280 pages | 80 B/W Illus.
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 influenced deeply also symphonic thinking. 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 (1914-91), Henryk Mikolaj 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.
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 avantgarde: 1956–1974 4. The symphony in post-avantgarde times: 1974–1994 5. The symphony at the turn of the centuries: 1995–2015