Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 1, no. 11

This month’s Newsletter will be devoted to Christmas shopping. Where to find videos, CDs and tape cassettes, song books and other material pertaining to Polish music and culture to buy for yourself, your family or friends!

I found the largest selection of gift ideas in the PolArt Catalog. Located in Sarasota, Florida, they can be found on the Internet at http://www.polart.com and they have an 800 telephone number: (800) 278-9393.

In addition to the regular novelty items, such as, Polish T-shirts, “Parking for Polish Only” signs, Polish mugs, Polish calendars, amber and silver jewelry, etc… they have the largest selection of music videos and many CDs of classical music, jazz, folk, Christmas and polka music.

Here are some suggestions:


  • The opera, “Straszny dwor” (The haunted manor) by Moniuszko. $29.95
  • WIGILIA” (Christmas Eve dinner) with Chef Ryszard. $24.95
  • The SLASK SONG & DANCE ENSEMBLE singing Christmas Carols. $24.95
  • “CHRISTMAS CAROLS” sung by Lachman’s Choir of Montreal. $24.95
  • The legendary singer, Mieczyslaw Fogg, in concert with the famous DANA CHOIR. $24.95

Compact Discs: ($15.95)

Many to choose from: Polish opera singers, pop singers, choral groups (including the MAZOWSZE and the famous STULIGROSZ Boys’ Choir), classical, jazz, rock & roll, polka, etc…CDs: CLASSICAL, FOLK, JAZZ, POP, OPERA, POLKA, ROCK’N ROLL, ETC… “GOLDEN AGE OF POLISH PIANISTS.”

COMPLETE WORKS OF CHOPIN. Set of 20 CDs $199.95 or individual cds @ $15.95 each. Featured pianists: Regina Smendzianka, Jan Ekier, Halina Czerny-Stefanska, Barbara Hesse-Bukowska, Boleslaw Woytowicz, Jerzy Zurawlew, Henryk Sztompka, Lidia Grychtolowna.

Several CDs of ORGAN MUSIC (Joachim Grubich, etc…)

  • PADEREWSKI performances.
  • SZYMANOWSKI’s “Harnasie” ballet and “Krol Roger” opera.
  • OPERATIC ARIAS featuring Maria Foltyn, Bernard Ladysz, Wieslaw Ochman, Teresa Zylis-Gara, etc…
  • MONIUSZKO OPERAS, “Halka” and “Straszny dwor.”
  • CABARET SONGS featuring Ewa Demarczyk (the Black Angel), Hanka Ordynowna, etc…
  • MUSIC OF HENRYK WARS (1927-1939).
  • FOLK MUSIC: Archival recordings of various regions.
  • JAZZ: Tomasz Stanko, Krzysztof Komeda, Adam Makowicz, Michal Urbaniak, Zbigniew Namyslowski.
  • ROCK ‘N ROLL: Czeslaw Niemen, Lady Pank.
  • JAN KIEPURA, tenor. 3 different cassettes (2 @ $18.95 each).
  • Duo piano team of MAREK AND WACEK.
  • POLKAS: Jan Lewan, Jimmy Sturr, Frank Yankovic, Dynatones, etc…

Audio Cassettes ($7.95)

Many to choose from. Some of the above opera singers, pop singers and choral groups, including the Mazowsze and the Stuligrosz choir.


  • “The Polish Heritage Songbook” compiled by Marek Sart.
  • “Polish Heritage Cookery” by Maria & Robert Strybel.
  • “Polish Customs, Traditions & Folklore” by Sophie Hodorowicz-Knab.

Probably the largest Polish-American Bookstore, Polonia Bookstore, in Chicago has also put their catalog on the Internet. It can be accessed electronically at: http://www.wtinet.com/wti/polonia.htmThey have five video cassettes of Polish Christmas Carols. Andrzej Lucinski has prepared three videos performed by children in Poland. One by children from Zebowice (Opole region), one by Children of Giewont, an ensemble from Zakopane and the third by members of a Scout Choir and children from Zakopane-Olcza grade school.

They have more than two dozen (27 to be exact) compact discs of Polish Christmas carols. All priced at $15.95.

They also have Polish Christmas cards, calendars and the traditional books in English:

  • The Polish Heritage Songbook (Sart);
  • Treasured Polish Christmas Customs and Traditions (Polanie Pub.);
  • Polish Heritage Cookery (Strybel);
  • Polish Customs, Traditions & Folklore (Knab), etc..Polonia bookstore e-mail: books@polonia.com

The Kosciuszko Foundation in New York has a bookstore on the premises and they also do mail orders. Located at 15 East 65th St. New York, NY 10021. Tel: (212) 734-2130.They have the traditional albums and calendars as at PolArt and Polonia Bookstore. They also published some books, such as the photographic album of Karol Szymanowskiby Teresa Chylinska. They also sell our Polish Music History Series (the latest definitive biography on Szymanowski by Chylinska, two books on Grazyna Bacewicz, and the Polish music bibliography published by us).

Other books to consider from them:

  • “Costumes and Dances of Poland” by Martin Pack.
  • “Paderewski” by Adam Zamoyski.
  • “Our Lives” by Halina Rodzinski.
  • 19th c. American Polish Music by Aleksander Janta.Records:
  • “CHOPIN WALTZES” Camille Budarz, piano
  • “SZYMANOWSKI” Donn-Alexandre Feder, piano
  • “CHOPIN & SZYMANOWSKI” Wieslaw Szlachta, piano
  • Lira Singers performing “Polish Carols and Hymns” and “Collection of Polish Folk Music.”

Hippocrene Books is a publishing firm and mail order house. Located at 171 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. (718) 454-2366. Jacek Galazka, its editor, compiles the beautiful annual “Polish Heritage Calendar.” They deal primarily with books on history, language, literature, travel, etc… Of particular interest to music scholars is the paperback edition of the book, “Paderewski. A political outline.” by Marian Drozdowski.They are the publishers of “Polish Customs, Traditions and Folklore” by Sophie Hodorowicz-Knab and the “Polish Heritage Songbook” compiled by Marek Sart. A collection of 78 songs that accompanied Polish soldiers to war throughout the centuries. Annotations about composers and librettists and song’s histories written by Stanislaw Werner, a musicologist.

Polanie Publishing Company, 643 Madison St., N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55413 (612) 379-9134 is the publisher of the albums, “Treasured Polish Songs with English translations” and “Treasured Polish Christmas Traditions.” ($16.95) Josepha Contoski, editor.They have published two smaller books taken from the initial album, of Treasured Polish Songs. The first is entitled “Favorite Songs” and contains 42 art songs and ballads. The second consists of a paperback edition of the section “Christmas Carols” taken from the main book. There is a cassette tape recording of the thirteen carols, which follows the musical score of the paperback or the main album. Performed by Bonnie Kozub on keyboards with bells, chimes and piano.

Szwede Slavic Books, 2233 El Camino Real, PO Box 1214, Palo Alto, CA 94302. (415) 327-5590. is a scholarly bookstore for students of Slavic studies.Some music book selections:

  • “Kolberg. Dziela wszystkie. Katalog wystawy.” A catalog of an exhibition of the complete works of Oskar Kolberg, the great Polish ethnographer of the 19th century. (In Polish).
  • “The Polish Renaissance in its European context” edited by Samuel Fiszman. A collection of essays by Polish and American schoalrs about Poland’s social and cultural history of the 17th c.
  • “Music of another world” by Szymon Laks. Memoirs of a Polish composer and his life as a prisoner in Auschwitz.
  • “Karol Szymanowski. An anthology.” Edited by Zdzislaw Sierpinski.
  • “Polish opera and ballet of the 20th century.”They also have the Polanie books and other books on music, including the Janta one on Polish-American music.

PTvN POLISH BOOKSTORE, located in Brooklyn, NY 11222 at 135A India St. (201) 656-9060 issues a catalog of their books on a quarterly basis. Here is where you can get Polish fonts for your computer. In two sizes, 80 styles or 240 styles, either on 5.25″ or 3.5″ diskettes.They have two books on Chopin:

  • “Zelazowa Wola” a small album of 44 color photographs of Chopin’s birthplace. (Multi-lingual text)
  • “Life of Chopin” by poet K.Wierzynski (in Polish only).

Polka King, Jan Lewan, has a gift shop JRDa PRODUCTIONS, INC., located at 206 W. 21st St., Hazleton, PA 18201. Tel: (800) 331- 6530.