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.
Kult is a Polish rock band formed in Warsaw, Poland, in 1982. Kult’s early works were strongly influenced by alternative, progressive, British new wave, ska, reggae, and punk rock. The music of the band is primarily associated with a distinctive wind section (saxophones, horn) with provocative lyrics by vocalist and founder member Kazik Staszewski. The band has so far released a total of 12 studio albums and two live albums.
One of Kult’s better known songs ‘Polska’ (Poland) set to a video of a drive around a small town in Poland.
Stanislaw Moniuszko was born in 1819 near Minsk to a Polish noble family. During his lifetime he grew to become a distinguished Polish composer, conductor, and teacher, who wrote many operettas, ballets and operas.
He is perhaps best known for his music of a patriotic nature, weaving in to his own compositions elements of traditional folk songs. His most famous works include the opera ‘The Haunted Mansion’ and ‘Halka’.
He died in 1872 in Warsaw.
Listen online to some of the music of Stanislaw Moniuszko on the BBC website.
Henryk Gorecki was born in 1933 in Czernica, Silesia, Poland. He was a noted Polish composer of classical music. Some of best work probably includes Symphony No. 3, and the pieces, Beatus Vir, Miserere, and Good Night. He died yesterday in Katowice, Poland. Listen to “Sorrowful Songs” part of his Symphony No. 3 below:
Lady Pank – perhaps the most commercially successful 1980s pop music bands to come out of Communist Poland.
Lady Pank are a popular Polish pop rock band, founded in Warsaw in 1981. The band has released over twenty albums and had many hits. Lady Pank’s best-loved songs are probably: Tancz glupia, tancz (Dance stupid, dance), Mniej niz zero (Less than zero), Wciaz bardziej obcy (More and more of a stranger), Zamki na piasku (Castles in the sand), Tacy sami (Just the same), Znowu pada deszcz (It’s raining again), Na granicy (On the Border), and Stacja Warszawa (Warsaw Station).
Here is the video of Lady Pank performing their song ‘Kryzysowa Narzeczona’ (Crisis Bride).
Core members of Lady Pank are John Borysewicz and Janusz Panasewicz.
Selected studio albums by SBB: Nowy horyzont, Pamiec, Ze slowem biegne do ciebie, Wolanie o brzek szkla, Jerzyk, Amigo, Follow My Dream, Welkcome, Memento z banalnym tryptykiem, Nastroje, New Century, The Rock, Iron Curtain.
Selected live albums by S.B.B: Complete Tapes 1974; SBB; Live in Opole 1974; Live Jazz nad Odra 1975; Live in Frankfurt 1977; Freedom – Live Sopot 1978; Live in America; Absolutely Live; Live in Spodek; Four Decades; Good Bye!