Author Topic: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)  (Read 32187 times)

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SymphonicAddict

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #160 on: May 31, 2019, 03:38:07 PM »
An attractive set, although I'm a little put off that the sonatas are padded to two discs with "miniatures" which I usually don't go for. But given how much I enjoy Bacewicz's work I should spring for this. Thanks for bring it to our attention.

I guess that it is a minor complaint, because, as you say, this music really deserves to be heard.

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #161 on: May 31, 2019, 03:51:49 PM »
I must confess I've been obsessed with this composer, so as a consequence I listened to the string quartets from this set:



Definitely what terrific composer Bacewicz was. This is highly compelling, resourceful, witty and ultimately dark music (the latter regarding the last quartets). With each following quartet her style was becoming more austere, bitter and dissonant. I'd think that Lutoslawski was influenced by those astringent (but great) quartets, especially on his only and fascinating String Quartet.

I'll continue exploring more works by Bacewicz. It's rather addictive  :D

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #162 on: May 31, 2019, 07:43:27 PM »
I must confess I've been obsessed with this composer, so as a consequence I listened to the string quartets from this set:



Definitely what terrific composer Bacewicz was. This is highly compelling, resourceful, witty and ultimately dark music (the latter regarding the last quartets). With each following quartet her style was becoming more austere, bitter and dissonant. I'd think that Lutoslawski was influenced by those astringent (but great) quartets, especially on his only and fascinating String Quartet.

I'll continue exploring more works by Bacewicz. It's rather addictive  :D

I assume you’ve heard the works for string orchestra, particularly the concerto for strings.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #163 on: May 31, 2019, 08:31:11 PM »
I must confess I've been obsessed with this composer, so as a consequence I listened to the string quartets from this set:



Definitely what terrific composer Bacewicz was. This is highly compelling, resourceful, witty and ultimately dark music (the latter regarding the last quartets). With each following quartet her style was becoming more austere, bitter and dissonant. I'd think that Lutoslawski was influenced by those astringent (but great) quartets, especially on his only and fascinating String Quartet.

I'll continue exploring more works by Bacewicz. It's rather addictive  :D

But I wonder if Lutoslawski actually knew Bacewicz’s music well?
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #164 on: June 01, 2019, 10:16:25 AM »
I assume you’ve heard the works for string orchestra, particularly the concerto for strings.

I think so, but I don't have vivid memories of them. I'll be listening to them in due course.


But I wonder if Lutoslawski actually knew Bacewicz’s music well?

Who knows, I was guessing because of the similarity between their 2 styles.

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #165 on: September 11, 2019, 06:34:34 PM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/kiYjz49PuGY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/kiYjz49PuGY</a>

Just I found this rare recording of Bacewicz's 4th Symphony on a very interesting YouTube channel. Simply spectacular piece!! If there is a relentless piece, it has to be this. I can't imagine this shattering symphony in modern sound. The timpani have an important role, there are some pronounced passages for them. I really loved it.

Too bad the recording quality is poor, however, the performance seems top-notch.

Please recording labels, not more Beethoven/Brahms/Tchaikovsky/Sibelius/etc cycles! The world needs to listen to this in all its glory instead!  8)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 04:47:05 PM by SymphonicAddict »

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #166 on: September 12, 2019, 07:22:20 PM »
What seems to be Lutosławski on Bacewicz:

"While reflecting upon the creative life of an artist, I often ask myself the following questions: What did he or she come in to this world with, i.e., what has nature endowed them with, and also, did they, by their effort, succeed in developing these inborn talents, taking advantage of them to the fullest, for the benefit of mankind? This last thought deserves special emphasis, because many creative artists treat their inherited talents as if they were their own to dispense for their own personal aims, and not always in the noblest way. As I see it, the talent of an artist is a unique privilege, a distinction. As such, it carries with it commensurate obligations. Thus an artist with any moral sense whatsoever should know that, in developing their talents for the enrichment of mankind, they are only fulfilling their obligations, while that which they create is only in small measure their own merit.

"My preceding reflections are the key to my remarks on Grażyna Bacewicz, a distinguished Polish composer of this century, whose premature departure has been an irreconcilable loss. There is no doubt in my mind that the answers to the above questions, as far as Grażyna Bacewicz is concerned, are positive ones. She was born with an incredible wealth of musical talent, which she succeeded to bring to full flourish through an almost fanatical zeal and unwavering faith in her mission. The intensity of her activities was so great that she managed, in a cruelly-shortened life, to give birth to such treasures that any composer of her stature with a considerably longer life span could only envy.

"I do not propose to discuss or dwell on the merits of her compositional legacy. To anyone who was close to her creativity, to become acquainted with and to experience her creations, their artistic value is quite evident. To be sure, I have always been of the opinion that a true judgement of the creative ability of a composer does not belong to contemporary reviewers or artists, but to thousands of audiences over many decades, which may be referred to as the “jury of time.” Based on the fact that many of her earliest works are still being performed throughout the world today, one can already predict that her music will stand this test of time. As examples, we can cite the Concerto for String Orchestra, a favorite with this type of ensemble, and her String Quartet No. 3, which is marked by an exceptional polyphonic skill in addition to its masterly idiomatic writing for string quartet.

"It does not appear proper to me to judge her works only in the light of the compositional styles and rapidly changing artistic currents of her lifetime. Like so many other composers of larger compositional forms, she was to a great degree independent of the atmosphere surrounding her. Rather, it was her music that helped to create that atmosphere and could be held up as an example to the younger generation of composers.

"When I think of Grażyna Bacewicz, I cannot limit myself to her music alone. I was fortunate to belong to that group of people who were bound with her by virtue of professional friendship. Thus I was privileged to know her closely for many years. It allowed me to observe and admire her character first hand – her integrity, honesty, compassion, and her willingness to share and sacrifice for others. This image of her as an artist and human being ought to be an inspiration to the succeeding generations of composers in Poland and throughout the world."

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #167 on: September 13, 2019, 01:17:53 PM »
What seems to be Lutosławski on Bacewicz:

"While reflecting upon the creative life of an artist, I often ask myself the following questions: What did he or she come in to this world with, i.e., what has nature endowed them with, and also, did they, by their effort, succeed in developing these inborn talents, taking advantage of them to the fullest, for the benefit of mankind? This last thought deserves special emphasis, because many creative artists treat their inherited talents as if they were their own to dispense for their own personal aims, and not always in the noblest way. As I see it, the talent of an artist is a unique privilege, a distinction. As such, it carries with it commensurate obligations. Thus an artist with any moral sense whatsoever should know that, in developing their talents for the enrichment of mankind, they are only fulfilling their obligations, while that which they create is only in small measure their own merit.

"My preceding reflections are the key to my remarks on Grażyna Bacewicz, a distinguished Polish composer of this century, whose premature departure has been an irreconcilable loss. There is no doubt in my mind that the answers to the above questions, as far as Grażyna Bacewicz is concerned, are positive ones. She was born with an incredible wealth of musical talent, which she succeeded to bring to full flourish through an almost fanatical zeal and unwavering faith in her mission. The intensity of her activities was so great that she managed, in a cruelly-shortened life, to give birth to such treasures that any composer of her stature with a considerably longer life span could only envy.

"I do not propose to discuss or dwell on the merits of her compositional legacy. To anyone who was close to her creativity, to become acquainted with and to experience her creations, their artistic value is quite evident. To be sure, I have always been of the opinion that a true judgement of the creative ability of a composer does not belong to contemporary reviewers or artists, but to thousands of audiences over many decades, which may be referred to as the “jury of time.” Based on the fact that many of her earliest works are still being performed throughout the world today, one can already predict that her music will stand this test of time. As examples, we can cite the Concerto for String Orchestra, a favorite with this type of ensemble, and her String Quartet No. 3, which is marked by an exceptional polyphonic skill in addition to its masterly idiomatic writing for string quartet.

"It does not appear proper to me to judge her works only in the light of the compositional styles and rapidly changing artistic currents of her lifetime. Like so many other composers of larger compositional forms, she was to a great degree independent of the atmosphere surrounding her. Rather, it was her music that helped to create that atmosphere and could be held up as an example to the younger generation of composers.

"When I think of Grażyna Bacewicz, I cannot limit myself to her music alone. I was fortunate to belong to that group of people who were bound with her by virtue of professional friendship. Thus I was privileged to know her closely for many years. It allowed me to observe and admire her character first hand – her integrity, honesty, compassion, and her willingness to share and sacrifice for others. This image of her as an artist and human being ought to be an inspiration to the succeeding generations of composers in Poland and throughout the world."

Many thanks for sharing this!! Quite fascinating. No doubts Lutoslawski had in high esteem this gifted compatriot. It too shows how human Lutoslawski was, how grateful towards his partners or colleagues he was. Now I wouldn't hesitate that Bacewicz did influence to Lutoslawski.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #168 on: October 26, 2019, 03:43:07 PM »
What seems to be Lutosławski on Bacewicz:

"While reflecting upon the creative life of an artist, I often ask myself the following questions: What did he or she come in to this world with, i.e., what has nature endowed them with, and also, did they, by their effort, succeed in developing these inborn talents, taking advantage of them to the fullest, for the benefit of mankind? This last thought deserves special emphasis, because many creative artists treat their inherited talents as if they were their own to dispense for their own personal aims, and not always in the noblest way. As I see it, the talent of an artist is a unique privilege, a distinction. As such, it carries with it commensurate obligations. Thus an artist with any moral sense whatsoever should know that, in developing their talents for the enrichment of mankind, they are only fulfilling their obligations, while that which they create is only in small measure their own merit.

"My preceding reflections are the key to my remarks on Grażyna Bacewicz, a distinguished Polish composer of this century, whose premature departure has been an irreconcilable loss. There is no doubt in my mind that the answers to the above questions, as far as Grażyna Bacewicz is concerned, are positive ones. She was born with an incredible wealth of musical talent, which she succeeded to bring to full flourish through an almost fanatical zeal and unwavering faith in her mission. The intensity of her activities was so great that she managed, in a cruelly-shortened life, to give birth to such treasures that any composer of her stature with a considerably longer life span could only envy.

"I do not propose to discuss or dwell on the merits of her compositional legacy. To anyone who was close to her creativity, to become acquainted with and to experience her creations, their artistic value is quite evident. To be sure, I have always been of the opinion that a true judgement of the creative ability of a composer does not belong to contemporary reviewers or artists, but to thousands of audiences over many decades, which may be referred to as the “jury of time.” Based on the fact that many of her earliest works are still being performed throughout the world today, one can already predict that her music will stand this test of time. As examples, we can cite the Concerto for String Orchestra, a favorite with this type of ensemble, and her String Quartet No. 3, which is marked by an exceptional polyphonic skill in addition to its masterly idiomatic writing for string quartet.

"It does not appear proper to me to judge her works only in the light of the compositional styles and rapidly changing artistic currents of her lifetime. Like so many other composers of larger compositional forms, she was to a great degree independent of the atmosphere surrounding her. Rather, it was her music that helped to create that atmosphere and could be held up as an example to the younger generation of composers.

"When I think of Grażyna Bacewicz, I cannot limit myself to her music alone. I was fortunate to belong to that group of people who were bound with her by virtue of professional friendship. Thus I was privileged to know her closely for many years. It allowed me to observe and admire her character first hand – her integrity, honesty, compassion, and her willingness to share and sacrifice for others. This image of her as an artist and human being ought to be an inspiration to the succeeding generations of composers in Poland and throughout the world."

Many thanks for sharing this, it is always absolutely fascinating getting a glimpse of the thoughts of as great a composer as Lutoslawski on his colleagues. These glimpses can be elusive, and seldom so positive as this.

After falling in love with the music of Lutoslawski over these past two or three months, I am on a mission to discover the remaining great Polish composers of the 20th century. Bacewicz seems to be one of maybe five major names here, and I owe it to myself to explore her music.

I just ordered the recordings by the Silesian Quartet of her String Quartets, after listening to a handful of them on youtube. They sound fantastic. I'm very excited to explore her music further. She seems to be a great writer for strings.

Well, I'll write back in a few weeks when I've spent some time with the discs. Just wanted to write a few words of thanks for @schnittkease for sharing that insightful memorial from Lutoslawski.

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #169 on: October 26, 2019, 04:43:33 PM »
Bacewicz doesn't disappoint at all. Actually, she's my favorite female composer. All what I've heard of her is first-rate or close. The 7 string quartets, the 2 piano quintets, the violin sonatas, violin concertos and 3rd Symphony are substantial stuff for sure.

Offline Irons

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #170 on: October 28, 2019, 08:30:24 AM »
Bacewicz doesn't disappoint at all. Actually, she's my favorite female composer. All what I've heard of her is first-rate or close. The 7 string quartets, the 2 piano quintets, the violin sonatas, violin concertos and 3rd Symphony are substantial stuff for sure.


Add to your list "Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion" music that excites.

Fascinating to follow the travel of the string quartets from folk to avant-garde. 
The familiar rat-a-tat of enemy machine-guns joined the melee. It was like an orchestra from hell, it’s tune being played out by the instruments of death. - The Sun Will Always Shine, John R McKay.

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #171 on: October 29, 2019, 10:57:16 AM »


Add to your list "Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion" music that excites.

Fascinating to follow the travel of the string quartets from folk to avant-garde.

Precisely! The transition is so clear and gradual. A most fabulous development.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #172 on: October 29, 2019, 02:11:40 PM »
Y'all are getting me really excited to check out these string quartet discs. I love the few I've heard, but they were all earlier works.

Offline hvbias

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #173 on: October 30, 2019, 12:09:49 PM »
Fascinating to follow the travel of the string quartets from folk to avant-garde.

Bartok's string quartets remind me of a similar journey.

I have had Bacewicz's string quartets in my heavy rotation (Silesian Quartet), they are highly enjoyable and have that certain quality that keeps me coming back.

schnittkease thank you for that quote from Lutoslawksi.

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #174 on: October 30, 2019, 06:28:37 PM »
For the quartets, are the Lutosławski and Silesian cycles on equal footing or is one significantly better?  Both have gotten rave reviews.

Offline hvbias

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #175 on: October 30, 2019, 06:52:21 PM »
For the quartets, are the Lutosławski and Silesian cycles on equal footing or is one significantly better?  Both have gotten rave reviews.

I had a preference for Silesian, I thought their playing was more interesting in pianissimo sections lending to a more atmospheric sound.

Offline JBS

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #176 on: October 30, 2019, 07:36:47 PM »
I found this CD was more interesting than the SQs (for which I have the Silesian recording).

« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 07:39:44 PM by JBS »

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #177 on: October 30, 2019, 07:55:26 PM »
I found this CD was more interesting than the SQs (for which I have the Silesian recording).

Interesting. Will check out.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #178 on: November 16, 2019, 05:55:51 AM »
I've been listening to that Silesian Quartet set, mostly disc 1. These quartets are absolutely phenomenal. VERY original, and totally musical. I can tell this is the work of a great composer. I am excited to explore disc 2, which is said to contain the more avant-garde quartets.

It appears she had an affinity for strings. I am planning on exploring the string orchestra works next, or maybe the violin concerti. The disc with other chamber music from the Silesian Quartet and friends also looks great.

Who has been listening to Bacewicz lately? What a composer.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)
« Reply #179 on: November 16, 2019, 02:50:16 PM »
I tend to prefer her earlier works, e.g. the Violin Concerto No. 1, the Piano Quintet No. 1.  Her later works tend to sound more bland to me.