The cover of the best-selling album ‘British Steel’ by the heavy rock band Judas Priest was designed by the Polish artist and photographer Rosław Szaybo. He also is responsible for the artwork on many other well-known album covers including numerous classical music albums and work by musicians such as Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin, Santana, Soft Machine, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Elton John, and the punk rock band ‘The Clash’.
Karol Szymanowski (1882 – 1937) is probably the most celebrated 20th century Polish composer and pianist.
Szymanowski’s is perhaps best known, at least in Poland, for his Third Symphony ‘Song of the Night’, and Fourth, ‘Symphonie Concertante’; a work for violin and piano called ‘Nocturne and Tarantella’; the ballets Harnasie and Mandragora; and the operas ‘King Roger’ and ‘Hagirth’.
Listen to one of our own favourite pieces by Karol Szymanowski below.
A poster for the annual reggae festival, which takes place in western Poland. Berlin is less than an hour’s drive west.
Music news: A three day Reggae Music Festival will take place between the 28th August and 30 August in the small town of Sulecin, Lubuskie, Poland. Attractions include the bands, Natural Mystic, Bongostan and Yelram; a Bob Marley inspired football tournament; a fire-eating show; and numerous other festival activities.
Check out the poster above for full details.
This event takes place not far from the rather larger annual ‘Woodstock’ music festival.
Poland’s entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has just been announced. It is a sort of rap song. Here is a still from the video, which is in our opinion rather more interesting than the music itself.
This year’s Eurovision Song from Poland – Donatan & Cleo – My Słowianie – We Are Slavic / We are Slavs.
The song has been released in both English and Polish. Watch and/or listen to the English version of the song by clicking on the arrow in the centre of the image below.
The music competition itself takes place on 10th May 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
It might not be particularly well-known but the popular 1960s and 1970s pianist and entertainer Liberace was Polish American. He was born Wladziu (Walter) Liberace to a Polish Mother and a Italian Father. His Mother’s family name was Zuchowski.
Listen to Liberace playing his tune ‘Polish National Dance in E-flat Minor’.
Frederic Chopin – Polish Pianist and Composer – 1810-1849
Frederic Chopin (Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. He was born in Zelazowa Wola, 50 kilometres west of Warsaw, to a French father and Polish mother. Six months after Fryderyk’s birth, the family moved to Warsaw, where his father made a living teaching French, while his mother gave piano lessons. Chopin’s musical education was completed in and he composed many of his most popular works in Warsaw. However, he left Poland, aged 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. and never returned to Poland. Chopin wrote many Mazurkas and Polonaises based on Polish dances. He is considered by most critics one of the great masters of Romantic music.
Watch a super introduction to Frederic Chopin produced by Classic FM - the classic radio station.
“As a Pole he (Chopin) reflected in his work the very essence of the tragic break in the history of the (Polish) people and instinctively aspired to give the deepest expression of his nation” – Karol Szymanowski, 1923
The rather risque cover of the 1992 ‘Bastard’ CD by the Polish thrash metal band KAT.
Kat (executioner in Polish) are a Polish heavy metal band formed in 1979 in Katowice, Poland. KAT’s most famous album is Oddech wymarlych swiatow (The Breath of Extinct Worlds), considered by many the best Polish heavy metal album. The band have been accused by some of promoting Satanism.
Here is the full album should you want to give it a listen. Play loud!
Budka Suflera are a Polish rock band formed in Lublin in 1969. They might best be described as ballad driven rock. As a band they are still going strong and one of the most popular bands in Poland. Check them out here!
This is one of Budka Suflera’s more recent songs, ‘Kiedy Rozum Spi’ (When the mind sleeps). Other well-loved songs include: ‘Jolka Jolka’, ‘Za ostatni grosz’ (The last penny / cent) and ‘Jest taki samotny dom’ (Such a lonely house).