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'File 750: Composers, Politics and the Festival of Polish Music (1951)'

Thomas, Adrian Tregerthen 2002. 'File 750: Composers, Politics and the Festival of Polish Music (1951)'. Polish Music Journal 5 (1)

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Abstract

On 5-8 August 1949, the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art (MKiS) organized a conference at �agów in western Poland, at which the implementation of socialist realism in Polish music was debated at length by musicologists, composers and performers. One of the ideas to emerge was a Festival of Polish Music. In order to encourage composers to write new pieces for the Festival, the MKiS decided to set up a special grant fund, and a unique file of letters and documents concerning the preparations for the Festival has recently come to light.[1] This article examines those contents of the file which relate to the grant-awarding process operated by the MKiS. The primary focus is on the application letters from composers, including any special circumstances that were brought to the Ministry's attention; it also investigates what rationale (if any) lay behind the level of grant the MKiS subsequently dispensed to individual composers. The letters sent in by Andrzej Panufnik and Witold Lutosławski are especially revealing, as they contain compositional information not duplicated in other sources. This information also has implications beyond the immediate confines of the Festival, especially for the perception of their role as leading composers in a communist-run state.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Publisher: Polish Music Centre
ISSN: 1521-6039
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:07
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/4044

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