Gifts to PMC June 2018

Pop CD Collection

Darek Swiatkowski, Program Director for the Polish American Performing Arts Club, recently donated to us another batch of music CDs and a DVD. Here’s the list:

  • Two CDs by Panny Wyklęte—the first is the group’s 2013 album and the second a 2014 release, “Wygnane” [Expelled], Vol. 1;
  • A 2 CD set, Dorzecze Niemna—Śladami Oskara Kolberga [The Niemen River Basin—In the Footsteps of Oskar Kolberg]. This fascinating compilation of folk tunes from northeastern Poland and the neighboring Belarus will be of particular interest to ethnomusicologists and all interested in folklore of that region;
  • Chłopcy z Nowoszyszek grają muzykę z Festiwalu Oj Wiosna, Ty Wiosna [Boys from Nowoszyszki play music from the Oj Wiosna, Ty Wiosna Festival]. This is a CD of a folk dances and song numbers using a variety of rarely heard instruments from the Polish-Lithuanian border;
  • Tarnów Vocal Quintet Monk is represented on a “Opowieści z Biblii Wzięte” [Stories Straight from the Bible], a CD dating from 2014;
  • “Karolowe Pieśni Wojtka Klicha” is a fascinating album of songs based on writings by Karol Wojtyła, aka Pope John Paul II, who was canonized in 2014;
  • A DVD of documentary materials spotlighting music and folklore of northeastern Poland by Krusznia Film Archive. It is a wonderful look at traditional music making in the enchanted lake region of northern Poland.

Since Polish folk music is something we often receive inquiries about, we hope these items will prove interesting to our visitors and scholars.


Biblioteka Millenium Donation

The venerable Biblioteka Millenium that has been for years one of the highlights for visitors to the Polish parish church in Los Angeles, Our Lady of the Bright Mount, is in the process of moving from the basement of the rectory to the garage in the back of the property. Since the new space is considerably smaller and could not possibly accommodate more than one-half of the Biblioteka Millenium collection, its principals and friends, including Henryka Łazarz and Prof. Stanisław Jarecki had recently reached out to the Polish community for help.

As it happens, PMC had an expert on hand, Dr. Robert Górski, from the State Archives in Warsaw. Through the latter part of May and most of June, Dr. Górski was working on cataloguing our Paderewski Paso Robles Collection. A few Fridays ago, we drove from USC to the Polish church nearby and were able to examine the situation. After conferring with Ms. Łazarz, Prof. Jarecki and other volunteers, it was decided that Biblioteka Millenium will donate to the PMC all of their books relating to music.

Just before the end of June, six boxes of books were ready for transport to the PMC and processing. A detailed list of titles has been made and every item will be marked with a label, affixed inside, listing the donor and the donation date. Overall, there were close to 200 books, covering everything from biographies of composers and performers, to folk music, dance, Polish Christmas carols, and the like. Some of the rarities include Karol Szymanowski’s 1928 speech about Chopin, a 1961 book about Chopin’s stay in Mallorca with George Sand, a 1932 monograph on Chopin by Mateusz Gliński, first edition of Ferdynand Hoesick’s monumental work on Chopin, several books by Henryk Opieński (about Moniuszko, Paderewski, and Chopin), a 19th century miniature edition of the celebrated opera Krakowiacy i Górale in piano-vocal score, and many other fascinating items.

In addition, we received from Biblioteka Millenium about one hundred items from the Stefan Pasternacki collection. Most of them are copies of his manuscripts of choral arrangements featuring music by Chopin, Gall, Moniuszko, Nowowiejski, Paderewski, and others, as well as Mr. Pasternacki’s arrangements of folk tunes and military songs from Poland’s long history of battlefield music.

Finally, about two dozen LPs were also donated to us by Biblioteka Millenium. They include a number of recordings of Chopin from the early 1960s, featuring Halina Czerny-Stefańska, Marek Drewnowski, Zbigniew Drzewiecki, Jan Ekier, Regina Smendzianka, as well as a recording of Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor with Walerian Bierdiajew and Poznań State Opera. We also received several LPs with fairy tales for children (Pzygody Koziołka-Matołka, Czarodziejski młyn, Alicja w krainie czarów, etc.) as well as LPs featuring such celebrated vocalists as Anna German or Irena Santor.


Three Paderewskis

The Long Beach-based composer Jenni Brandon is working on a musical about Paderewski with a USC professor and librettist, Oliver Mayer. Featuring a few songs, the preliminary version of this musical was advanced to the finals at the competition announced last year by the Mickiewicz Institute in Poland. Now Ms. Brandon and Prof. Mayer are working on a fuller, 1-hr version of the musical that will be world-premiered during the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles on November 2. In the meantime, the composer recently presented us with three copies of her musical score. Stay tuned for more details!


Thank you! Dziękujemy!