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Andrzej Czajkowski – Seven Shakespeare Sonnets

Composing music appears to have been a form of self-therapy, his personal cure for fears and obsessions and for his own isolation, which was growing worse as years went by. All the same, his music, despite some common opinions, is much more than a figment of its author’s ego. Technically brilliant, it was an integral part of the “atonal” landscape of 20th-century music, which included echoes of the contrapuntal past, cool neo-Classical elegance, Schönberg’s twelve-tone writing, Bartók’s barbarism and Prokofiev’s vitality. On the other hand, Czajkowski’s music is also in many ways unique.

Andrzej Czajkowski had a “special relationship” with Shakespeare. It is possible that he found answers to his questions about the meaning of life and mystery of the world in the dramas of the playwright from Stratford. In his well-known last will, he donated his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company, asking that it be used as a prop on stage during performances of Hamlet. 

Witold Lutosławski – Chantefleurs et Chantefables

The author saturated the natural world with human emotions, laconically expressing an entire spectrum of erotic sentiments: from the humorously presented “drama” of a bull’s longing for a veronica, to the titmouse’s fervent confession addressed to the angelica. In Lutosławski’s cycle, the flora is represented in larger numbers than the fauna. Therefore the composer changed the title to Chantefleurs et Chantefables.Witold Lutosławski: “The poems are meant for children. However, I cannot say the same about my music – for soprano and orchestra, setting nine selected texts from Desnos’s collection – even if the ‘childlike’ nature of the poems is reflected in my music.”

Małgorzata Gąsiorowska