Grażyna Bacewicz

Works in detail

Concerto for Large Symphony Orchestra

In his analysis of the last stage of Grażyna Bacewicz’s oeuvre, Tadeusz A. Zieliński [Tadeusz A. Zieliński, Spotkania z muzyką współczesną, Kraków 1974], appreciating the novelty of the ephemeral Pensieri notturni of 1961, concluded: Bacewicz’s element is still something else, however: large, solid, ‘Bartókian’ forms, aggressive dynamism in the development of musical action, virtuosity and […]

String Quartet no. 7

String Quartet No. 7 was written in 1965, a year marked by many achievements in the composer’s life: she wrote, among others, Violin Concerto No. 7, Piano Quintet No. 2, Musica sinfonica in tre movimenti and Divertimento for string orchestra. Grażyna Bacewicz’s seventh and last quartet is one of the finest examples of the use […]

Ouverture for Orchestra

The premise of Bacewicz’s Overture is rhythm and motoric nature, wrote Artur Malawski in an article published in issue 17 of Ruch Muzyczny in 1947. True, lively movement is the essence of the piece, but the sound image ofOverture is much richer, multifaceted. Based on the Italian overture model (Allegro — Andante — Allegro), the […]

Concerto for String Orchestra

In 1948 Grażyna Bacewicz composed a piece which became her “ninth symphony”. Although she would later write many other excellent compositions, Concerto for String Orchestra remains the Polish artist’s most frequently performed and most popular work. In a tribute published by Ruch Muzyczny after Grażyna Bacewicz’s death, Witold Lutosławski wrote: “Concerto for Strings” is probably […]

Piano Concerto

The Piano Concerto was written in 1949 for the Fryderyk Chopin Competition organised by the Polish Composers’ Union to mark the 100th anniversary of the Polish genius’ death. However, it is no use looking for any references to Chopin in Grażyna Bacewicz’s work. Although respecting the great Romantic, the composer did not feel any affinity […]

String Quartet no. 4

String Quartet No. 4 is the best known and most often performed among Grażyna Bacewicz’s seven string quartets. It was written in 1951, following a commission from the Polish Composers’ Union, which invited its members to take part in a composers’ competition for a string quartet organised in Liège, Belgium. Bacewicz’s piece, entered as “1951”, […]

String Quartet no. 5

In 1955 Grażyna Bacewicz composed String Quartet No. 5. In the following year she entered it for the String Quartet Competition in Liège, Belgium, where in 1951 she had received the 1st Prize for her String Quartet No. 4. This time her quartet came second. Many scholars, including Mieczysław Tomaszewski and Adrian Thomas, claim that the […]

String Quartet no. 6

String Quartet No. 6 performed by the Parrenin Quartet on 19 September 1960 at the Warsaw Autumn Festival caused a sensation. It became evident that the composer, without completely breaking the rules she had always followed in her work, had clearly modernised her sound language. Asked by Jerzy Hordyński [Życie Literackie of 16 October 1960] […]

Violin Concerto no. 1

Violin Concerto No. 1 was written in 1937, when the composer’s was the concert master of the Polish Radio Orchestra, a position she held for two and a half years. The work was premiered on 28 March 1938 in a performance featuring the composer as the soloist and “her” orchestra, conducted by the ensemble’s Artistic […]

Violin Concerto no. 7