Missa pulcherrima by Bartłomiej Pękiel. Historical, biographical, and stylistic context of the composition Cover Image

Missa pulcherrima Bartłomieja Pękiela... Historyczny, biograficzny i stylistyczny kontekst utworu
Missa pulcherrima by Bartłomiej Pękiel. Historical, biographical, and stylistic context of the composition

Author(s): Andrzej Zając
Subject(s): Music
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Papieskiego Jana Pawła II w Krakowie

Summary/Abstract: The main aim of this study was to present the outstanding composition created by Bartłomiej Pękiela, Missa Pulcherrima, giving the historical, biographical, and stylistic context. The author succinctly depicted, first the historical background in which the composer lived and created, sketching the rulers of Poland of the time: Sigismund III, Vladislaus IV and John Casimir, against the important political events of the period. Having delivered the most up-to-date research, he carried on to a closer presentation of the composer himself, with a few biographical details, like these of his work as the Royal Choirmaster in Warsaw, and then the Cathedral Choirmaster at the Wawel Castle in Cracow. The author of this paper drew heavily on the studies made by eminent Polish musicologist, Rev. Hieronim Feicht (1894–1967), whose research on the biography and compositions of Bartłomiej Pękiel has not be rivaled so far by anything equally insightful and exhaustive. This study is an attempt to show Pękiel’s Missa Pulcherrima in the context of mass service compositions, proving that in its extraordinary composing and stylistic values it definitely differs from the other mass pieces by this composer written in the old style (stile antico). The said composition was created after 1655, when Pękiel moved from Warsaw to Cracow so as to undertake the position of the Cathedral Choirmaster at the Wawel Castle. Most probably, it was his last composition. A liable review of Bartłomiej Pekiel’s Missa Pulcherrima was rendered by expert in the Old Polish Music, Ewa Obniska: “Without doubt, it is the most outstanding old Polish mass, the stunning composition of outstanding artistry and unparalleled subtlety of melodic side […] the most tremendous religious masterpiece of the Polish Baroque – amongst those few which have lost nothing of their influential power despite centuries passing”.

  • Issue Year: 10/2012
  • Issue No: 10
  • Page Range: 33-52
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Polish