article: Scarlett’s Memoir.)

While I was preparing a conference paper for a Panufnik conference in Warsaw last September (‘Rustic – Heroic – Elegiac.  Panufnik and his Revisions’), I became aware of undiscussed processes of revision lying behind the compositions that were published first by PWM in Kraków and subsequently by Boosey & Hawkes in London.  I followed this up by examining autograph scores in Kraków.

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This little series will include just the orchestral pieces, which will be covered in chronological order over the coming weeks.  (Last December I also wrote about his first mass songs from 1948: Panufnik: One Song or Three? ☛ article: Panufnik’s 3 Songs for the PZPR.)  Future posts and articles will be on Nocturne, Lullaby, Sinfonia rustica, Symphony of Peace/Sinfonia elegiaca and Heroic Overture.  The first article is on Tragic Overture, his earliest surviving orchestral composition and one which is particularly interesting for his attention to graphic detail as it was prepared for publication.

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