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Book Review: Elzbieta Rosinska

Polska Literatura Akordeonowa 1955 - 1996

Biogramy kompozytorow
Objasnienia skrotow
Skorowidz nazwisk
Skorowidz kompozycji
Kompozycje wedlug skladu

total pages: 127
soft cover
no photographs
written in Polish, with English summaries following each chapter
published: 1996

publisher: Akademia Muzyczna im. Fryderyka Chopina
ul. Okolnik 2
00-368 Warszawa

Review by Henry Doktorski:

The accordion is a very prominent instrument in Poland; not only in folk music, but also in classical music. (That is the reason my Polish-American parents picked accordion for me to study when I was seven years of age; they loved their ancestral folk music and wanted me to carry on the tradition.)

Polska Literatura Akordeonowa outlines the history of the classical accordion in Poland, beginning in 1955 when the first accordion work was written by a classical composer, until 1996 (although several early twentieth-century Polish accordionists who wrote their own compositions, ie. polki, doberki, kujawiaki, walce, etc,) are mentioned.

I was amazed to learn how popular the classical accordion is in Poland: Elzbieta Rosinska lists 447 works, 206 of them for solo accordion, 179 for chamber ensemble, 22 concertos, 7 works for accordion orchestra and 9 works with open instrumentation, in addition to 24 works which include the accordion in music theater, orchestra and opera. What other nation can surpass that, with the exception of Germany and Russia?

The most prolific Polish composer of accordion music is Bronislav K. Przybylski, who wrote 79 pieces; 43 for solo accordion, 32 chamber music pieces, three concertos and one orchestral work. A review of his Concerto Classico appears on these Free-Reed Review pages.

Next after Przybylski was Andrzej Krzanowski, who wrote 61 works, and probably would have passed Przbylski in number of works composed, had he not died in 1990. Other leading Polish composers listed are: B. Dowlasz (31 works), K. Olczak (21 works) and my friend and colleague, Bogdan Precz (19 works) who unexpectedly passed away last year. Two of his CDs are reviewed on these pages: Bogdan Precz: Acordeon and For Daniel.

Polska Literatura Akordeonowa is comprehensive and contains:

Best of all for non-Polish readers is the English summary which follows each chapter.

I highly recommend this book for all lovers of classical accordion.

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