Another visit in Poland earlier this summer brought about a veritable shower of gifts donated to us by friends and supporters of the Polish Music Center. Each of them is incredibly valuable and important to us and each will greatly enrich our library holdings. As soon as all of these items are properly catalogued and placed on shelves, they will be available to students, faculty, and researchers all across the world, and visitors—as soon, of course, as the pandemic-caused restrictions are fully lifted.
Marta Ptaszyńska, a distinguished composer and the 2005 Paderewski Lecturer at USC, invited me to visit her house in a leafy Warsaw suburb on a very hot July morning. Greeted with a warm smile, hot tea and delicious refreshments served under a century-old apple tree, we had a wonderful chat about old friends, news from the PMC, contemporary music in Poland and the U.S., and many other topics. Before it was time for me to catch a bus back to downtown Warsaw, Ms. Ptaszyńska reached into her desk and consulted her bookshelves then presented the PMC with the following items:
- A DVD of her Missa Solemnis ad Honorem Sancti Joannis Pauli II. It is a 60-minute work for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, two mixed choirs and symphony orchestra, written to liturgical texts and supplemented by writings by Pope John Paul II. This DVD recording features vocalists Marta Boberska, Jarosław Bręk and Anna Radziejewska, with the Chopin Music University Choir and Orchestra led by Ryszard Zimak.
- A PWM publication, Muzyka to język najdoskonalszy—Rozmowy w Martą Ptaszyńską [Music is the most perfect language—Conversations with Marta Ptaszyńska]. Carried out by Ewa Cichoń and Leszek Polony, these interviews cover a broad range of subjects from personal and professional life to reflections on composing, art, and philosophy. A catalogue of Ptaszyńska’s works and excerpts of press reviews and various articles are also included. This richly illustrated and well-presented book is an excellent introduction to Marta Ptaszyńska as an artist and as an individual.
- Marta Ptaszyńska—Katalog dzieł wybranych [Marta Ptaszyńska—Catalogue of Selected Works] is another PWM publication and will be a useful reference resource for the PMC library.
- Four published scores of works, including: Blue Line for Marimba Solo (PWM), The Twittering Tree for Xylophone (PWM), Improvisations After J.R. for Solo Vibraphone (PWM), and Miniatures for Young Pianists (Edwin Marks Music/Belwin Mills).
Thank you, Maestra, for these wonderful gifts and for signing the scores with dedications to the Polish Music Center!