Thursday, August 17, 2017

Announcing "Gorecki in Context: Essays on Music" Edited by Maja Trochimczyk

The volume of interviews and studies of the music by Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki (1933-2010) is finally  seeing the light of day. The project was initiated in 2011, after the composer's death, as a tribute to him, and a way to present a more diverse image of the composer and his work as seen by Polish scholars, whose research is not well known in the English-speaking world.

The collection of interviews grew to seven texts, from 1962 to 2008, the studies include translations of Polish research and three essays of the editor, Maja Trochimczyk - an overview of his life and music, a study of his concept of "motherhood" and a description of his visit to Los Angeles in 1997. All these aspects were previously either unknown, not available in English, or neglected in Gorecki scholarship. So far, so good. We are waiting for the music publishers to respond with the copyright permissions, at which time the page numbers will be finalized and the book published.

Gorecki "sekunduje" (plays the second fiddle) in goralska kapela for the 50th anniversary
of the Tatra Eagle in New Jersey, September 1997. L to R: Prof. Thaddeus Gromada, Andrzej Bachleda, 
H. M. Gorecki, Jane Kedron. Used by Permission of Thaddeus Gromada

Below, you will find a reprint of the preface by the editor, and the table of contents listing the articles that "made the cut" and will highlight the diverse aspects of Gorecki's music in its Polish context.
Here are more links and pictures:  Trochimczyk's poem in his memory was published on the same Chopin with Cherries blog, in 2010: Excerpts with his interview about Chopin are also posted there.



This volume gathers interviews and studies of the music of the Polish composer,  Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933-2010). Contributors include the composer himself – in a series of interviews spanning his entire career, from 1962 to 2008 – as well as leading Górecki scholars from Poland, the U.K., the U.S., and Australia. The collection includes a list of works, music examples, portraits, photographs, and a bibliography. The value of gathering five interviews in one place cannot be overestimated, as these encounters portray the mind of the composer and capture the changing interests that preoccupied him at various stages in his career.

The project brings together different views at the composer’s oeuvre, highlighting three of the four symphonies, each honored by a separate chapter: the Second Symphony Copernican (Kinga Kiwała), the Third Symphony  The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (Maja Trochimczyk) and the Fourth Symphony Tansman Episodes (Andrzej Wendland). Two studies were contributed by an eminent Polish scholar and Górecki’s long-time personal friend, Prof. Teresa Malecka of Kraków, including an extensive review of the composer’s links to Polish musical traditions, and an overview of his piano music.  The studies are rounded up by an introductory overview of Górecki’s life and career and a case study of his visit to Los Angeles in 1997, when he conducted his Third Symphony for the first time outside of Poland, and made a huge impact on the musical life of California.

As one of the organizers of the 1997 Górecki Autumn Residency at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and the composer’s personal translator and guide, I had an unusually close contact with the reclusive composer and was able to present his views in two interviews and several articles, with a focus on the Third Symphony.

I hope that this volume will serve to stimulate further research into the life and music of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki whose oeuvre goes well beyond the world-famous maverick of a piece, his Third Symphony, beloved and misinterpreted in equal measure.

Maja Trochimczyk

Jane Kedron, Andrzej Bachleda and Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, October 1997, Los Angeles

⦾   ⦾   ⦾


⦾ Maja Trochimczyk – Introduction

⦾ Luke B. Howard – Why Love Górecki?

⦾ Maja Trochimczyk – Mountains of Grief (Poem)

⦾  ⦾  ⦾

⦾ PART I ⦾


⦾ Chapter 1 ⦾ — Page 3

Conversation with Henryk Górecki: Leon Markiewicz, July 1962  — Translated by Anna Maslowiec

⦾ Chapter 2 ⦾ — Page 12

“I Am Always Myself” – Says Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in Conversation with Mieczysław Kominek (December 1993)  —  translated by Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 3 ⦾ — Page 22

 About Life and Music: A Conversation with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (Zakopane, 16 July 1997) — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 4 ⦾ — Page 45

“Composing is a Terribly Personal Matter:” A Conversation with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (April 1998) —Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 5 ⦾ — Page 66

“There’s More to Life than the Arranging of Sounds” – Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in Conversation with Małgorzata and Marcin Gmys

 ⦾ Chapter 6 ⦾ — Page 80

“Music? A Visitor from Another World,” (15 October 2008), Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in Conversation with Małgorzata and Marcin Gmys

⦾ Chapter 7 ⦾ — Page 87

“Music is a Conversation.” Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Talks to Anna Wieczorek and Krzysztof Cyran (29 April 2008) —edited by Małgorzata Janicka-Słysz



⦾ Chapter 8 ⦾ — Page 101

Górecki’s Life and Music: A Bird’s Eye View — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 9 ⦾

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Symphony No. 2 Copernican:  Word and Sound and the Sublime — Kinga Kiwała  — Translated by Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 10 ⦾

Mothers and Motherhood in Górecki's Third Symphony and Other Works  — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 11 ⦾

Górecki and the Polish Musical Tradition. Wacław of Szamotuły, Chopin, Szymanowski, Polish Folk and Church Music — Teresa Malecka

⦾ Chapter 12 ⦾
Górecki at the Keyboard: The Piano in his Compositional Output — Teresa Malecka

⦾ Chapter 13 ⦾

Górecki in Los Angeles, 1997 — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 14  ⦾

The  Phenomenon and Mystery of Górecki’s Fourth Symphony – Tansman. Epizody” —Andrzej Wendland (translated by Maja Trochimczyk)

⦾  ⦾  ⦾

⦾ Henryk Mikołaj Górecki - List of Works

⦾ Bibliography

⦾ Notes about Contributors

⦾ Index

⦾  ⦾  ⦾

Maja Trochimczyk with Gorecki in Context and other Moonrise Press books, 
at Modjeska Club Meeting, South Pasadena. Photo by Lucyna Przasnyski.

And here's the classic video with Gorecki listening to his Third Symphony with his favorite soprano, Zofia Kijanowicz as the soloist. From TVP Kultura.

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