Roman’s Musical Pilgrimage

Wojciech Maciejewski, brother of composer and pianist Roman Maciejewski (1910-1998), has been a faithful friend of the Polish Music Center and a frequent donor of scores and other materials pertaining to his older brother. Wojciech Maciejewski’s latest donation is a hardcover biography, RomanMaciejewski, authored by Marek Sołtysik and published by the Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy in 2013. With the subtitle Two Lives of One Artist, the book is dedicated to Wojciech Maciejewski. It is a fascinating text that quotes from Roman Maciejewski’s correspondence with his family and friends, and includes many photographs from his brother’s collection.

Whether in Paris in the 1930s or Sweden throughout the 1940s or California from 1950 to 1976, and Sweden once again during the final two decades of his life, Roman Maciejewski was a restless and creative spirit who befriended the musical and social elites of the time wherever he went. Scores of other celebrities, politicians, aristocrats and art patrons, which include figures such as Karol Szymanowski, Czesław Miłosz, Igor Stravinsky, Arthur Honneger, Grażyna Bacewicz, Alfredo Casella, Artur Rubinstein, Ingmar Bergman, Nadia Boulanger, weave in and out of Roman Maciejewski’s richly eventful life. Let’s hope that, before long, the English version of this biography will become available to readers outside Poland.

More information on the publisher’s website:

The Great Sounds Of Autumn

Our two dear friends at the Polish Music Information Centre in Warsaw, Mieczysław Kominek and Izabela Zymer, once again provided us with a treasure trove of CD recordings for our library. This time they sent us a 7-CD set of music performed and recorded during the 56th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, which was held in September 2013. The recordings are accompanied by a 450-page catalogue/booklet containing detailed biographical notes on composers and compositions. This truly scholarly publication also features a 50-page index, listing all of the works performed during the fifty-four Warsaw Autumn Festivals between the years 1956-2012. Together with other recordings from the Polish Music Information Centre in Warsaw we have received in the past, this new set will serve as a great tool for students, faculty and researchers worldwide.

In addition to this very generous gift, the parcel from Warsaw also contained two additional CDs. The first, Włodzimierz Kotoński—Awangarda, was produced to celebrate Włodzimierz Kotoński’s 88th birthday. It opens with Kotoński’s Study on One Cymbal Stroke (1960), the first example of musique concrète (music that includes acoustic and electronically-generated sounds) penned by a Polish composer.

The other CD presents works by Magdalena Długosz (b. 1954), a composer and professor of electroacoustic music in Kraków. A student of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar and Józef Patkowski, Długosz has been associated with the Experimental Studios of the Polish Radio in Warsaw, Stockholm, Bratislava, and Groupe de Recherche Appliquée en Musique Electroacoustique in Lyon.

As part of the series called Polish Music Today, this CD is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Polish Radio, and the Polish Music Information Center. Besides Magdalena Długosz, the series presents portraits of ten contemporary Polish composers, including  Jacek Grudzień, Aleksander Kościów,  Zbigniew Penherski, Jarosław Siwiński, Michał Talma-Sutt, Ewa Trębacz, Tadeusz Wielecki, Anna Zawadzka-Gołosz, and Lidia Zielińska.