F. Chopin S. Moniuszko W. Kilar K. Penderecki W. Lutosławski Henryk Mikołaj Górecki
FRYDERYK CHOPINFrédéric François Chopin, (March 1, 1810 – October 17, 1849) is one of the most famous, influential andadmired composers for the piano, and Polands most significant composer. He was born Fryderyk FranciszekChopin, of French and Polish parentage in the village of Żelazowa Wola, Poland. In Warsaw he was hailed as achild prodigy for his keyboard and composition skill. He left for Paris at the age of 20, having already composedhis two piano concertos, and never returned to Poland. In Paris, he made a career as a performer and teacher aswell as a composer, and adopted the French variant of his name, "Frédéric-François". In 1836 he met the Frenchwriter George Sand, with whom he had a relationship for nine years until 1847. After suffering from poor healthfor much of his life, his condition forced him to give up performing and teaching shortly before he died.
Monument in WarsawChopins compositions, which are almost exclusively for the piano, include the Funeral March pianosonata and the twenty-four etudes and are widely considered to be amongst the pinnacles of the pianorepertoire. Although some of his music is among the most technically demanding for the instrument,Chopins style emphasizes poetry, nuance, and expressive depth rather than mere technical display. Heis often cited as one of the mainstays of Romanticism in nineteenth-century classical music.
Stanislaw MoniuszkoStanisław Moniuszko was born on the 5th May 1819 in Obiel in Belarus. He was a famousconductor and composer. He was taught how to play piano by August Frezer and DominikStefanowicz. He left for Berlin where he continued to learn his future profession. Hereturned to Poland and married Aleksandra Mueller. He worked as an organist and a pianoteacher. He became famous thanks to his very good performances. In 1848 he composedhis most famous work, “Halka”. This opera was a great success. He became the firstconductor of Polish Opera in the Grand Theatre in Warsaw. The January Uprising sloweddown his career, but he composed another famous work – “The Haunted Manor” in 1865.He died on the 4th June 1872 of a heart attack. He is considered the creator of the PolishNational Opera.
Wojciech KilarWojciech Kilar is a Polish classic and film music composer. Kilar was born in July 17, 1932 in Lwów, Polandnow Lviv, Ukraine. He studied in Katowice and later on in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. He won several pricesfor his works and belongs (together with Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Górecki to the Polish avant-gardeof the Sixties. His orchestral work Krzesany (Climbing up the mountains) from 1974 became famous, but sincethe mid 1970s he has become well known as a composer of film scores, increasingly in Hollywood (workingwith Roman Polanski). Kilar remains faithful to the style he defined for himself in these works to this day.Having abandoned avant-garde technical means almost entirely, he continues to employ a simplified musicallanguage, in which sizeable masses of sound serve as a backdrop for highlighted melodies that are oftenemotionally potent. This occurs in those compositions that reference folk music (especially Polish Highlanderfolk melodies) and in patriotic and religious pieces that reflect the composers deep religious faith and devotionto his country. The building blocks for Kilars film music are similar, and this specialization has helped thecomposer gain far-reaching fame throughout the world. Although it was his cooperation with Francis FordCoppola on DRACULA (1992) that consolidated the composers position in the film world, it seems that thefilms of Krzysztof Zanussi have inspired Kilar to the highest levels artistic achievement.
Krzysztof PendereckiKrzysztof Penderecki is a Polish composer and conductor of classical music. Pendereckisinternational recognition began in 1959 at the Warsaw Autumn Festival with the premiere ofworks, Strophen, Psalms of David, and Emanations, but the piece that truly brought him tointernational attention was Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima (see threnody and Hiroshima),written for 52 string instruments. In it, Penderecki makes use of extended instrumentaltechniques (for example, playing on the wrong side of the bridge, bowing on the tailpiece). Thereare many novel textures in the work, which makes great use of tone clusters (notes closetogether played at the same time). His the most famous opuses are: Operas: The Devils ofLoudun, Paradise Lost, The Black Mask, Ubu Rex, Symphonies: Symphonies 1-8 andLacrimosa, Polish Requiem, Cello Concerto, Credo.
Krzysztof Penderecki’sMost Important Works1958 Psalms of David for choir, stringedinstruments and percussion1959 Emanations for two string orchestras1960 Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshimafor 52 stringed instruments1962 Fluorescence for full symphonyorchestra1965 St. Luke’s Passion for solo voices,lector, four choirs and orchestra1970 Cosmogony for solo voices,two choirs and orchestra1971 Utrenja for solo voices, two choirsand orchestra1974 Magnificat for solo bass, vocal group,three choirs and orchestra1977 Concerto per violino ed orchestra No. 11978 Paradise Lost after John Milton1986 Die schwarze Maske opera in one act1980 Te Deum for solo voices, two choirsand orchestra1980 Symphony No2 “Christmas Eve”for symphony orchestra1984 Polish Requiem for solo voices,two choirs and orchestra1991 Ubu Rex opera buffa after A. Jarry1992 Symphony No5 “Korea” for symphonyorchestra1996 The Seven Gates of Jerusalemfor soloists, lector, three choirsand orchestra1998 Credo for solo voices, choirand orchestra | Krzysztof Penderecki, Cosmogonia |an extract of the score|
Henryk Mikołaj GóreckiThe departure from the avantgarde in order to get closer to the listenerfound its embodiment in the works of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933). Górecki,in his youth a self-styled supporter of non-compromise, gradually evolved intoa mystic, the best evidence of which is his Symphony No3, composed in 1976. Someyears later, it finally achieved an improbable media career. This was caused by a releaseby the American company Elektra Nonesuch with a recording of the Symphony performedby the American singer Dawn Upshaw and the London Sinfonietta. The piecereached the top of the American and British charts and was the fifth most popular piecein Britain in 1993. The British radio station Classic FM, as a result of audience pressure,broadcast sections of Gorecki’s piece round the clock. Listeners to the Symphony No3included classical music lovers as well as people who had no daily contact with suchmusic, young people as well as longdistance truck drivers. Górecki, with his simple and yetintense music, reached everyone, revealing the world of primary emotions.
Witold LutosławskiWitold Lutosławski (1913–1994), concentrated on questionsof perfection of form and refinement of sound. His music ismulti-layered, internally rich and varied, displayingthe discrete charm of constellations of sound, at the sametime not without dramatic interest (the 3rd and 4thSymphonies or Piano Concerto).
The Sinfonia VarsoviaKrzysztof Penderecki is the orchestral director of the Sinfonia Varsovia orchestra, foundedin 1984 from the Polish Chamber Orchestra and considered to be one of the best in theworld. The Sinfonia’s first permanent guest conductor was Yehudi Menuhin, and currentlyit is José Cura. With an almost unlimited repertoire, the Sinfonia Varsovia performsall over the world with the best conductors (Mstislav Rostropovitch, Jerzy Maksymiuk)and artists (José Carreras, Placido Domingo, Andreas Vollenweider).
JAZZ::POP::ROCKKrzysztof Komeda Among the pioneers of the Polish jazz scene was Krzysztof Komeda (1931–1969). A doctor by education, a pianist and composer by desire, he was the leader of many groups, the author of countless jazz themes, and one of the most original composers of film music during the 60’s.
The name of Michał Urbaniak (1943) ismost often mentioned these days amongPolish jazz musicians. His discs havebeen released at home and abroad inpressings exceeding 1.5 million units.He also appears on the covers of tens ofalbums released by the world’s leading Michał Urbaniakjazz musicians: Marcus Miller, GeorgeBenson, Billy Cobham, Ron Carter, JoeZawinul, Wayne Shorter, StéphaneGrappelli and Miles Davis, to name buta few. He surprised them with hisopenness to everything new, and hisability to link jazz with rock or hip hop.Even his violins sound completelydifferent, their sound colour enhancedby electronics, and he can alter histechnique of forming sound to imitatea saxophone’s wail or a human voice.
Urszula Dudziak Urszula Dudziak’s (1943) voice is without doubt one of the most interesting instruments in contemporary jazz. In 1958, Dudziak became the soloist in Krzysztof Komeda’s group. A few years later, she quit as a conventional jazz vocalist in order to concentrate on electronic vocal effects. With this change, she created a new style of jazz singing in which, to this day, she has no competition. She impresses with her enormous vocal strength, and her intonation, technique, and fluency, well demonstrated in the hit Papaya. Papaya
Tomasz Stańko was born in Rzeszów, Poland on July 11, 1942. His first encounters with jazz were through Voice of America radio programs and tours initiated by the U.S. State Department. Coming of age in Communist Poland, Stanko was impressed by the correlation jazz had with a message of freedom. In 1958 he saw his first jazz concert given by Dave Brubeck. While attending the Cracow Music Academy he formed his first group in 1962, the Jazz Darlings, along with the pianist Adam Makowicz; the group took inspiration from the music of individuals such as Ornette Coleman, George Russell and Miles Davis and is considered by many critics to be the first group in Europe to perform in the free jazz medium. In 1963 Stanko joined the Krzysztof Komeda quintet. During his career with Komeda, which concluded in 1967, Stanko did five tours with the pianist and recorded eleven albums with him. In 1968 Stanko formed a quintet During the 1980s he traveled to India and recorded solo work in the Taj Mahal, and also worked with Vesala in groups led by Chico Freeman and Howard Johnson In 1997 Stanko formed a group which performed the songs of pianist Krzysztof Komeda, touring London, Copenhagen, Stockholm and appearing at jazz festivals like those in Nancy and Berlin. The idea for the project came from the president ofStańko ECM Records, Manfred Eicher.
During the second half of the Eighties, the difficult and somewhat selfcontained British music scene was successfully penetrated by Barbara Trzetrzelewska (1954), but the Americans first accepted her sometimes swinging, but usually Brazilian-influenced, songs. TodayBasia widely known as Basia, the singer and jazz vocalist, composer and lyricist began her assault on the musical world in a Broadway recital. From this artistic temple, with the help of albums, you can reach the furthest corners of the globe without obstacles; songs reach the highest positions in the charts without difficulty; and every album is covered in gold or platinum. |
Czesław Niemen (real name Czesław Juliusz Wydrzycki) (February 16, 1939 - January 17, 2004) was one ofthe most important and original Polish singer-songwriters and rock balladeers of the last quarter-century,singing mainly in the Polish language.Niemen was born in Stare Wasiliszki in Grodno Province. After the World War II it became a part ofByelorussian SSR and in the 1950s he was allowed to move to Poland. He made his debut in the early 1960s,singing Polish rock and soul music. He possessed an unusually wide voice range and equally rich intonation.He was also an ardent composer and a keyboard player. Soon after his first successful concerts in France, hestarted to use the pseudonym Niemen instead of his real name, gaining wider notoriety in Poland and making iteasier to pronounce by foreigners. His song of 1967, "Dziwny jest ten świat" (Strange Is This World) iscommonly acknowledged to be the most important Polish protest song of that era (in 1972 also en Englishversion was recorded). He was one of the first Polish performers to wear long hair and colourful clothes andintroducing the style of psychedelia to communist Poland, which annoyed the officials.Later, Niemen also composed film soundtracks and theater music. He died of cancer in Warsaw.He won the Sopot International Song Festival in 1979.What seems noteworthy about Niemen is the fact that in 1964 at Congress Hall in Warsaw, Niemen togetherwith his group played as a support to Marlena Dietrich concert. Marlena Dietrich heard his song "Czy mniejeszcze pamiętasz" (Do you still remember me?) there. She enjoyed it so much and soon recorded her ownversion of it "Mutter, Hast du Mir Vergeben" (Mother, have you forgiven me?) writing her own lyrics for thesong
Tadeusz Nalepa (26 August, 1943 in Zgłobień, Poland – 4 March, 2007, Warsaw) – was a Polish composer,guitar player, vocalist and lyricist.Nalepa graduated from the Music Academy in Rzeszów in the departments of violin, clarinet and contrabass.He received recognition in the category of duets at the 2nd annual "Festival of Young Talents" in Szczecin in1963 along with Mira Kubasinska. They were married and had a son, named Piotr.In 1968, Nalepa formed a group called Breakout which existed for 13 years before disbanding in 1981.Breakout had released 10 albums.On the 25th of May, 1985, Nalepa re-formed Breakout because of the bands 20th anniversary.In 1986, magazine Jazz Forum named him the best musician, composer and guitar player. Along with theother winners, he took part in the concert series "Blues/Rock Top 86" and at the same time, he also startedco-operating with another polish rock/blues band Dżem, (literally Jam). The two released a successful albumNumero Uno.The following albums, as Tadeusz Nalepa, were released with different band members. His last release was aDVD 60 urodziny (60th birthday) (the only one in his catalogue), released in 2006 which contained a showfrom November 22, 2003. It was reissued later on as a DVD+Cd.In 2003, Nalepa was awarded the Polonia Restituta.He died on March 4, 2007.
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