„A sea of dreams did breathe on me...”. Songs of contemplation and nostalgia by Krzysztof Penderecki. In the sphere of fascination with Polish poetry Cover Image

Krzysztofa Pendereckiego „Powiało na mnie morze snów...” Pieśni zadumy i nostalgii. W kręgu fascynacji poezją polską
„A sea of dreams did breathe on me...”. Songs of contemplation and nostalgia by Krzysztof Penderecki. In the sphere of fascination with Polish poetry

Author(s): Regina Chłopicka
Subject(s): Music
Published by: Akademia Muzyczna w Krakowie

Summary/Abstract: Songs of Contemplation and Nostalgia were commissioned by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute to mark the 200 years of Chopin’s birth as a tribute to the composer, but also as an expression of fascination of the composer with great Polish poetry created over the last 200 years.The article, which focuses on the analysis and interpretation of the cycle Songs of Contemplation and Nostalgia, is an attempt to present the work from two perspectives. The first comprises the selected links of the words and music important from the point of view of musical interpretation of poetic texts, written in various epochs and representing various individual styles. The second aims at reflecting on the composition of the work as a dramatic form. The whole form comprises 22 songs. The first two movements of smaller dimensions, Enchanted garden (6 songs) and What the night says (5 songs), lead to the central movement Requiem (11 songs), which is the dramatic culmination and finale of the whole cycle. Two songs play an important constructive function: Anioł Pański (Angelus) by Tetmajer closes the first movement, The Enchanted garden, and returns in the extended shape in the Requiem’s finale; the second song, Fortepian Szopena (Chopin’s Grand Piano) by Norwid, through its returning variants, becomes the basis of the form of the Requiem’s third movement.Discovery and interpretation of meanings which determine the nature of poetry and its musical interpretation lead to the emphasis on tones, which play a significant role in creating the narration of the song cycle: the dreamy and fairy-tale-like, lyrical and nostalgic, dramatic and tragic as well as prayerful and reflective. The basis of the cycle’s dramaturgy is the chronology of songs of particular tone and function. A clear pattern of tensions in the work leads to the main culmination in the finale, and this accounts for the dramatic nature of the composition, Penderecki’s songs are characterized by the solemn and the mysterious, the lyrical and the reflective, the tragic and the pathetic gesture. The existential dimension dominates, however, and the grandeur of the theme and its ethos are combined with the experience of transience – the frailty of human fate.

  • Issue Year: II/2014
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 31-52
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Polish