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Tadeusz Wielecki

Tadeusz Wielecki, photo: promotional materials
Tadeusz Wielecki, photo: promotional materials

Tadeusz Wielecki, composer and bassist. Born July 5, 1954 in Warsaw.

Wielecki studied double bass with Alfred Wieczorek and Andrzej Mysiński and composition with Włodzimierz Kotoński at the Warsaw Academy of Music. In 1986 he was granted a Witold Lutosławski scholarship, he continued his composition studies with Isang Yun in West Berlin and Klaus Huber in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1986-7.

As a bassist, Wielecki performs contemporary solo works, giving concerts in a number of European countries, Azerbaijan, and the United States. He has also been involved in the promotion of contemporary music and artistic education, leading programs on the new music for children and youth in the Polish Radio. In 1992 Wielecki chaired the Artistic Committee of the World's Music Days of the International Society of Contemporary Music in Warsaw. His Concerto à rebours for violin and orchestra was listed among the recommended works at UNESCO's 1999 International Composers' Tribune in Paris.

Since 1999 Tadeusz Wielecki has been the director of the 'The Warsaw Autumn' International Festival of Contemporary Music.

Wielecki is one of the most interesting Polish composers of the middle-aged generation. On the one hand, his attitude to composing is marked by emotional expressiveness. On the other hand, his approach to the process of composing is highly intellectual. A number of his works reveal intellectual experimenting. It goes without saying that Wielecki's compositions are influenced by his experience as a bassist. Wielecki is particularly interested in modifying the traditional technique of playing stringed instruments. In his 1998 Concerto à rebours for violin and orchestra, the composer develops a special method of playing that could be referred to as "sliding". It is about continuous movement, fingers sliding along the strings, as opposed to the traditional technique where fingers are statically placed on the fingerboard of the instrument. According to the composer, this technical innovation has musical consequence as it impacts the sound of music.

A special musical category and, equally, an important element of the composing technique is for Wielecki the "musical gesture". The composer elaborated on it:

Its essence is the dramaturgic indivisibility of a motif, of a musical unit. It is therefore a kind of a musical event, one that cannot be reduced to some very simple form without detriment to its basic function - the function of the element of a musical action. And then it is something that should have the nature of a sign. A mere motif or some abstract music cell will not be a gesture. As a matter of fact, it is about taking the principle of gesture as a body reflex to the territory of musical discourse. The reflex conveys a message, though without words. A man makes a gesture to communicate his feeling about something, his own, innermost truth. Yet a gesture has a musical value in having its own energy, rhythm, tempo, a specific duration. It is feasible to transfer these characteristics to sounds. However - and here we are touching the essence of the issue - these elements also convey expressions and meanings. And since the key aspect of a musical gesture is its distinct and specific character, I can see the gesture-using method of composing opening up opportunities for music which plays with expressions and energies. There is also the possibility to achieve higher plasticity of the music matter and, independently, to give sounds a humanistic sense of a higher degree than the one they have when treated as a pure construction.

Wielecki has put his idea of the musical gesture to practice particularly in his three compositions entitled A Study of the Gesture and composed, respectively, for clarinet, piano and cello (1995), for piano (1997), and for clarinet, trombone, piano, cello and double bass (2000).

In general terms, Wielecki explains the idea of his music in the following way:

My purpose is to relate to the deep, innermost layers of the psyche. When dealing with music, we face the unlimited, the transcendent. A musical, artistic action comes from communicating with another person, but with God, the Absolute, in perspective.


  • Trio na trąbke, róg i puzon / Trio for trumpet, horn and trombone (1978)
  • Szesc miniatur na fortepian / Six miniatures for piano (1979)
  • Nokturn / Nocturne for a capella mixed choir (1979)
  • Muzyka na klarnet / Music for clarinet (1979)
  • Tango for clarinet, trombone, cello and piano (1980)
  • Misterioso for percussionist-actor (1980)
  • Tydzień/ A Week for recorder, percussion, piano and double bass (1980)
  • Kaczuszka / Duckling [version I] for accordion, piano, percussion, double-bass and reciter (1980-88)
  • Kaczuszka / Duckling [version II] for bassist-reciter (1980-88)
  • Muzyka poważna / Serious Music for violin, trombone and percussion (1981)
  • Glos wewnętrzny / Inner Voice for chamber orchestra (1981)
  • Melodia z akompaniamentem / Melody with Accompaniment for chamber ensemble (1981)
  • Opened Series I - IV pieces for double bass solo (1982-85)
  • Trio na skrzypce, kontrabas i fortepian / Trio for violin, double bass and piano (1985)
  • Muzyka recytatywna / Recitative Music for percussion, piano, violin, viola and double-bass (1985)
  • Collage-Tango for piano (1985)
  • Dukt / Ductus for small string orchestra and harpsichord (1986)
  • Poemat kameralny / Chamber Poem for two violins, double bass and piano (1986)
  • Liczne odnogi rozgalezionych splotow / Numerous Branches of Ramified Plaits for clarinet, piano and cello (1987-88)
  • Badrulbudura for percussionist and actor (1988)
  • Opened Series V for double bass solo (1988)
  • Gesty duszy / Gestures of Soul for organ, accordion, synthesizer, guitar and percussion (1989)
  • Powtarzanka / Counting Game for 4 speaking musicians (1990)
  • Ballada metafizyczna / Metaphysical Ballad for chamber orchestra (1990)
  • Przedzie sie nic... / Thread is Spinning... for solo cello (1991)
  • Tchnął Nań... / He Breathen Upon Him... for solo bassoon, strings and mimeartist (1992)
  • Przędzie sie nić... / Thread is Spinning... II for violin solo(1992)
  • Przędzie sie nić... / Thread is Spinning... III for double bass solo (1992)
  • Two Questions and One Guess for chamber orchestra (1992)
  • Opened Series VI for double bass solo (1993)
  • Z głębokości śpiewam... / From the depths I sing... for wind instruments, strings and percussion (1993)
  • Ballada dziadowska / Beggar Ballad for chamber ensemble (1994)
  • Poemat egocentryczny / Egocentric Poem for amplified piano and tape (1994-95)
  • Collage-Tango for chamber orchestra (1995)
  • Studium gestu / A Study of the Gesture for clarinet, piano and cello (1995)
  • ID for orchestra (1996)
  • Studium gestu II / A Study of the Gesture II for piano (1997)
  • Koncert à rebours / Concerto à rebours for violin and orchestra (1998)
  • Studium gestu III / A Study of the Gesture III for clarinet, trombone, piano, cello and double bass (2000)
  • Thesis for flute solo (2000)
  • Grań/Crest for orchestra (2000)
  • Credo, quia absurdum for tape and female-dancer (2001)
  • Tafle for symphony orchestra (2002)
  • Czas kamieni/Time of Stones na amplified bass and chamber orchestra (2002)
  • String Quartet (2003-2004)
  • Szmer półtonów for bass and ensemble (2004)
  • Ławice/Shoals na orkiestrę symfoniczną (2005)
  • Rycerze okrągłego stołu/The Knights of the Round Table, document opera for soprano, tube, instrumental ensemble and electronic media (2006)
  • Konieczność i przypadek/ Necessity and Chance for string quartet and electronic media (2006)
  • Dolina Suchej Wody/ The Valley of Dry Waters for chamber orchestra (2007)

Author: Polish Music Information Center, Polish Composers' Union, March 2002, list of compositions updated: 2009
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