Issues

Journal & Issues

Volume 18 (2021): Issue 1 (December 2021)

Volume 17 (2020): Issue 1 (December 2020)

Volume 16 (2019): Issue 1 (December 2019)
Women-Composers in Poland

Volume 15 (2018): Issue 1 (December 2018)
Deconstructing the Myth of Polishness in Music

Volume 14 (2017): Issue 1 (December 2017)
‘Warsaw Autumn’ International Festival of Contemporary Music

Volume 13 (2016): Issue 1 (December 2016)
[Polish] Musicology Today

Volume 12 (2015): Issue 1 (December 2015)
The Musical Languages of Contemporary Polish Composers: Self-Reflections

Volume 11 (2014): Issue 1 (December 2014)
Oskar Kolberg

Volume 10 (2013): Issue 1 (December 2013)
Musical Historiography in Poland. New Sources – New Methodologies

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2353-5733
ISSN
1734-1663
First Published
31 Dec 2013
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 16 (2019): Issue 1 (December 2019)
Women-Composers in Poland

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2353-5733
ISSN
1734-1663
First Published
31 Dec 2013
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

8 Articles
Open Access

Women-Composers in Poland

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 1 - 2

Abstract

Open Access

Music-Making Women-Aristocrats

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 3 - 30

Abstract

Abstract

The present article reflects on the shortage of studies concerning music-composing women in the 18th-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and focuses on one unique figure among those female musicians – Maria Antonia Walpurgis, an aristocrat of Polish descent, who demonstrated versatile talents. Thoroughly educated in her childhood, she was a poet, composer, singer, and director of her own stage works. This paper discusses the aristocratic artist’s most important experiences and achievements in the field of music, as well as analysing her earliest surviving work, the cycle of 6 Arias for Soprano, Strings and Basso Continuo (1747), which Walpurgis may well have performed herself. The arias have been preserved in a manuscript kept at the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden, shelf mark Mus.3119-F-11. My analysis assesses their style and aesthetic.

Keywords

  • Maria Antonia Walpurgis
  • Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • women composers
  • XVIII century
  • Arias
Open Access

Polish Female Composers in the Nineteenth Century

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 31 - 42

Abstract

Abstract

The article discusses the activities of selected women-composers who worked in Poland in the 19th century. They have been presented in a broad social-political context. Specific historical conditions have been taken into account, which have contributed to the perception of women’s creativity as a mission. The model of women’s activity discussed in the categories of social and political mission influenced the shape and forms of Polish women’s creativity in the first half of the century. In the second half of the century, women’s access to education increased and finally a milieu of professional women-composers emerged. Among them, we should distinguish the group of women born into musical families, due to the fact that some among them took up the profession of composer.

Keywords

  • women composers
  • music culture of the 19th century
  • music and sex
  • history of Polish music
  • music criticism
Open Access

“Why Are Our Women-Composers So Little Known?”

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 43 - 64

Abstract

Abstract

Polish women-composers of the interwar period (1918–1939) have not been the subject of adequate research so far. We only have some contributory publications and general surveys dedicated to their output. This paper presents the initial results of a study that aims at creating a more multi-sided, in-depth picture of women-composers’ work, including their participation in local and international music life as well as their achievements in the field of composition, the styles and genres practised by selected representatives of this milieu. The paper also discusses the reception of these phenomena in the press of the period. My research leads me to the conclusion that, despite functioning in a kind of ‘parallel world’ in relation to the virtually all-male domain of music composition ‘proper’, the Polish women-composers did penetrate into that world, contributing to its dominant trends and tendencies, from Romantic inspirations to musical modernism, as well as popular music. Their contributions need to be taken into account if we wish fully to reconstruct and appreciate the Polish music created in that period.

Keywords

  • Polish women composers
  • Polish music
  • interwar period
  • musical life
  • styles and techniques
Open Access

Grażyna Bacewicz – The Polish Sappho

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 65 - 102

Abstract

Abstract

The paper is an attempt at a synthetic presentation of the Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz’s (1909–1969) musical output and artistic career, presented against the background of events in her personal life, and of major events in Polish and European history in the first seven decades of the 20th century. Bacewicz was called ‘the Polish Sappho’ already in the years between World Wars I and II, when there were very few women-composers capable of creating works comparable to the most eminent achievements of male composers. Her path to success in composition and as a concert soloist leads from lessons with her father, the Lithuanian Vincas Bacevičius, to studies at the Łódź and Warsaw Conservatories (violin with Józef Jarzębski, composition with Kazimierz Sikorski), and later with Nadia Boulanger at the École Normale de la Musique, as well as violin lessons with André Tourret. Her oeuvre has for many years been linked with neoclassicism, and folkloric inspirations are evident in many of her works. Her crowning achievement in the neoclassical style is the Concerto for String Orchestra of 1948, while influences from folklore can distinctly be heard in many concert pieces and small forms. The breakthrough came around 1958, under the influence of avant-garde trends present in West European music, which came to be adapted in Poland thanks to the political transformations and the rejection of socialist realism. In such pieces as Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion of 1958, Bacewicz transforms her previously fundamental musical components (melody, rhythm, harmony) into a qualitatively new type of sound structures, mainly focused on the coloristic aspects. Grażyna Bacewicz also applied the twelve-note technique, albeit to a limited extent, as in String Quartet No. 6 (1960). Her last work was the unfinished ballet Desire to a libretto by Mieczysław Bibrowski after Pablo Picasso’s play Le désir attrapé par la queue.

Keywords

  • Grażyna Bacewicz
  • neoclassicism
  • folklorism
  • Polish composers
Open Access

Between Heart and Mind

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 103 - 112

Abstract

Abstract

The paper presents in a synthetic way the phenomena characteristic of Marta Ptaszyńska’s music, and the key qualities of her output. I focus on those topics that have not been sufficiently explored in existing studies, and those that call for a polemical discussion. These include the ideas that underlie Ptaszyńska’s music, the inspirations of her creative process, problems of composition technique, sound language, her style and aesthetic, with particular reference to her supposed links to sonorism. Finally I present an attempt to define the place and significance of Marta Ptaszyńska’s oeuvre in 20th- and 21st-century music.

Keywords

  • Marta Ptaszyńska
  • color and music
  • style and technique
  • harmony
  • aesthetics
Open Access

Literature and visual arts as a source of inspiration

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 113 - 121

Abstract

Abstract

This article is a contribution to scientific research on this aspect of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar’s musical output which concerns the connections between her music and other arts, primarily literature and the visual arts, as well as inspirations flowing from nature, religion, philosophy, and broadly understood culture. The article applies structuralist methodology. The starting point for the analysis of the phenomena in question is the musical work itself, its title and its structure, and in the case of vocal-instrumental works - the content and message of the literary text and the person of its author. In the part of the article which deals with the biography and artistic personality of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, as well as by quoting the composer’s own statements in the text, I draw on the personalistic method, especially highly valued in 20th-century philosophy; this method emphasises the role of the human person and personality in analytic work.

In the musicological literature to date there exists no separate, large-scale study dedicated to the subject of non-musical inspirations in the works of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar. This topic has been tackled, however, in scientific dissertations dealing with various aspects of the composer’s work. For example, inspirations from the sphere of the sacrum have been indicated by Marek Stefański (2011), whereas Ewa Mizerska-Golonek (1992) writes about inspirations derived from the Biblical text in Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar’s Song of Songs, and Hanna Kostrzewska (2012) discusses painting as a source of inspiration in the composer’s oeuvre. The main source of information on this subject, however, are the composer’s own statements: her ‘Autorefleksja kompozytorska’ [‘The Composer’s Self-Commentary’]

K. Moszumańska-Nazar, ‘Autorefleksja kompozytorska’ [‘The Composer’s Self-Commentary’], in K. Kasperek, Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar. Katalog tematyczny utworów, Cracow, Academy of Music, 2004, pp. 149–153.

and interviews.

M. Woźna-Stankiewicz, Lwowskie geny osobowości twórczej. Rozmowy z Krystyną Moszumańską-Nazar [The Lviv Gene of Artistic Personality: Interviews with Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar], Cracow, Musica Iagellonica, 2007; M. Janicka-Słysz, ‘Z walcem w tle’ [‘With Waltz in the Background’], interview with Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, Ruch Muzyczny, no. 18, 2004, pp. 8–9.

Keywords

  • literature
  • visual arts
  • culture
  • Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar
  • syncretism
Open Access

Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń: A Portrait with a Caravan in the Background

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 123 - 130

Abstract

Abstract

The paper presents a survey of the dominant aesthetic and technical qualities of Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń’s output of compositions. The composer’s interests focus on Oriental cultures, depicting nature, correspondences of arts, and on reflecting the sacrum in music. I have discussed her selected works (Sanctus, The Modern Man I Sing; These PhrasesThese Songs... These Arias..., IMAGE 1929). On the basis of brief analyses of some of Kowalska-Lasoń’s compositions, I have defined her artistic stance and technique and postmodernist, neo-sonoristic sensualism. The distinguishing features of her music are: an open attitude to musical form, to the canon of narrative continuity, to aleatoricism and strict notation, as well as to the degree of correlation between chromatic and diatonic writing. The artist herself considers the epithet ‘nomadic’ as relevant to the character of her works, which are conceived as having a symbolic function.

My composer portrait has been complemented with a list of Kowalska-Lasoń’s selected works, awards, performances, and her students’ achievements.

Keywords

  • Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń
  • postmodernism
  • neo-sonorism
  • sacrum
  • Orient
  • music and painting
8 Articles
Open Access

Women-Composers in Poland

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 1 - 2

Abstract

Open Access

Music-Making Women-Aristocrats

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 3 - 30

Abstract

Abstract

The present article reflects on the shortage of studies concerning music-composing women in the 18th-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and focuses on one unique figure among those female musicians – Maria Antonia Walpurgis, an aristocrat of Polish descent, who demonstrated versatile talents. Thoroughly educated in her childhood, she was a poet, composer, singer, and director of her own stage works. This paper discusses the aristocratic artist’s most important experiences and achievements in the field of music, as well as analysing her earliest surviving work, the cycle of 6 Arias for Soprano, Strings and Basso Continuo (1747), which Walpurgis may well have performed herself. The arias have been preserved in a manuscript kept at the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden, shelf mark Mus.3119-F-11. My analysis assesses their style and aesthetic.

Keywords

  • Maria Antonia Walpurgis
  • Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • women composers
  • XVIII century
  • Arias
Open Access

Polish Female Composers in the Nineteenth Century

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 31 - 42

Abstract

Abstract

The article discusses the activities of selected women-composers who worked in Poland in the 19th century. They have been presented in a broad social-political context. Specific historical conditions have been taken into account, which have contributed to the perception of women’s creativity as a mission. The model of women’s activity discussed in the categories of social and political mission influenced the shape and forms of Polish women’s creativity in the first half of the century. In the second half of the century, women’s access to education increased and finally a milieu of professional women-composers emerged. Among them, we should distinguish the group of women born into musical families, due to the fact that some among them took up the profession of composer.

Keywords

  • women composers
  • music culture of the 19th century
  • music and sex
  • history of Polish music
  • music criticism
Open Access

“Why Are Our Women-Composers So Little Known?”

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 43 - 64

Abstract

Abstract

Polish women-composers of the interwar period (1918–1939) have not been the subject of adequate research so far. We only have some contributory publications and general surveys dedicated to their output. This paper presents the initial results of a study that aims at creating a more multi-sided, in-depth picture of women-composers’ work, including their participation in local and international music life as well as their achievements in the field of composition, the styles and genres practised by selected representatives of this milieu. The paper also discusses the reception of these phenomena in the press of the period. My research leads me to the conclusion that, despite functioning in a kind of ‘parallel world’ in relation to the virtually all-male domain of music composition ‘proper’, the Polish women-composers did penetrate into that world, contributing to its dominant trends and tendencies, from Romantic inspirations to musical modernism, as well as popular music. Their contributions need to be taken into account if we wish fully to reconstruct and appreciate the Polish music created in that period.

Keywords

  • Polish women composers
  • Polish music
  • interwar period
  • musical life
  • styles and techniques
Open Access

Grażyna Bacewicz – The Polish Sappho

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 65 - 102

Abstract

Abstract

The paper is an attempt at a synthetic presentation of the Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz’s (1909–1969) musical output and artistic career, presented against the background of events in her personal life, and of major events in Polish and European history in the first seven decades of the 20th century. Bacewicz was called ‘the Polish Sappho’ already in the years between World Wars I and II, when there were very few women-composers capable of creating works comparable to the most eminent achievements of male composers. Her path to success in composition and as a concert soloist leads from lessons with her father, the Lithuanian Vincas Bacevičius, to studies at the Łódź and Warsaw Conservatories (violin with Józef Jarzębski, composition with Kazimierz Sikorski), and later with Nadia Boulanger at the École Normale de la Musique, as well as violin lessons with André Tourret. Her oeuvre has for many years been linked with neoclassicism, and folkloric inspirations are evident in many of her works. Her crowning achievement in the neoclassical style is the Concerto for String Orchestra of 1948, while influences from folklore can distinctly be heard in many concert pieces and small forms. The breakthrough came around 1958, under the influence of avant-garde trends present in West European music, which came to be adapted in Poland thanks to the political transformations and the rejection of socialist realism. In such pieces as Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion of 1958, Bacewicz transforms her previously fundamental musical components (melody, rhythm, harmony) into a qualitatively new type of sound structures, mainly focused on the coloristic aspects. Grażyna Bacewicz also applied the twelve-note technique, albeit to a limited extent, as in String Quartet No. 6 (1960). Her last work was the unfinished ballet Desire to a libretto by Mieczysław Bibrowski after Pablo Picasso’s play Le désir attrapé par la queue.

Keywords

  • Grażyna Bacewicz
  • neoclassicism
  • folklorism
  • Polish composers
Open Access

Between Heart and Mind

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 103 - 112

Abstract

Abstract

The paper presents in a synthetic way the phenomena characteristic of Marta Ptaszyńska’s music, and the key qualities of her output. I focus on those topics that have not been sufficiently explored in existing studies, and those that call for a polemical discussion. These include the ideas that underlie Ptaszyńska’s music, the inspirations of her creative process, problems of composition technique, sound language, her style and aesthetic, with particular reference to her supposed links to sonorism. Finally I present an attempt to define the place and significance of Marta Ptaszyńska’s oeuvre in 20th- and 21st-century music.

Keywords

  • Marta Ptaszyńska
  • color and music
  • style and technique
  • harmony
  • aesthetics
Open Access

Literature and visual arts as a source of inspiration

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 113 - 121

Abstract

Abstract

This article is a contribution to scientific research on this aspect of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar’s musical output which concerns the connections between her music and other arts, primarily literature and the visual arts, as well as inspirations flowing from nature, religion, philosophy, and broadly understood culture. The article applies structuralist methodology. The starting point for the analysis of the phenomena in question is the musical work itself, its title and its structure, and in the case of vocal-instrumental works - the content and message of the literary text and the person of its author. In the part of the article which deals with the biography and artistic personality of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, as well as by quoting the composer’s own statements in the text, I draw on the personalistic method, especially highly valued in 20th-century philosophy; this method emphasises the role of the human person and personality in analytic work.

In the musicological literature to date there exists no separate, large-scale study dedicated to the subject of non-musical inspirations in the works of Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar. This topic has been tackled, however, in scientific dissertations dealing with various aspects of the composer’s work. For example, inspirations from the sphere of the sacrum have been indicated by Marek Stefański (2011), whereas Ewa Mizerska-Golonek (1992) writes about inspirations derived from the Biblical text in Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar’s Song of Songs, and Hanna Kostrzewska (2012) discusses painting as a source of inspiration in the composer’s oeuvre. The main source of information on this subject, however, are the composer’s own statements: her ‘Autorefleksja kompozytorska’ [‘The Composer’s Self-Commentary’]

K. Moszumańska-Nazar, ‘Autorefleksja kompozytorska’ [‘The Composer’s Self-Commentary’], in K. Kasperek, Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar. Katalog tematyczny utworów, Cracow, Academy of Music, 2004, pp. 149–153.

and interviews.

M. Woźna-Stankiewicz, Lwowskie geny osobowości twórczej. Rozmowy z Krystyną Moszumańską-Nazar [The Lviv Gene of Artistic Personality: Interviews with Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar], Cracow, Musica Iagellonica, 2007; M. Janicka-Słysz, ‘Z walcem w tle’ [‘With Waltz in the Background’], interview with Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, Ruch Muzyczny, no. 18, 2004, pp. 8–9.

Keywords

  • literature
  • visual arts
  • culture
  • Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar
  • syncretism
Open Access

Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń: A Portrait with a Caravan in the Background

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Page range: 123 - 130

Abstract

Abstract

The paper presents a survey of the dominant aesthetic and technical qualities of Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń’s output of compositions. The composer’s interests focus on Oriental cultures, depicting nature, correspondences of arts, and on reflecting the sacrum in music. I have discussed her selected works (Sanctus, The Modern Man I Sing; These PhrasesThese Songs... These Arias..., IMAGE 1929). On the basis of brief analyses of some of Kowalska-Lasoń’s compositions, I have defined her artistic stance and technique and postmodernist, neo-sonoristic sensualism. The distinguishing features of her music are: an open attitude to musical form, to the canon of narrative continuity, to aleatoricism and strict notation, as well as to the degree of correlation between chromatic and diatonic writing. The artist herself considers the epithet ‘nomadic’ as relevant to the character of her works, which are conceived as having a symbolic function.

My composer portrait has been complemented with a list of Kowalska-Lasoń’s selected works, awards, performances, and her students’ achievements.

Keywords

  • Justyna Kowalska-Lasoń
  • postmodernism
  • neo-sonorism
  • sacrum
  • Orient
  • music and painting

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