• MoMA on Polish Music

moma-logo-post-new1Yet another initiative that I missed earlier this year is a series of essays and other items emanating from New York’s Museum of Modern Art.  I came across MoMA’s post – notes on modern and contemporary art around the globe while writing my preceding post about the late Bohdan Mazurek.  On 19 December 2013 MoMA published a theme called Polish Radio Experimental Studio: A Close Look, in which Mazurek features.

This really is a superb English-language introduction to one of the ground-breaking initiatives in Western and Eastern European music in the 1950s.  PRES was the brainchild of Józef Patkowski. It was a most unlikely development in communist Poland and one that had a profound impact on the sound of Polish music.  Many composers, including Penderecki, Kotoński, Schäffer and Dobrowolski, made use of its expertise (principally Bohdan Mazurek and Eugeniusz Rudnik), and soon non-Polish composers also flocked to use its facilities.

The MoMA theme includes the following:


• Daniel Muzyczuk, ‘The Future Sound of Warsaw: Introduction to PRES
• David Crowley, ‘Spatial Music: Design and the Polish Radio Experimental Studio
• Michał Libera: Alchemist Cabinet of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio: Music Scores of and for Experiments


• Daniel Muzyczuk, ‘How much Rudnik is in Penderecki, and how much Rudnik is in Nordheim?  Interview with Eugeniusz Rudnik


• PRES Music Scores 1959-1972
[browsable scores originally published by PWM]
• Kotoński Music for One Cymbal Stroke (1959)*
• Dobrowolski Music for Magnetic Tape (1963)*
• Schaeffer Symphony – Electronic Music (1964)*
• Dobrowolski Music for Magnetic Tape and Oboe Solo (1965)
• Dobrowolski Music for Strings, Two Groups of Wind Instruments and Two Loudspeakers (1966)
• Kotoński Aela. Electronic Music (1970)*
• Dobrowolski Music for Magnetic Tape and Piano Solo (1972)*

No sound files are included on the MoMA site, but there is a fascinating double CD (2013) from Bôłt Records that brings together the original realisations of the five scores marked * above, plus modern realisations of the same pieces.  The two CDs are called PRES Scores and also include then-and-now versions of Penderecki’s Psalmus (1961).

• More Szymanowski from Doctor Hughes

In the three months since I last posted links to William Hughes’s invaluable English translations of Polish articles on Szymanowski (The Chronicles of Dr Hughes), he has posted 36 more, making 63 to date, with more to come.  I am in awe of his industry and generosity as well as his insights in those postings where he provides commentaries or explications.

I’m adding here the two previous tranches of links posted on 28 March (14 items) and 13 May 2012 (13 items).    The 36 new pieces focus in the main around the reaction within Poland to the death of Szymanowski in March 1937.  But William Hughes has also selected further writings, by Mycielski and Iwaszkiewicz, which are more revealing of the music itself, of Szymanowski’s character, his writings or his faith.  Hughes is also not afraid in these translations to reveal (where others have glossed over) Szymanowski’s occasional anti-Jewish jibes or vulgarity.

You can find The Chronicles of Doctor Hughes at http://drwilliamhughes.blogspot.co.uk/.

• 13.08.12  Witold Hulewicz, ‘Bibliographic Sketch’Muzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 13.08.12  Witold Hulewicz, ‘On Karol Szymanowski’s Literary Activity’Muzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 9.08.12  Zbigniew Drzewiecki, ‘Szymanowski’s Testament’Muzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 7.08.12  Kazimierz Sikorski, ‘Address’ [at Szymanowski’s funeral]Muzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 4.08.12  Prof. Ujejski, ‘Address’ [at Szymanowski’s funeral]Muzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 31.07.12  Adolf Chybiński, ‘Karol Szymanowski (1883[sic]-1937)’Muzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 27.07.12  Stefania Szurlejówna, ‘The Funeral of Karol Szymanowski in KrakówProsto z mostu no.18 (1937)
• 24.07.12  Zygmunt Mycielski on Szymanowski’s Symphonie Concertante, pt.2Ucieczki z pięciolinii (1952)
• 21.07.12  Zygmunt Mycielski on Szymanowski’s Symphonie Concertante, pt.1Ucieczki z pięciolinii (1952)
• 17.07.12  Zygmunt Mycielski, ‘Nine Years Ago’Ucieczki z pięciolinii (1946)
• 14.07.12  ‘From Letters and Remembrances of Szymanowski’, pt.3Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 12.07.12  ‘From Letters and Remembrances of Szymanowski’, pt.2Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 10.07.12  ‘From Letters and Remembrances of Szymanowski’, pt.1Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 6.07.12  Stanisław Piasecki, ‘Szymanowski’s Final Moments’Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 4.07.12  Stefania Szurlejówna, ‘The Funeral of Karol Szymanowski [in Warsaw], pt.3Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 2.07.12  Stefania Szurlejówna, ‘The Funeral of Karol Szymanowski [in Warsaw], pt.2Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 1.07.12  Stefania Szurlejówna, ‘The Funeral of Karol Szymanowski [in Warsaw], pt.1Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 29.06.12  Jerzy Waldorff, ‘Szymanowski, the ‘Educator of a Generation’ ‘Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 27.06.12  Michał Kondracki, ‘A Memoir about Szymanowski’Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 25.06.12  Karol Szymanowski, ‘Religion as a Power Fortifying the Life of the Soul’ [poem ‘To Man’, plus commentary], undated
• 21.06.12  Stanisław Piasecki, ‘From Tymoszówka to the Skałka’Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 19.06.12  Zygmunt Piasecki, ‘Lecioły Zórazie’ [on the Kurpian Songs], Ucieczki z pięciolinii (1934)
• 17.06.12  Jerzy Andrzejewski, [untitled]Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 15.06.12  Konstanty Regamey, ‘Szymanowski’s Oeuvre’, pt.2Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 12.06.12  Konstanty Regamey, ‘Szymanowski’s Oeuvre’, pt.1Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 10.06.12  Karol Szymanowski, ‘A Man’s Individual Ethic’, [undated]
• 9.06.12  Bolesław Miciński, ‘Memory’Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 8.06.12  Roman Maciejewski, ‘Szymanowski’s Religiousness’Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 6.06.12  Zygmunt Mycielski, ‘Karol Szymanowski’Prosto z mostu no.17 (1937)
• 3.06.12  Zygmunt Mycielski, ‘What was Szymanowski Like?’, pt.2 (1972)
• 3.06.12  Zygmunt Mycielski, ‘What was Szymanowski Like?’, pt.1 (1972)
• 28.05.12  Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, ‘Karol in Słupsk’ (1972)
• 26.05.12  Iwaszkiewicz, ‘About a Friendship’ [Dzieje przyjaźni – Szymanowski’s Correspondence], Życie Warszawy no.7 (1972)
• 24.05.12  Zygmunt Mycielski, ‘Szymanowski’s Letters’Notatki o muzyce i muzykach (1958)
• 21.05.12  Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, ‘ ‘From the Letters’ of Karol Szymanowski’ (1957)
• 17.05.12  Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, ‘Szymanowski as a Writer’ (1947)

• 12.05.12  Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, ‘Szymanowski’s ‘King Roger”Wiadomość Literackie no.26 (1926)
• 11.05.12  Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, ‘Ahead of the premiere of King Roger’Wiadomość Literackie no.25 (1926)
• 10.05.12  Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, ‘The History of ‘King Roger”Muzyka no.6 (1926)
• 8.05.12  Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, ‘My composition lessons with Szymanowski’Muzyka Polska no.3 (1939)
• 5.05.12  Stanisława Korwin-Szymanowska, ‘The Last Days of Karol Szymanowski’, pt.3Muzyka Polska no.4 ( 1937)
• 1.05.12  Stanisława Korwin-Szymanowska, ‘The Last Days of Karol Szymanowski’, pt.2Muzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 26.04.12  Stanisława Korwin-Szymanowska, ‘The Last Days of Karol Szymanowski, pt.1Muzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 22.04.12  Zygmunt Mycielski, ‘Szymanowski’s Horizon’Nowiny Literackie no.3-4 (1947)
• 16.04.12  Zygmunt Mycielski, ‘Szymanowski – the Romantic?’Odrodzenie (1947)
• 11.04.12  Mycielski reminisces… Muzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 8.04.12  Zygmunt Mycielski, ‘Harnasie in Paris’Prosto z mostu no.19 (1936)
• 4.04.12  Leonia Gradstein, ‘Harnasie in Paris’, pt.2Ruch Muzyczny no.3 (1948)
• 1.04.12  Leonia Gradstein, ‘Harnasie in Paris’, pt.1Ruch Muzyczny no.3 (1948)

• 28.03.12  Szymanowski’s Piano Concerto, pt.2 (1950)
• 28.03.12  In memoriam Karol Szymanowski (28/03/1937)
• 24.03.12  Szymanowski’s Piano Concerto, pt.1 (1950)
• 19.03.12  Tadeusz Baird, ‘Szymanowski’s music has always meant so much to me’ (1979)
• 17.03.12  Stefan Kisielewski, ‘Karol Szymanowski’s Final Journey’, pt.3 (1937)
• 15.03.12  Stefan Kisielewski, ‘Karol Szymanowski’s Final Journey’, pt.2 (1937)
• 10.03.12  Stefan Kisielewski, ‘Karol Szymanowski’s Final Journey’, pt.1 (1937)
• 4.03.12  ‘Stefania Łobaczewska, ‘The Myth of Karol Szymanowski’Muzyka no.4-5 (1937)
• 28.02.12  Paying Homage, pt.4: Roman MaciejewskiMuzyka no.4-5 (1937)
• 24.02.12  Paying Homage, pt.3: Zygmunt MycielskiMuzyka no.4-5 (1937)
• 22.02.12  Paying Homage, pt.2: Piotr Perkowski, Muzyka no.4-5 (1937)
• 21.02.12  Paying Homage, pt.1: Jan MaklakiewiczMuzyka no.4-5 (1937)
• 17.02.12  ‘The Breath of Greatness’: Lutosławski on SzymanowskiMuzyka Polska no.4 (1937)
• 13.02.12  Andrzej Dobrowolski analyses Szymanowski’s ‘Preludium and Fugue’Ruch Muzyczny no.20 (1948)

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