1956 was a year of transition in Poland, and an important year for Polish music. This year saw the beginning of a political thaw – sometimes called the Polish October – in communist Poland. It was also the year of the establishment of the 'Warsaw Autumn' International Festival of Contemporary Music. This was a time of great artistic ferment in Polish music, which also deeply influenced symphonic thinking. The year 1956 is thus an appropriate starting point for Beata Bolesławska’s study of the contemporary Polish symphonic tradition. Bolesławska investigates the influential Polish avant-garde, illuminating the ways in which new musical means and ideas influenced symphonic music and the genre of the symphony in the music of such important composers as Witold Lutosławski (1913–1994), Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933–2010) and Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933). Referring to the main elements of the European tradition, as well as examining briefly the symphonic activity in Poland before 1956, the book concentrates on the symphonic writing in the context of avant-garde trends, represented by the so-called 'Polish school of composers', as well as on its later redefinitions proposed by Polish composers up to the present day.
Table of Contents
1. Towards the symphony and symphonic thinking; 2. The symphonic tradition in Polish music before 1956; 3. The symphony and symphonic thinking in the musical avant-garde: 1956–1974; 4. The symphony in post-avant-garde times: 1974–1994; 5. The symphony at the turn of the centuries: 1994–2017
Beata Bolesławska (Bolesławska-Lewandowska) holds a PhD from Cardiff University. She is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and Chair of the Musicological Section of the Polish Composers’ Union. She is the author of Panufnik (2001), Górecki: A Portrait in Memory (2013), Panufnik: Architect of Emotions (2014), The Life and Works of Andrzej Panufnik (1914–1991) (2015), and editor of Zygmunt Mycielski – Andrzej Panufnik: Correspondence (2016, 2018). In 2007 she was honoured by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and in 2015 by the Polish Composers’ Union for her contribution to Polish culture.