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Jacek Domagała

Jacek Domagała, fot. za Polmic /

Jacek Domagała is a composer, pianist and organist, born on 19 August 1947 in Szczecinek. He currently lives and works in Berlin.

He studied composition with Witold Szalonek, piano under the direction of Olga Dąbrowska, and organ with Heinz Wunderlich. After receiving the Oscar and Vchera Ritter­ Stiftung scholarship in Hamburg, he participated in master classes conducted by György Ligeti. He is the winner of the Boris Blacher prize in Berlin and George Mufat prize in Salzburg. His works include choral, vocal­ instrumental, orchestral, solo and chamber music. Currently Jacek Domagała lives and works in Berlin.

In the early years of his activity as a composer, Jacek Domagała was strongly influenced by his interest in J.S. Bach and in jazz music, which inspired such early works as his Cantique I for organ (1976), On Impuls for string quartet (1980) and Chorale for symphonic orchestra (1982) – a piece with organ­-like texture connected to Gregorian chants, which was the first example of dodecaphonic technique in the composer's output.

The second stage of Jacek Domagała's artistic development owes much to the Second Viennese School (Schönberg, Berg, Webern), which had a powerful impact on the composer's musical language and the technique that he calls ‘neoserialism’ (String Quartet No.2, 1995, String Quartet No. 3, 2006, Three Inventions for piano, 1996). The musical substance is based on the ideas of structuralism (Segments for symphonic orchestra, 1998) and displays homogeneity in its mostly short, precise and varying melodies perfectly incorporated into the dense harmony. Their foundations are mainly twelve tones using, apart from small interval steps, its huge interval space of differing metres, rich rhythms and maximal varied dynamics, aiming to simultaneously provide the greatest possible musical depth. The composer applies precise notation and distances himself from aleatoricism except for former works as his Preire for organ (1977), Cadenza for cello and three strings (1979). Contact with the Viennese modernist tradition had not only led to an evolution of Domagała's musical language, but also – ­and most importantly – ­influenced his way of building musical narration and the type of expression, rooted in post­-Romantic sound concepts.


Solo / chamber pieces:

  • Three Polish Melodies for piano (1975)
  • Cantique I for organs (1976)
  • Surrexit Christus Hodie for organs (1977)
  • Priere for organs (1978)
  • Cadenza for cello and three strings (1979)
  • On Impuls for a string quartet (1980)
  • Three Preludes for piano (1981)
  • String Quartet No.1 (1984)
  • Chamber Music for solo instruments and percussion (1985)
  • Sonata No.1 for piano (1990)
  • Two Preludes for cello solo (1992)
  • Splinters for flute, cello and piano (1993)
  • Five Little Pieces for piano (1994)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1995)
  • Three Inventions for piano (1996)
  • Sonata No.2 for piano (1997)
  • Crystals I for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano (2000)
  • Concertino for piano and 8 brass instruments (2001)
  • Elegy for voice, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, cello and bells (2002)
  • Flashback for cello solo (2003)
  • Crystals II for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano (2004)
  • Sketches for piano and strings (2005)
  • String Quartet No. 3 (2006)
  • Three Songs for voice and piano (2008)
  • Cantique II for organs (2010)
  • Vitrail for piano (2011)
  • Concert for flute and string orchestra (2014)

Orchestra pieces:

  • Continuum for string orchestra (1980)
  • Chorale  I  for symphonic orchestra (1980)
  • Postludium for symphonic orchestra (1981)
  • Chorale II for symphonic orchestra (1982)
  • For Five for string orchestra (1983)
  • Triptych for symphonic orchestra (1987)
  • Four Short Pieces for symphonic orchestra (1989)
  • Segments for symphonic orchestra (1998)
  • Two Pieces for string orchestra (1999)
  • Structures for symphonic orchestra (2011)

Vocal and vocal and instrumental pieces:

  • Pater Noster for a mixed choir a capella (1986)
  • Et Vidi Angelum Descendentem De Caelo for 7 a capella (1988)
  • Magnificat for a mezzo-soprano and symphonic orchestra (1988)
  • Psalm 25 for a mixed choir a capella (1991)
  • Laudate Dominum for a mixed choir a capella (2007)
  • Melody Of The Night Mists for a mixed choir and piano (2009)
  • Nocturn for a mixed choir and piano (2013)

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Jacek Domagała
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