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Open access

Anna Boguszewska

Abstract

Significant changes started in the children’s books market from 1989. The market gradually began to be saturated with far less expensive reprints of Western productions. Their artistic form is based on the style of cartoons, thus replacing the diversity of illustrations which is necessary to activate the development of child’s perception. Consequently, a special role is played by measures aimed to popularize the artistic achievements of artist-illustrators and designers of books for children in Poland. After the political system transformation, earlier activities were continued (plein-air workshops for illustrators in the Roztocze region). New undertakings were also initiated (meetings with graphic layout artists, conferences, exhibitions, workshops for children and teenagers in libraries). The article discusses the activities of Gallery [Galeria] 31 at Branch no. 30 of Hieronim Lopaciński City Public Library in Lublin, Poznań Trade Fair Meetings in Poznań, and plein-air workshops for artist-illustrators. These events are an example of local and nation-wide activities. They develop a conscious attitude towards the impact of the book form as a visual communication. The forms of Polish books (including textbooks and reading list books) for the youngest readers cannot be regarded as satisfactory.

Open access

Marcin Maron

Abstract

The study discusses the problem of irony in the films by Wojciech Jerzy Has. The first part defines the function of irony in the films made by this director prior to The Manuscript Found in Saragossa [Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie] - (Noose [Pętla], 1957; Farewells [Pożegnania, 1958; Shared Room [Wspólny pokój], 1960; Goodbye to the Past [Rozstanie], 1961; Gold [Złoto], 1962; How to Be Loved [Jak być kochana], 1963). The second part of the study compares irony as the principle of artistic creation in The Manuscript Found in Saragossa and the concept of Romantic irony (Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis). This film can be termed as the quintessence of ironic traits of Has’s creative work.

In the earlier works by this director irony manifests itself as the attitude of the film characters towards the reality, as their attitude to historical problems, and as an esthetic effect or Has’s game with the audience in the artistic and philosophical dimension. Intertextualism, verbal and situational humor, repeated motifs and stylistic devices are a way of expressing the double meaning of the work, i.e. a manifestation of the author’s irony. It combines seriousness and comedy, emotionality and intellectual distance, and finally, a critical and a creative attitude.

All these traits gain special significance in The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (1965). The poetics and form of the work resemble the Romantic concept of poetry (creative work) as an arabesque. The irony of Has’s film is similar to Romantic irony because its result is the narrative experience of the Self which can transcend its experiences. Irony also manifests itself in the author’s attitude towards his work which (attitude) consists in exposing the fictional nature of the presented world. In Has’s films, irony allows one to break free from the burden of actual existence and the problems of history, time, and memory in order to make them a subject of art.

Open access

Urszula Tes

Abstract

The theme of death in contemporary Polish documentary cinema is increasingly present, which is distinctly evidenced by the creative works of Marcin Koszałka, who debunks one more social taboo. The author of the paper is interested in the intimate presentation of death, which, on the one hand, has a provocative dimension, and, on the other, it stems from the personal need to confess, which is carried out by the film alter egos of Koszałka, for example by his sister in Ucieknijmy od niej [Let’s run away from her] or by Piotr Korczak in Deklaracja nieśmiertelności [Declaration of Independence]. The films made by Koszałka - the author of Istnienie [The Existence] are based on baroque concepts which, by shocking the audience with their form, are meant to ask fundamental existential questions. Koszałka’s creative output is viewed by scholars first of all from the standpoint of self-treatment, which seems insuficient: when analyzing Koszałka’s films, it is impossible to avoid an ethical or existentialist perspective Another interesting and separate example of intimate presentation of the death theme is the film by Adam Sikora Paweł [Paul], which presents the Mikołów Institute director suffering from cancer: the camera accompanies Paweł Targiel’s “confession”, which reveals the stream of consciousness of the departing man. These extremely different presentations: baroque pieces by Koszałka and ascetic ones by Sikora essentially ask the same questions about the limits of documentary cinema.

Open access

Andrzej Cebulak

Abstract

Out of all Polish residences that represent the historical trend, the palace in Jablón built in 1904-1909 at the behest of Count Tomasz Zamoyski borrowed most fully from English architecture. Conscious of his expectations, the investor founded a magnificent country house, the builders of which drew liberally on the wealth of English historical styles.

Open access

Elżbieta Marek

Abstract

The aim of the studies was to learn the possibility of developing creative activity of first-to-third grade pupils in art. The documents (the core curriculum and integrated teaching syllabuses) examined from the point of view of aims, contents, pupils’ achievements, and description of realization methods show that the curriculum suggestions are really diverse. In the curricula created by people realizing the role which is played by creative activity in the development of a child more room is devoted to it.

Open access

Tomasz Jasiński

Summary

Józef Uroda (1901-1956), today entirely forgotten, was an organist at the Transfiguration church in Buczkowice near Szczyrk from 1925 to 1942. At that time he was a significant figure in the cultural and artistic life of his village. He was engaged in many kinds of activities: he conducted the parish choir, collected and noted down religious songs, composed musical pieces, wrote poetry, theatrical plays, and translated from foreign languages. An ardent lover of literature and theater, he set up a theater group, which embraced young and older people, with whom he staged some plays (Mazepa by Juliusz Słowacki, Zemsta [The Revenge] by Aleksander Fredro, Chata za wsi [The Cottage behind the Village] by Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, or Zemsta Cygana [Gypsy’s Revenge] by Seweryn Goszczyski). He was also active in his community, taking part in the local cultural and educational undertakings. He cooperated with OMTUR [Youth Organization of the Workers’ University Association]), sat on the Board of the Buczkowice section of the People’s School Society, and he was a member of the Polish Gymnastics Association “Sokół” [Falcon]. During the German Nazi occupation he was imprisoned in the concentration camp Polenlager 92 in Kietrz for two years. He died in Buczkowice in 1956.

In the musical collections left by J. Uroda, there is his manuscript collection of Marian songs of 1936, titled Ave Maria! Najwikszy zbiór pieśni religijnych do N. Maryi Panny [Ave Maria. The Largest collection of religious songs to Virgin Mary]. This is a large song collection containing as many as 343 Marian songs. It should be added that the collection was not completed, it had been planned to contain 420 songs. The Marian repertory collected by Uroda is impressive because of its vastness and diversity. The songs are intended for the Feasts of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Loreto, Espousal of Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, Purification of Virgin Mary, the Annunciation, Virgin Mary of Perpetual Help, Virgin Mary Assisting the Faithful, Virgin Mary the Gracious, Visitation by Virgin Mary, Virgin Mary Refuge of the Sinners, Our Lady of the Scapular, Our Lady of the Angels, Our Lady of Snows, the Assumption, Our Lady of Czstochowa, Our Lady of Consolation, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of La Salette, Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady the Merciful, and the Feast of Oblation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many songs are written for Marian months - May and October. A large set of songs consists of pilgrim songs, sometimes associated with a specific sanctuary or place (“To Our Lady of Gidle near Czstochowa”, “On Virgin Mary in the Floriaska Gate in Krakow”, ”To Our Lady at Piasek in Krakow”, “To Our Lady of Piekary”). Uroda chose this repertory mainly from published songbooks and collections containing organ accompaniments to songs - mostly from the collections of Ryszard Gillar and Tomasz Flasza, moreover, from those of Rev. Michał Marcin Mioduszewski, Rev. Franciszek Walczyski, Rev. Jan Siedlecki, Rev. Józef Surzyski, Teofil Klonowski, and Rev. Emilian Schindler.

From the cognitive point of view it is most important that Józef Uroda’s Marian collection contains over twenty previously unknown songs, which enrich the Polish Marian repertory and shed additional light on it, especially with regard to Poland’s southern regions. These are both previously unknown melodies and song texts and Polish contrafacta of German songs. Among these unidentified and previously unknown items there are six songs authored by Józef Uroda: his three compositions - Do Marii pospieszajmy [Let us hurry to Virgin Mary] Dzwoneczku nasz miły [Our lovely bell] and Tam, gdzie cudowny [Where the miraculous… ]); and his three contrafacta of German songs - Jak wiosny kwiat [Like a spring flower] (for an unidentifi ed German tune), Mario! maja Królowo [Mary, the Queen of May] (for the song melody of Maria, Maienkönigin) and Żródło łaski, witaj nam [Be greeted, the Source of Grace] (for the song melody of Gnadenquelle, sei gegrüsst).

Open access

Andrzej Tuchowski

Summary The subject of the present study is a specific type of thematic metamorphosis, in which the initially lyrical theme transforms into its ecstatic or heroic, sublime alter ego and which usually appears as the final culmination of the work. Three questions were asked regarding Chopin: how did the evolution of the technique of thematic metamorphoses develop and what was its formal-expressive and aesthetic context like?; which technical and composing techniques can be regarded as characteristic of the technique of thematic metamorphoses?; and how does the relationship between Chopin’s conception of “reprise-apotheosis” and Liszt’s final “syntheses-apotheoses” develop? The object of observation are works of the mature stage of Chopin’s creative activity, representing narrative-dramatic genres: Ballad in G minor op. 23 (1833), Ballad in A flat major op. 47 (1841), Ballad in F minor op. 52 (1842-1843), Barcarolle in F sharp major op. 60 (1845- -1846) and Polonaise-fantasia in A flat major op. 61 (1846).

The first example of thematic metamorphosis in Chopin can be found in the Ballad in G minor. The place of thematic metamorphoses compared with the formal level of the work shows their more transformative than recapitulative function. In the Ballad in A flat major the tendency to strengthen the dramatic effect of thematic metamorphoses leads to an ecstatic reprise - the final apotheosis, the “last word” of the whole sequence of musical occurrences: the initial lyrical phrase undergoes a metamorphosis and returns in an ecstatic form in a short reprise, which is the ultimate culmination of the composition. The Ballad in F minor restores the serious, dramatic tone of the Ballad in G minor, as well as the conception of the metamorphosis of the second, lyrical theme; at the same time Chopin does not give up the tendency - developed in the Ballad A flat major - to place the metamorphosis of the lyrical into the ecstatic in the final, reprise stage of the composition. In the works composed in the final stage of transformation of Chopin’s style the strategy demonstrated in the Ballad in A flat major was combined with the tendencies governing thematic metamorphoses in the Ballads in G minor and F minor. And thus, in the Barcarolle in F sharp major and in the Polonaise-fantasia in A flat major the principle of transformation of the lyrical into the ecstatic was combined with the tendency to return in the reprise of themes, originally expressed in different keys, to the primary key of the work. This is how the ending was composed, which can be called “reprise-apotheosis”.

Lyrical themes, which return as transformed into ecstatic apotheoses in the reprise parts, show many features in common: they have triple meter, most of them being in trochaic rhythms; they are in major keys and are built in a similar way (they contain a motif consisting of an ascending pure fourth, after which follows a descending second). It is significant that all cases of thematic metamorphoses are present in those works by Chopin which suggest narrative-literary associations and can be interpreted as the musical metaphor of one of the most significant archetypes in Polish Romanticism: transformations of the main characters in Adam Mickiewicz’s Konrad Wallenrod and Dziady [Forefathers’ Eve] and in Juliusz Słowacki’s Kordian.

Chopin’s concept of the final “grand apotheosis” anticipated Liszt’s sublime reprisesynthesis, which crowns the symphonic poem Les Preludes. Does, however, the clear chronological anticipation indicate Chopin’s influence? Or rather, the two masters may have developed the same type of musical narrative independently of each other?

The Chopin-Liszt model of reprise-apotheosis became attractive to many composers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, its impact, which influenced masters of the late Romantic piano concerto (Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov), also going beyond the boundaries of the genre. Skriabin broadened the principle of final apotheosis to include piano sonatas (IV Piano Sonata in F sharp major) and The Poem of Ecstasy, while Claude Debussy based the musical dramatics of The Island of Joy on the fascinating metamorphosis of the lyrical theme with an almost Chopinesque tone. Metamorphoses of the lyrical into the ecstatic can be found in many symphonic works of the fin de siècle (II Symphony by Karol Szymanowski, Variations on the Theme of Mozart by Max Reger), while the captivating finals of Rachmaninov’s concertos became an attractive model for George Gershwin (Piano Concerto in F major) and many composers of film music

Open access

Małgorzata Wożna-Stankiewicz

Summary

The present study discusses the activities of the musicologist Józef Reiss (1879-1956) as lecturer in 1912-1927, mainly in Krakow, taking into account inter alia the problems he discussed and information about the performers of musical illustrations to his lectures.

In 1912 Reiss began delivering lectures as part of the Public University Lectures at the Jagiellonian University and the Adam Mickiewicz People’s University; he then worked for the Music Society and its Conservatoire, and somewhat later, during the First World War, for the Institute of Music and the College of Scientific Lectures; later, after Poland regained independence, he collaborated with the E. Bujański Concert Agency and Radio Krakow. He also gave talks and lectures organized by the Social Readery, Oratorian Society, Workers’ Youth Union “Znicz” [Torch], Association of Women Teachers, Professional Musicians’ Union, and by Witold Herget’s National Theater and Concert Agency He delivered scientific lectures or popular-science and non-specialist lectures and talks. They were usually illustrated with musical compositions or excerpts, most often performed by pianists.

Reiss presented his lectures as one-subject series (e.g. Ancient Greek music, The Romantic period in music, Subjectivism in music). He sometimes delivered single lectures, which usually discussed the artistic achievements of one composer (Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky), or relationships between two composers (e.g. Stanisław Moniuszko and Carl Loewe, Ferenc Liszt and Juliusz Zarebski). The tendency to present historical-musical issues as larger wholes was also seen in the way of planning music mornings and evenings (e.g. series of mornings devoted to Wagner’s works).

Reiss usually presented historical-musical subjects from several perspectives: the period in the history of music; a selected nation; a trend or style in music; the kind of music; a music genre; the artistic achievements of one composer; or one musical work. Because of the musical preferences of his audiences Reiss gave slightly preferential treatment to the operatic and song compositions of the 19th century, along with piano achievements. A special position in the subjects discussed by Reiss was devoted to Ludwig van Beethoven. At the same time he also gave lectures on entirely different musical phenomena, e.g. a lecture on jazz illustrated by the playing of a jazz band.

In 1927 Reiss gave lectures and talks on the Polish Radio in Krakow before concerts (e.g. The Struggle for Jazz and Waltz, The Beethoven Ideology, The Outstanding Figures of Russian Music, On the 16th-Century Vocal Art, A Glance at French Music).

The success of many well-executed lecture-cum-concert projects in which Reiss took part as well as the interest aroused by his talks and lecturers is evidenced by the large number and social composition of his audiences. For example, on 13 March 1913, at a music evening with a lecture on Beethoven, Reiss, and the pieces providing musical illustration, was listened to with unabated attention by over 250 people; they were workers for whom the event was organized by the People’s University. More socially diversified audiences listened to Reiss at events organized by the People’s University during World War One: in January 1916 three lectures on impressionism in music attracted many listeners whom the lecture room could hardly seat; at the music mornings with Reiss, organized for example in the “Uciecha” cinema (seating 430), there were also large audiences. It so happened that at a music morning devoted to jazz the room could not accommodate all those interested and the program had to be repeated at a later date.

The data showing attendance at Reiss’s lectures and opinions about them permit a conclusion that the difficult art of talking about music with Reiss as the speaker attained a very high level satisfying the audiences.

Open access

Marcin Ślązak

Summary

One of the noteworthy Polish sacred musical works in the last decade is the Missa Pro Peccatis Mundi by Grzegorz Duchnowski (b. 1971). The composition has its own, extremely interesting formal traits, an intriguing stylistic and expressive character, and meaningful symbolism.

The Mass was composed in 2004 for The General Józef Wybicki Representative Band of the Polish Armed Forces, with the performing collaboration of the Band with a mixed choir in mind. The work, a series of Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, was written for a large force. The vocal parts consist of a mixed choir ((sopranos, altos, tenors, basses) a mezzo-soprano solo; the instrumental parts consist of wood wind instruments (flute I and II, oboe I and II, bassoon I and II, clarinet I, II and III, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone I and II, tenor saxophone I and II, and baritone saxophone), brass instruments (horn I, II, III and IV, trumpet I, II, III and IV, tenor saxhorn I and II, baritone saxhorn, tuba I and II), and, additionally, the piano and rich percussion instruments.

Duchnowski’s work combines the contemporary language of music with many composing solutions from the earlier epochs. The achievements of the musical art of 20th century and of the present period include inter alia minimal music, motorism, orphism style, the method of tonal centers, and modern harmonic language. From the older tradition - medieval music, Renaissance, Baroque, and partly classicism - the principle of strict diatonicism, modality, chorale melody, and archaisms at the tonal-harmonic level are derived. In many sections the vocal parts and instruments are led in parallel fifths in the form of a parallel organum. There are also chorale and song reminiscences, polyphonic parts a cappella with a Renaissance-Baroque tone and fairly elaborate fugues. These phenomena are matched by a transparent segmentation of form.

The level of expression is suggestively shaped. For the joyful, laudable segments of the texts the composer selects a fast tempo, motoric rhythm, the ostinato, and lively rhythm: he refers to the esthetics of vitalism in these parts. The other parts show different faces of expression: they are stern, ascetic, meditative, contemplative, hymnic, and sometimes gloomy or mysterious. Worth noting is the fact that - according to inspirations dating back to older epochs - the following categories do not appear: the lyrical, the sentimental, the emotional, or the poetic, which shows an evident distance towards the musical legacy of the 19th century. All these characteristics make the Missa Pro Peccatis Mundi fall into the neoclassicist trend.

The work is distinguished by its material cohesion and formal integration. Among the many ways of achieving this integration the fundamental role is played by the thematic use of the first four tones of the Bogurodzica [Mother of God] song and by the figure (derived from these tones) of imaginatio crucis. These structures that are present in many segments integrate the work. Owing to this, the composition is characterized by the unity of substance and by internal thematic coherence. At the same time, the imaginatio crucis reveals the symbolic message of the Mass. The whole composition by Duchnowski is imbued with this figuration, which is a very clear sign in light of the title of the piece: Mass for the Sins of the World; the sins, which Christ redeemed by dying on the cross.

Open access

Joanna Jemielnik

Abstract

The article shows selected problems of contemporary narrative studies. They are a special type of qualitative analyses characteristic of many humanistic disciplines: e.g. sociology, psychology, or pedagogy. They may also apply to musical issues, interalia biographical studies in the broad sense. In Polish literature on the subject there are many publications concerning different aspects of the life, creative work, and artistic and pedagogical activities of persons connected with art, culture, and music education. The article stresses that the specificity of the facts and phenomena learned in that way is the subjective character of their transmission. The experiences and reflection contained in the collected utterances and descriptions show an inner dialogue - the world of unspecified, immeasurable and variable phenomena dependent not only on external conditions but also on inner, personal standards. This makes it possible to analyze musical biographies in a new way. In light of the theoretical and methodological discussion presented in the article, biography and narrative appear to be a special type of methodological approach that uses different kinds of relationships and covers many areas associated with the study of musicians, their activities, development, and career. The narrative approach is a valuable source of unique information on the biographies of musicians. It is also a worthwhile way of learning about socio-cultural changes concerning awareness of and thinking about the profession of musician and music education.