This book looks at Polish music since 1937 and its interaction with political and cultural turmoil. In Part I musical developments are placed in the context of the socio-political upheavals of inter-war Poland, Nazi occupation, and the rise and fall of the Stalinist policy of socialist realism (1948–54). Part II investigates the nature of the 'thaw' between 1954 and 1959, focusing on the role of the 'Warsaw Autumn' Festival. Part III discusses how composers reacted to the onset of serialism by establishing increasingly individual voices in the 1960s. In addition to a discussion of 'sonorism' (from Penderecki to Szalonek), it considers how different generations responded to the modernist aesthetic (Bacewicz and Lutoslawski, Baird and Serocki, Górecki and Krauze). Part IV views Polish music since the 1970s, including the issue of national identity and the arrival of a talented generation and its ironic, postmodern slant on the past.
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'… this is a timely and very well written book that appears at a significant moment for Polish music. … It deserves to become a standard work on the subject.' Quarta
'Polish Music since Szymanowski is an invaluable book that offers a comprehensive survey of music since the 1920s in a country whose composers have changed more dramatically than in perhaps any other … Adrian Thomas shows real scholarship and conveys genuine enthusiasm, proving himself to be one of the most impressive advocates of contemporary Polish music.' Slavonic & East European Review
' … a much needed guide to a fascinating aspect of European culture … it is particularly welcome to have his findings presented in the form of a single extended account … a useful and approachable reference work which will undoubtedly serve as the standard text on the subject for many years.' Music & Letters
'This book is amply documented, while Thomas's deep knowledge of this music radiates from every page.' Journal of Twentieth-Century Music
Since 1937, Poland's music has been influenced by violent political upheavals - World War Two, Stalinism, the 'thaw', the election of the Polish Pope and the rise and fall of Solidarity. Issues of how artistic freedom was exercised and how composers reacted to these upheavals form the core of this study.
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