A Polish Renaissance
Polish music has flowered in the twentieth century. Yet the four Poles whose story is told here -- Andrzej Panufnik (1914-91), Witold Lutoslawski (1913-94), Ktzystof Penderecki (b.1933), and Henryk Gorecki (b.1933) -- are noted for their development of radically differing creative approaches, in spite of a common national background.
Against the varied canvas of musical styles practised in the latter half of the twentieth century -- including, on the one hand, serialism and its intellectual spin-offs, and on the other, the use of chance procedures, the 'new simplicity', and minimalism -- the author dramatizes the position of these four composers, showing how each transcends the musical movements with which they are habitually linked. Their compositional techniques are illuminated by a consideration of their lives and careers, which have so powerfully contributed to the phenomenon of rebirth in modern Polish music.