Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 2, no. 4


I PRIZE in the Serocki Interntaional Composition Competition was won by Pedro Palacio of Argentina for a work for clarinet and string orchestra: “Yugoslavia is burning. War is not over.

The prize will be awarded on June 10th in the Concert Studio Hall of Polish Radio S-1. The competition is held every three years.

TWO WINNERS only in the Kosciuszko Foundation Chicago Chapter Chopin Competition just held. No third prize awarded.

First Prize went to Grant Moffett, 17-year old student of Don Walker from Northern Illinois University at DeKalb. Second prize was won by Josephine Lee, student of Dmitri Paperno of De Paul University.

Both winners will receive airfare to New York plus $1,000 and $600 cash respectively and will be eligible to compete in the parent competition at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York next month. The first place winner will also perform in recital at the Polish Consulate in Chicago in October.

Daniel Pollack from the USC School of Music in Los Angeles was chairman of the jury. The competition is held annually during the second week of March and has a February 1st entry deadline.

29-year old Zbigniew Ladysz, baritone (son of Poland’s most famous basso Bernard Ladysz) made it to the finals in the Francisco Finas Vocal Competition in Barcelona.The young singer studied with Stefania Woytowicz, Alina Bolechowska and Jerzy Artysz. Presently with Halina Slonicka. You can hear him with his famous father on a CD recorded last year in songs of Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Moniuszko and Verdi arias.

Zbigniew Preisner nominated for a Caesar Award (equivalent to our Oscar) for his music to the film Eliza. Over 70,000 CDs of this music sold in France. Last year Preisner received the award for his music to Kieslowski’s film Red.

The 3rd Euyopean International Competition “New Music For New Pianists” was held March 12-18 in Pescara, Italy. Required repertoire included six Piano Sonatas by Polish composer Piotr Lachert. The competition also included a Junior section for pianists under 18.The music scores are published by Chiola Music Press (Pescara, Brussels and New York). Also CDs available include (1) “Sit down and listen.” New music by Knittel, Morozowicz, Lachert, etc… Mireille Gleizes, piano and (2) “Slavic Violin Concerti” featuring the Karlowicz and Dvorak Violin concertosHanna Lachert, violin. Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Antoni Wit, conducting.

Announcing A New Competition!

May 19, 1996 The “Chopin International Piano Competition Of The Pacific” sponsored by the Polish Cultural Society of Hawaii (formerly the Chopin Society of Hawaii).

First Prize: $1,000 cash, plane tickets and lodging in Warsaw and performance in 3 concerts at the Chopin School of Music; the Chopin Society of Warsaw and at Zelazowa Wola (Chopin’s birthplace). Jury made up of pianists from Japan, U.S. and Poland. The Society will also sponsor an annual Fete de la Musique in Honolulu on June 21-24 featuring Polish artists.

Just received an article published in the Santa Barbara News- Press, March 9th from Alice Silvers regarding a collection of concentration camp prisoners’ songs. Aleksander Kulisiewicz was a prisoner in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp outside Berlin, who composed 54 songs during his five year internment. He also memorized hundreds more and after the war devoted his life to writing them down and collecting music from other survivors. His collection grew to 100,000 pages of text and 162,000 feet of tape. It is now housed at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

A first volume of songs and prisoner’s accounts will be published in the fall by the Foundation of Brandenburg Memorials of Oranienburg, Germany.

The January 14th issue of “Ruch Muzyczny,” a music magazine from Warsaw, Poland had a very interesting article written by Polish musicologist, Bohdan Pociej. The author lists what he considers the “TEN BEST COMPOSITIONS” from 1945-1995. He chose only four composers:

Lutoslawski (1913-1994): String Quartet (1964), Prelude & Fugue (1972), and III Symphony (1983).

Gorecki (1933-): Refrain (1965), Lerchenmusik (1985) and II Quartet (1991).

Panufnik (1914-1991): Autumn Music (1962), Sinfonia de sfere (1975) and Arbora cosmica (1984).

Szymanski (1954-): Piano Concerto (1994).

The “Warsaw Autumn” International Festival Of Contemporary Music will be held from September 20 – 28th this year; one week only.

Easter Music

While there is an abundance of recorded music for Christmas, not so with Easter. While a better selection was available on long playing records on the old Polish Muzaand Veriton labels, we are still in luck.

  • Fortunately, an Easter mass, “Miaas Psachalis” is available on compact disc under the Olympia label: OCD 320 under the title, “Sacred Choral Music.” Composed by Grzegorz Gorczycki (ca 1686- 1734), a court musician at Krakow’s royal Wawel Castle. The composer made use of old Easter melodies from the 14th and 16th centuries. “Wesoly nam dzis dzien nastal” (The joyous day has come) can be heard in the “Hosanna” of the mass. Another hymn, “Chrystus Pan zmartwychwstal” [Christus sam surrexit (Christ our Lord is risen from the dead)] was used in the Benedictus.
  • 20th century composer, Krzysztof Penderecki (born in 1933) wrote a major oratorio work “Utrenya” for 2 choirs, solo voices and symphony orchestra which consists of two parts: “The entombment of Christ” and “The resurrection of Christ.” He also wrote the “Passion according to St. Luke.” Together these three works form a triptych that tells the story of Holy Week. They are available on the Polish label Polskie Nagrania PNCD 018 and PNCD 017, respectively.
  • Also appropriate music listening at this time of year: Karol Szymanowski’s “Stabat Mater” and this is available on six different CD labels. A Belgian critic called it the “choral masterpiece of this century” when he first heard it performed in 1926.
  • Another most beautiful and inspiring composition is Gorecki’s Third Symphony, also several versions to choose from.

Born This Month

  • Aleksander Glinkowski – April 4, 1941
  • Andrzej Krzanowski – April 9, 1951 – 1990
  • Antoni Szalowski – April 21, 1907 – March 21, 1973

Composer of the Month

Andrzej Krzanowski

One of the most promising composers of the “younger” generation. He completed his studies under Henryk Gorecki at the Music School in Katowice (now the Academy of Music), where he later joined the faculty. He won many competitions for composition (Poland, Finland, Dresden, Digne-les-Bains and Anconie). His major works are: Three pieces for oboe and horn (1972); Partita for oboe, clarinet & bassoon (1974); I Symphony (1975); Canti di Wratislavia for orch. (1976); three String Quartets(1976, 1978, 1988); Audycja I-VI for actors and instrumental ensemble (1973- 1982); Transpainting, an audio-visual spectable (1977); Con vigore, concerto for 8 performers (1978); Concerto for orchestra (1978-81); II Symphony for 13 string instruments (1984); “Gdzie konczy sie tecza” (Where the rainbow ends) (1985) for percussion and bass clarinet; Relief IX for string quartet and computer tape (1988); Sonata for solo guitar (1990). He also wrote many pieces for accordion solo and accordion ensembles.

Salve Regina” (1981) for female a capella choir and “Con vigore” were performed at the 1993 Warsaw Autumn Contemporary Music Festival. These works are available on tape cassettes released by the Polish Composers Union after the festival.

The only listing for Krzanowski in the Schwann catalog is “Relief IV” for soprano and bells (1985). On OLYMPIA OCD 324, which includes music by eight other Polish composers.