Editions

Magazine et Edition

Volume 19 (2021): Edition 1 (December 2021)

Détails du magazine
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2719-7891
Première publication
20 Dec 2021
Période de publication
1 fois par an
Langues
Polonais

Chercher

Volume 19 (2021): Edition 1 (December 2021)

Détails du magazine
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2719-7891
Première publication
20 Dec 2021
Période de publication
1 fois par an
Langues
Polonais

Chercher

12 Articles
Accès libre

Editorial

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 11 - 12

Résumé

Accès libre

Projects to Revive National Music in Warsaw in 1919–1926

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 13 - 32

Résumé

Abstract

The year 1918 found Polish national music in a state of extreme neglect, to which had “contributed” — as far as Warsaw was concerned — the period of partitions as well as the time of the Prussian occupation (1915–1918). Attempts to catch up in the field of production and popularisation of national music made from late 1918 by Warsaw activists associated with the a disruption in the existing structure of the public following the influx into ruling party (National Democracy) came up against obstacles caused by Warsaw of impoverished Poles from the provinces, including Russia, as well as an intensification of conflicts between the Polish and Jewish populations. Programmes for a revival of the national music tradition focused primarily on practical actions aimed at improving the lot of Polish musicians by providing them with support from the state and educating a new Polish audience. The third aspect of these programmes was the organisation of a government campaign promoting Polish music abroad. The paper presents unknown sources from the daily Warsaw press of the first half of the 1920s illustrating Warsaw’s everyday musical life in these aspects.

Mots clés

  • Polish music in the inter-war period
  • Warsaw Opera
  • Warsaw Philharmonic
  • popularisation of music
  • artistic propaganda
Accès libre

Polish National Publishing Initiatives after 1918

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 33 - 53

Résumé

Abstract

The revival of an independent Polish state in 1918 was conducive not only to the emergence of a new national administration or a sense of national community, but also to the establishment of new entities in science and culture, and, consequently, actions focused on Polishness and promotion of national values. Such new initiatives were based on the activities of scholars, artists and intellectuals, who had existed as a milieu before, but who either operated on a local scale or were entangled in international structures, usually remaining on their peripheries. Projects carried out in new conditions – in the now free country – often with the support of government institutions could promote the national heritage in various forms and on a large scale.

In addition to research-related objectives, young Polish musicology also sought to popularise and disseminate Poland’s musical heritage in a variety of ways: 1) by publishing, as part as of sheet music series, sources for the study of the history of Polish music; 2) new critical editions of well-known oeuvres; 3) supporting the work of young Polish composers by publishing the scores of their compositions through publishing houses set up especially for the purpose; or 4) creating fora for the exchange of scholarly reflections and for presentation of the results of research conducted by a growing number of scholars educated at Polish universities. All this with the slogans of “national pride” and “national duty” the fulfilment of which was to help with catching up and making up for the losses caused by the absence of Poland as a state for over one hundred years.

This led to initiatives by the newly emerging milieu of Polish musicologists seeking to promote the historical legacy of Polish music as well as the achievements of contemporary composers: the series “Early Polish Music”, a project to publish a complete critical edition of Fryderyk Chopin’s works, series of the Polish Music Publishing Society intended for young composers, or periodicals promoting articles on Polish subjects (Kwartalnik Muzyczny, Muzyka, Muzyka Polska, Polski Rocznik Muzykologiczny and others).

Mots clés

  • history of Polish musicology
  • critical editions
  • Polish musicological periodicals
  • Adolf Chybiński
Accès libre

The Ballets of Eugeniusz Morawski in the Context of the Search for Polish National Identity

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 54 - 66

Résumé

Abstract

The topic of this article is Eugeniusz Morawski’s ballet music analysed in the context of the search for national identity in Poland after it regained independence in 1918. The author’s reflection is focused on two fully preserved ballet compositions written in the 1920s. In the monumental four-part dance poem Miłość [Love] by Morawski, together with the author of the libretto, Franciszek Siedlecki, presents an allegorical journey of the pair of protagonists in search of spiritual renewal in a world threatened by progressive mechanisation. Their pilgrimage ends on Earth, and Mazurka is the central point of the last part of the composition. The two-part ballet Świtezianka [Fair Maiden from Svitez], written by the composer to his own libretto, contains in the first part a group scene in which the composer stylizes Polish folk dances. Morawski uses in these works numerous archaizing elements, such as col legno articulation in the strings or empty fifths in the bass; he also uses a pentatonic scale and modal scales, these fragments are distinguished by incisive rhythms. The composer’s treatment of folk material brings to mind an analogy between his work and the works of composers regarded as representatives of the national-folkloric trend in Polish music: Karol Szymanowski, Stanisław Wiechowicz and Roman Palester. Similar tendencies can also be observed in numerous literary and art works created during the inter-war period. A return to folklore and combination of its elements with modern composing techniques can also be found in the works of the most ou-standing representatives of the avant-garde: Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartók.

Mots clés

  • Eugeniusz Morawski
  • []
  • []
  • []
  • ballet
Accès libre

Music in the Polish-Jewish Theatre in the First Decades of the 20th Century in the Light of Surviving Sources

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 67 - 89

Résumé

Abstract

The article presents the few surviving documents concerning the incidental music to Polish-Jewish plays performed on the Polish stages in the first decades of the 20th century (until 1939). This kind of theatre was to constitute a space for the dialogue between the Jewish and Polish communities. The idea of its creators was to reject the existing, usually negative, way of presenting Jews in Polish theatre as well as to show authentic Jewish life — customs, rituals, music and dances — on stage. A breakthrough in both of these areas came with the so-called Jewish plays of Gabriela Zapolska — Małka Szwarcenkopf and Jojne Firułkes. The idea of the Polish-Jewish theatre was then developed by Marek Arnsztajn (Andrzej Marek). Referring to the surviving sources (scores as well as press reviews and notes in directors’ copies of the scripts), the author analyses music to two performances of Małka Szwarcenkopf, and presents the musical appendix to the Polish version of An-ski’s Dybbuk published in 1922. The analysis seeks to capture the composers’ specific ideas of Jewish music and to discover the sources of their inspiration. The second objective of the article was to present the cultural background against which the Polish-Jewish theatre evolved.

Mots clés

  • Polish-Jewish theatre
  • Jewish music
  • Marek Arnsztajn
  • Andrzej Marek
Accès libre

Chopin, Polish National Culture and the Question of “Racial Purity”: Zofia Lissa’s Voice in the Debate over Racial Issues in the 1930s

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 90 - 103

Résumé

Abstract

The question of racial “purity” or “identity” was part of the fashionable discussion on human races in the 1930s. In 1938 a debate over Chopin’s “racial identity” took place in the Warsaw press, triggered by the publication a book entitled Polacy- -chrześcijanie pochodzenia żydowskiego [Poles – Christians of Jewish Origin] by Mateusz Mieses, an outstanding Judaist and representative of one of Poland’s Jewish communities. Mieses’ aim was to familiar-ise the Polish reader with the very little- -known scale on which the ethnically Jewish element had penetrated over the many centuries into the families of the Polish landed gentry, intelligentsia and even aristocracy. As a result, Mieses claimed, many eminent Poles known in Polish history had some Jewish blood in their veins. In addition to the more or less convincing examples of such assimilation, Mieses also quotes some rather dubious ones, including the genealogy of Chopin. On the basis of unconfirmed rumours and the composer’s facial features in some unidentified portrait he claims that Chopin was half Jewish through his mother Justyna Krzyżanowska. Mieses’ conclusions — as well as his entire methodology — were sharply criticised by the reviewer of Wiadomości Literackie as well as by Zofia Lissa, at that time a young scholar at the threshold of a brilliant musicological career. Lissa pointed out that establishing Chopin’s “racial affiliation” is difficult for a lack of reliable and objective sources. For a long time all images of Chopin available to researchers had been either portraits or sculptures, which — as artistic creations — used to deform his face. However, Lissa argued that most of his portraits point to his Dinaric characteristics, which were also confirmed by the two surviving real-life likenesses of the composer (referred to by the author as “racially un-prejudiced” sources) — namely, his death mask and the only surviving daguerreotype. Taking into account the findings of contemporary (mainly German) anthropology, Lissa concluded that Chopin was a typical Dinaric with some Nordic features, and it was from his mother that Fryderyk inherited his few physical traits characteristic of that type. On the other hand, Lissa denied that there was any connection between Chopin’s music and his “racial identity”.

It seems a paradoxical that Lissa — a scholar of Jewish descent — drew on Nazi theories formulated by German anthropologists to show that Chopin had no demonstrable Jewish ancestors. But if we place this debate in the context of its time, and of one specific period in the ideological and scholarly evolution of Zofia Lissa herself — things do not look so simple any more. Her emphasis on the role of the social environment and her rejection of Eichenauer’s theses concerning the impact of “race” on the character of music testify to Lissa’s intensifying links to the Marxist-Leninist ideology, which she most likely began to absorb in that very period.

Mots clés

  • Fryderyk Chopin
  • Zofia Lissa
  • national culture
  • Polish culture
  • music and race
Accès libre

Karol Szymanowski’s Vision of New Polish Music

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 104 - 117

Résumé

Abstract

In 19th-century Poland — under Russian, Prussian and Austrian rule at the time – the main goal of music was to promote revival and to stimulate patriotic feelings. Patriotic Polishness drawing on the country’s glorious past was to be the essence of music; modernity of the composer’s language was of secondary importance. Karol Szymanowski unceremoniously criticised this patriotic music as turned towards the provincial Polish tradition. According to Szymanowski, the criterion of Polish and at the same time “civilised musical art” was met only by Chopin. With the regaining of independence Polish art should free itself from patriotic didacticism and pay attention to aesthetic qualities, which was to eliminate the discrepancy between Polishness and Europeanness, between what was national and what was international, universal and European.

The figure of Karol Szymanowski links our musical present, symbolised by the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, with the first years of independent Poland, for Warsaw Autumn realized Karol Szymanowski’s vision of modern Polish music. In this vision Polish music was a rightful element of European culture.

Mots clés

  • national style
  • mazurkas
  • Karol Szymanowski
  • Frédéric Chopin
  • Warsaw Autumn festiwal
Accès libre

“Let Us Create a Modern Lithuania!” Confrontations of National Identity with Modernity in the Lithuanian Music Modernisation Discourse of the 1930s

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 118 - 133

Résumé

Abstract

The project of modernisation, which emerged as the central idea in the course of 20th-century Lithuanian music, predetermined many creative orientations and discoveries by Lithuanian composers of various generations, as well as critical reflection on their works. At the root of Lithuanian projections of musical modernism lies a central concern with questions of national identity, affected by crucial historical changes and political processes. In this paper, I explore issues of relationship between construction of national identity and the modernity, focusing in particular on public discussions concerning national and modern elements in music, which appeared in the musical press of the 1930s and became emblematic of subsequent Lithuanian music history. Among the most active participants of the debates were young composers and musicians who had set up the Society of Progressive Musicians in 1932 and the iscM Lithuanian Section in 1936: Vytautas Bacevičius, Jeronimas Kačinskas, and Vladas Jakubėnas. Their opinions marked a significant turning point in the national music discourse, updating and expanding the understanding and use of the concepts of modern and national music in Lithuania. The interwar polemical observations, insights and statements were effectively elaborated in later reception and served as basis for a reinterpretation and revision of the Lithuanian music modernisation discourse.

Mots clés

  • Lithuanian music modernisation
  • national identity
  • Vytautas Bacevičius
  • Jeronimas Kačinskas
  • Vladas Jakubėnas
Accès libre

Permanent Values and Variability in Janáček´s Opinions on National and Regional Identity in Relation to Music

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 134 - 146

Résumé

Abstract

Leoš Janáček (1854–1928) was one of those composers whose work was in many respects closely connected with current social events and yet it carried a deep and timeless ethical message. Janáček’s activity as an artist, teacher and organiser reflected changes in the political and cultural paradigm disseminated in the European countries in the course of more than six decades. He himself went through an interesting inner development resulting from his studies, artistic and life experience, as well as his empathy related not only to his narrow individual but also a wider collective space. His relative isolation from the official artistic establishment of Prague gave him an opportunity to formulate his original views on the European, national, and regional identity. In addition to various literary forms, music composition remained his fundamental means of expression. In this context, this paper will attempt to define the basic directions in Janáček´s dynamic evolution and the areas in which his key values and priorities remained constant.

Mots clés

  • Leoš Janá
  • ček
  • nationalism in music
  • regionalism in music
  • cultural identity
  • neo-folklorism
Accès libre

National Icon and Cultural Ambassador: Zoltán Kodály in the Musical Life of State Socialist Hungary

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 147 - 181

Résumé

Abstract

In my paper, I wish to raise questions pertinent to the changing position of the composer, ethnomusicologist and musical educationalist Zoltan Kodály in the musical and cultural life of the Stalinist and post-Stalinist periods of Hungarian state socialism. Owing to his folkloristic and conservative musical style, and also his identity as “an educator of the people,” Kodály established his status as a fellow traveller of statesocialism in the early 1950s. The easiest way in Hungarian composition to satisfy the expectations of the political power, as inspired by Zhdanov’s aesthetics, was to follow the style of Kodály. At the same time, Kodály sustained his reputation as a “genuine” national icon whose music was capable of expressing, even if in riddle form, anti-Stalinist sentiments in the eyes of various political and cultural circles, especially after 1953. In spite of the fact that Kodály did not take any active part in the political struggles in the revolution of 1956, he was named as a candidate for head of state by important revolutionary forces.

Following the suppression of the revolution, the restored state socialist political power revised its practices in the field of art. The fact that the new cultural policy gave up the idea of a unified Hungarian art which is “national in form and socialist in content,” resulted in a temporary weakening of Kodály’s position. Kodály’s status was precarious, subjected to a challenge by avant-garde trends in composition and competing paradigms of musical education. From the early 1960s, however, when both the Western and Eastern political systems proposed strategies for long-term coexistence, Kodály gained a new function from the perspective of the political power. In Western cultural circles Kodály sustained a reputation as one of the great European humanists, and his music educational method generated a strong professional interest globally, and particularly in the usa. My paper also examines the cultural political impact of Kodály’s visit to Moscow in 1963. Kodály seems to have functioned as a mediator across the political divide. He had achieved great personal successes during his tours to the political West, and this reinforced his position in Hungary.

Mots clés

  • Zoltan Kodály
  • Stalinism
  • 1956 revolution
  • Post-Stalinism
  • Kodály method
Accès libre

Where Is My Home? The Czech National Anthem: its Problems, Controversies, and Strengths

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 182 - 208

Résumé

Abstract

There are many countries in which the national anthem has its permanent place not open to discussions. With the Czech national anthem Where Is My Home?, however, the case is precisely the opposite. It first appeared under this title in a theatrical farce in 1834 and soon became popular across the nation. In the second half of the nineteenth century, it went through a phase of politicisation (various textual paraphrases, performances at demonstrations as an anti-Habsburg symbol, a resulting ban on singing the piece) as well as one of criticism (in which it was pointed out that the lyrics were outdated and archaic). It was at that time that proposals for the creation of a new “national anthem” were made, while the Catholic circles considered the mediaeval sacred song Saint Wenceslas, which had had a representative function in the state from time immemorial, as a potential candidate. Late in 1918, the entire song Where Is My Home? “automatically” became the first of the two parts of the Czechoslovak national anthem, but critical voices could still be heard and alternative proposals were made. The debate was revived after the fall of Communism, and even now there are efforts to “modernise” the official music version. The present paper is an attempt to discover the causes of the controversy around the anthem Where Is My Home?. This will be done by focusing on its genesis (inspirations), analysing its content and psychological dimension, considering the critics’ reservations, competition, etc. An interpretation will also be attempted as to why Where Is My Home? has withstood all the attacks and remained the national and state anthem.

Mots clés

  • Czech national anthem
  • Czech state anthem
  • nineteenth century
  • song
  • Czech national revival
Accès libre

A New Home Leads to Compositional Evolution: Roman Palester’s Preludes for Piano (1954)

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 209 - 256

Résumé

Abstract

Roman Palester (1907–1989) was one of the most promising and well-known composers in Poland during the inter-war period. On more than one occasion he was compared to the father of Polish contemporary music, Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937).1 As one of Poland’s leading conductors Jan Krenz noted: “We met while working on the film Zakazane piosenki [Forbidden Songs]. I remember that Palester then came to Łódź in the halo of Szymanowski’s successor. People would say ‘this is the great Roman Palester’.”2 Yet at the height of his fame, in 1951, he chose to leave his homeland and take up residency in the “free” West; subsequently he was cut off from Poland and his previous success.

The 20th century was a time of great cultural, political, and artistic change in Europe with a considerable number of divergent views about what constituted ‘good’ music. Terms such as modernism, nationalism, neo-classicism, socialist realism, serialism and atonality were all used regularly when discussing music and art. There ceased to be a clear or uniform musical style in Europe. Instead a cultural polarisation emerged caused in large part by the division of the world into East and West during the Cold War. How did Palester, a Polish émigré, now residing in the West, effectively a composer in exile, adapt to these circumstances? What connection did his music have with avant- -garde trends, anti-communist sentiments, traditional aesthetics, serialism, etc.? Was Palester’s compositional voice affected by his defection?

In order to determine what Palester’s post-defection compositional voice was and how it may have interreacted with events around him, this paper will examine one of Palester’s pivotal compositions, Preludes for Piano (1954). These Preludes are a significant work in Palester’s compositional output as they show a distinct shift towards a more comprehensive use of twelve-tone techniques. These techniques are employed in a variety of different ways and are often coupled with other techniques in order to create a style which is uniquely suited to Palester’s compositional desires.

Mots clés

  • Roman Palester
  • twelve-tone music
  • Polish music
  • Polish émigré
12 Articles
Accès libre

Editorial

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 11 - 12

Résumé

Accès libre

Projects to Revive National Music in Warsaw in 1919–1926

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 13 - 32

Résumé

Abstract

The year 1918 found Polish national music in a state of extreme neglect, to which had “contributed” — as far as Warsaw was concerned — the period of partitions as well as the time of the Prussian occupation (1915–1918). Attempts to catch up in the field of production and popularisation of national music made from late 1918 by Warsaw activists associated with the a disruption in the existing structure of the public following the influx into ruling party (National Democracy) came up against obstacles caused by Warsaw of impoverished Poles from the provinces, including Russia, as well as an intensification of conflicts between the Polish and Jewish populations. Programmes for a revival of the national music tradition focused primarily on practical actions aimed at improving the lot of Polish musicians by providing them with support from the state and educating a new Polish audience. The third aspect of these programmes was the organisation of a government campaign promoting Polish music abroad. The paper presents unknown sources from the daily Warsaw press of the first half of the 1920s illustrating Warsaw’s everyday musical life in these aspects.

Mots clés

  • Polish music in the inter-war period
  • Warsaw Opera
  • Warsaw Philharmonic
  • popularisation of music
  • artistic propaganda
Accès libre

Polish National Publishing Initiatives after 1918

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 33 - 53

Résumé

Abstract

The revival of an independent Polish state in 1918 was conducive not only to the emergence of a new national administration or a sense of national community, but also to the establishment of new entities in science and culture, and, consequently, actions focused on Polishness and promotion of national values. Such new initiatives were based on the activities of scholars, artists and intellectuals, who had existed as a milieu before, but who either operated on a local scale or were entangled in international structures, usually remaining on their peripheries. Projects carried out in new conditions – in the now free country – often with the support of government institutions could promote the national heritage in various forms and on a large scale.

In addition to research-related objectives, young Polish musicology also sought to popularise and disseminate Poland’s musical heritage in a variety of ways: 1) by publishing, as part as of sheet music series, sources for the study of the history of Polish music; 2) new critical editions of well-known oeuvres; 3) supporting the work of young Polish composers by publishing the scores of their compositions through publishing houses set up especially for the purpose; or 4) creating fora for the exchange of scholarly reflections and for presentation of the results of research conducted by a growing number of scholars educated at Polish universities. All this with the slogans of “national pride” and “national duty” the fulfilment of which was to help with catching up and making up for the losses caused by the absence of Poland as a state for over one hundred years.

This led to initiatives by the newly emerging milieu of Polish musicologists seeking to promote the historical legacy of Polish music as well as the achievements of contemporary composers: the series “Early Polish Music”, a project to publish a complete critical edition of Fryderyk Chopin’s works, series of the Polish Music Publishing Society intended for young composers, or periodicals promoting articles on Polish subjects (Kwartalnik Muzyczny, Muzyka, Muzyka Polska, Polski Rocznik Muzykologiczny and others).

Mots clés

  • history of Polish musicology
  • critical editions
  • Polish musicological periodicals
  • Adolf Chybiński
Accès libre

The Ballets of Eugeniusz Morawski in the Context of the Search for Polish National Identity

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 54 - 66

Résumé

Abstract

The topic of this article is Eugeniusz Morawski’s ballet music analysed in the context of the search for national identity in Poland after it regained independence in 1918. The author’s reflection is focused on two fully preserved ballet compositions written in the 1920s. In the monumental four-part dance poem Miłość [Love] by Morawski, together with the author of the libretto, Franciszek Siedlecki, presents an allegorical journey of the pair of protagonists in search of spiritual renewal in a world threatened by progressive mechanisation. Their pilgrimage ends on Earth, and Mazurka is the central point of the last part of the composition. The two-part ballet Świtezianka [Fair Maiden from Svitez], written by the composer to his own libretto, contains in the first part a group scene in which the composer stylizes Polish folk dances. Morawski uses in these works numerous archaizing elements, such as col legno articulation in the strings or empty fifths in the bass; he also uses a pentatonic scale and modal scales, these fragments are distinguished by incisive rhythms. The composer’s treatment of folk material brings to mind an analogy between his work and the works of composers regarded as representatives of the national-folkloric trend in Polish music: Karol Szymanowski, Stanisław Wiechowicz and Roman Palester. Similar tendencies can also be observed in numerous literary and art works created during the inter-war period. A return to folklore and combination of its elements with modern composing techniques can also be found in the works of the most ou-standing representatives of the avant-garde: Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartók.

Mots clés

  • Eugeniusz Morawski
  • []
  • []
  • []
  • ballet
Accès libre

Music in the Polish-Jewish Theatre in the First Decades of the 20th Century in the Light of Surviving Sources

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 67 - 89

Résumé

Abstract

The article presents the few surviving documents concerning the incidental music to Polish-Jewish plays performed on the Polish stages in the first decades of the 20th century (until 1939). This kind of theatre was to constitute a space for the dialogue between the Jewish and Polish communities. The idea of its creators was to reject the existing, usually negative, way of presenting Jews in Polish theatre as well as to show authentic Jewish life — customs, rituals, music and dances — on stage. A breakthrough in both of these areas came with the so-called Jewish plays of Gabriela Zapolska — Małka Szwarcenkopf and Jojne Firułkes. The idea of the Polish-Jewish theatre was then developed by Marek Arnsztajn (Andrzej Marek). Referring to the surviving sources (scores as well as press reviews and notes in directors’ copies of the scripts), the author analyses music to two performances of Małka Szwarcenkopf, and presents the musical appendix to the Polish version of An-ski’s Dybbuk published in 1922. The analysis seeks to capture the composers’ specific ideas of Jewish music and to discover the sources of their inspiration. The second objective of the article was to present the cultural background against which the Polish-Jewish theatre evolved.

Mots clés

  • Polish-Jewish theatre
  • Jewish music
  • Marek Arnsztajn
  • Andrzej Marek
Accès libre

Chopin, Polish National Culture and the Question of “Racial Purity”: Zofia Lissa’s Voice in the Debate over Racial Issues in the 1930s

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 90 - 103

Résumé

Abstract

The question of racial “purity” or “identity” was part of the fashionable discussion on human races in the 1930s. In 1938 a debate over Chopin’s “racial identity” took place in the Warsaw press, triggered by the publication a book entitled Polacy- -chrześcijanie pochodzenia żydowskiego [Poles – Christians of Jewish Origin] by Mateusz Mieses, an outstanding Judaist and representative of one of Poland’s Jewish communities. Mieses’ aim was to familiar-ise the Polish reader with the very little- -known scale on which the ethnically Jewish element had penetrated over the many centuries into the families of the Polish landed gentry, intelligentsia and even aristocracy. As a result, Mieses claimed, many eminent Poles known in Polish history had some Jewish blood in their veins. In addition to the more or less convincing examples of such assimilation, Mieses also quotes some rather dubious ones, including the genealogy of Chopin. On the basis of unconfirmed rumours and the composer’s facial features in some unidentified portrait he claims that Chopin was half Jewish through his mother Justyna Krzyżanowska. Mieses’ conclusions — as well as his entire methodology — were sharply criticised by the reviewer of Wiadomości Literackie as well as by Zofia Lissa, at that time a young scholar at the threshold of a brilliant musicological career. Lissa pointed out that establishing Chopin’s “racial affiliation” is difficult for a lack of reliable and objective sources. For a long time all images of Chopin available to researchers had been either portraits or sculptures, which — as artistic creations — used to deform his face. However, Lissa argued that most of his portraits point to his Dinaric characteristics, which were also confirmed by the two surviving real-life likenesses of the composer (referred to by the author as “racially un-prejudiced” sources) — namely, his death mask and the only surviving daguerreotype. Taking into account the findings of contemporary (mainly German) anthropology, Lissa concluded that Chopin was a typical Dinaric with some Nordic features, and it was from his mother that Fryderyk inherited his few physical traits characteristic of that type. On the other hand, Lissa denied that there was any connection between Chopin’s music and his “racial identity”.

It seems a paradoxical that Lissa — a scholar of Jewish descent — drew on Nazi theories formulated by German anthropologists to show that Chopin had no demonstrable Jewish ancestors. But if we place this debate in the context of its time, and of one specific period in the ideological and scholarly evolution of Zofia Lissa herself — things do not look so simple any more. Her emphasis on the role of the social environment and her rejection of Eichenauer’s theses concerning the impact of “race” on the character of music testify to Lissa’s intensifying links to the Marxist-Leninist ideology, which she most likely began to absorb in that very period.

Mots clés

  • Fryderyk Chopin
  • Zofia Lissa
  • national culture
  • Polish culture
  • music and race
Accès libre

Karol Szymanowski’s Vision of New Polish Music

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 104 - 117

Résumé

Abstract

In 19th-century Poland — under Russian, Prussian and Austrian rule at the time – the main goal of music was to promote revival and to stimulate patriotic feelings. Patriotic Polishness drawing on the country’s glorious past was to be the essence of music; modernity of the composer’s language was of secondary importance. Karol Szymanowski unceremoniously criticised this patriotic music as turned towards the provincial Polish tradition. According to Szymanowski, the criterion of Polish and at the same time “civilised musical art” was met only by Chopin. With the regaining of independence Polish art should free itself from patriotic didacticism and pay attention to aesthetic qualities, which was to eliminate the discrepancy between Polishness and Europeanness, between what was national and what was international, universal and European.

The figure of Karol Szymanowski links our musical present, symbolised by the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, with the first years of independent Poland, for Warsaw Autumn realized Karol Szymanowski’s vision of modern Polish music. In this vision Polish music was a rightful element of European culture.

Mots clés

  • national style
  • mazurkas
  • Karol Szymanowski
  • Frédéric Chopin
  • Warsaw Autumn festiwal
Accès libre

“Let Us Create a Modern Lithuania!” Confrontations of National Identity with Modernity in the Lithuanian Music Modernisation Discourse of the 1930s

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 118 - 133

Résumé

Abstract

The project of modernisation, which emerged as the central idea in the course of 20th-century Lithuanian music, predetermined many creative orientations and discoveries by Lithuanian composers of various generations, as well as critical reflection on their works. At the root of Lithuanian projections of musical modernism lies a central concern with questions of national identity, affected by crucial historical changes and political processes. In this paper, I explore issues of relationship between construction of national identity and the modernity, focusing in particular on public discussions concerning national and modern elements in music, which appeared in the musical press of the 1930s and became emblematic of subsequent Lithuanian music history. Among the most active participants of the debates were young composers and musicians who had set up the Society of Progressive Musicians in 1932 and the iscM Lithuanian Section in 1936: Vytautas Bacevičius, Jeronimas Kačinskas, and Vladas Jakubėnas. Their opinions marked a significant turning point in the national music discourse, updating and expanding the understanding and use of the concepts of modern and national music in Lithuania. The interwar polemical observations, insights and statements were effectively elaborated in later reception and served as basis for a reinterpretation and revision of the Lithuanian music modernisation discourse.

Mots clés

  • Lithuanian music modernisation
  • national identity
  • Vytautas Bacevičius
  • Jeronimas Kačinskas
  • Vladas Jakubėnas
Accès libre

Permanent Values and Variability in Janáček´s Opinions on National and Regional Identity in Relation to Music

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 134 - 146

Résumé

Abstract

Leoš Janáček (1854–1928) was one of those composers whose work was in many respects closely connected with current social events and yet it carried a deep and timeless ethical message. Janáček’s activity as an artist, teacher and organiser reflected changes in the political and cultural paradigm disseminated in the European countries in the course of more than six decades. He himself went through an interesting inner development resulting from his studies, artistic and life experience, as well as his empathy related not only to his narrow individual but also a wider collective space. His relative isolation from the official artistic establishment of Prague gave him an opportunity to formulate his original views on the European, national, and regional identity. In addition to various literary forms, music composition remained his fundamental means of expression. In this context, this paper will attempt to define the basic directions in Janáček´s dynamic evolution and the areas in which his key values and priorities remained constant.

Mots clés

  • Leoš Janá
  • ček
  • nationalism in music
  • regionalism in music
  • cultural identity
  • neo-folklorism
Accès libre

National Icon and Cultural Ambassador: Zoltán Kodály in the Musical Life of State Socialist Hungary

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 147 - 181

Résumé

Abstract

In my paper, I wish to raise questions pertinent to the changing position of the composer, ethnomusicologist and musical educationalist Zoltan Kodály in the musical and cultural life of the Stalinist and post-Stalinist periods of Hungarian state socialism. Owing to his folkloristic and conservative musical style, and also his identity as “an educator of the people,” Kodály established his status as a fellow traveller of statesocialism in the early 1950s. The easiest way in Hungarian composition to satisfy the expectations of the political power, as inspired by Zhdanov’s aesthetics, was to follow the style of Kodály. At the same time, Kodály sustained his reputation as a “genuine” national icon whose music was capable of expressing, even if in riddle form, anti-Stalinist sentiments in the eyes of various political and cultural circles, especially after 1953. In spite of the fact that Kodály did not take any active part in the political struggles in the revolution of 1956, he was named as a candidate for head of state by important revolutionary forces.

Following the suppression of the revolution, the restored state socialist political power revised its practices in the field of art. The fact that the new cultural policy gave up the idea of a unified Hungarian art which is “national in form and socialist in content,” resulted in a temporary weakening of Kodály’s position. Kodály’s status was precarious, subjected to a challenge by avant-garde trends in composition and competing paradigms of musical education. From the early 1960s, however, when both the Western and Eastern political systems proposed strategies for long-term coexistence, Kodály gained a new function from the perspective of the political power. In Western cultural circles Kodály sustained a reputation as one of the great European humanists, and his music educational method generated a strong professional interest globally, and particularly in the usa. My paper also examines the cultural political impact of Kodály’s visit to Moscow in 1963. Kodály seems to have functioned as a mediator across the political divide. He had achieved great personal successes during his tours to the political West, and this reinforced his position in Hungary.

Mots clés

  • Zoltan Kodály
  • Stalinism
  • 1956 revolution
  • Post-Stalinism
  • Kodály method
Accès libre

Where Is My Home? The Czech National Anthem: its Problems, Controversies, and Strengths

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 182 - 208

Résumé

Abstract

There are many countries in which the national anthem has its permanent place not open to discussions. With the Czech national anthem Where Is My Home?, however, the case is precisely the opposite. It first appeared under this title in a theatrical farce in 1834 and soon became popular across the nation. In the second half of the nineteenth century, it went through a phase of politicisation (various textual paraphrases, performances at demonstrations as an anti-Habsburg symbol, a resulting ban on singing the piece) as well as one of criticism (in which it was pointed out that the lyrics were outdated and archaic). It was at that time that proposals for the creation of a new “national anthem” were made, while the Catholic circles considered the mediaeval sacred song Saint Wenceslas, which had had a representative function in the state from time immemorial, as a potential candidate. Late in 1918, the entire song Where Is My Home? “automatically” became the first of the two parts of the Czechoslovak national anthem, but critical voices could still be heard and alternative proposals were made. The debate was revived after the fall of Communism, and even now there are efforts to “modernise” the official music version. The present paper is an attempt to discover the causes of the controversy around the anthem Where Is My Home?. This will be done by focusing on its genesis (inspirations), analysing its content and psychological dimension, considering the critics’ reservations, competition, etc. An interpretation will also be attempted as to why Where Is My Home? has withstood all the attacks and remained the national and state anthem.

Mots clés

  • Czech national anthem
  • Czech state anthem
  • nineteenth century
  • song
  • Czech national revival
Accès libre

A New Home Leads to Compositional Evolution: Roman Palester’s Preludes for Piano (1954)

Publié en ligne: 12 Feb 2022
Pages: 209 - 256

Résumé

Abstract

Roman Palester (1907–1989) was one of the most promising and well-known composers in Poland during the inter-war period. On more than one occasion he was compared to the father of Polish contemporary music, Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937).1 As one of Poland’s leading conductors Jan Krenz noted: “We met while working on the film Zakazane piosenki [Forbidden Songs]. I remember that Palester then came to Łódź in the halo of Szymanowski’s successor. People would say ‘this is the great Roman Palester’.”2 Yet at the height of his fame, in 1951, he chose to leave his homeland and take up residency in the “free” West; subsequently he was cut off from Poland and his previous success.

The 20th century was a time of great cultural, political, and artistic change in Europe with a considerable number of divergent views about what constituted ‘good’ music. Terms such as modernism, nationalism, neo-classicism, socialist realism, serialism and atonality were all used regularly when discussing music and art. There ceased to be a clear or uniform musical style in Europe. Instead a cultural polarisation emerged caused in large part by the division of the world into East and West during the Cold War. How did Palester, a Polish émigré, now residing in the West, effectively a composer in exile, adapt to these circumstances? What connection did his music have with avant- -garde trends, anti-communist sentiments, traditional aesthetics, serialism, etc.? Was Palester’s compositional voice affected by his defection?

In order to determine what Palester’s post-defection compositional voice was and how it may have interreacted with events around him, this paper will examine one of Palester’s pivotal compositions, Preludes for Piano (1954). These Preludes are a significant work in Palester’s compositional output as they show a distinct shift towards a more comprehensive use of twelve-tone techniques. These techniques are employed in a variety of different ways and are often coupled with other techniques in order to create a style which is uniquely suited to Palester’s compositional desires.

Mots clés

  • Roman Palester
  • twelve-tone music
  • Polish music
  • Polish émigré

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