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Polish Composers' Autographs at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1900

Fragment partytury, fot. materiały promocyjne
A fragment of a score, photo: press materials

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, together with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, is to release an album entitled Autographs of Polish Composers at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1900.

The trilingual publication (Polish, French, English) is combined of Polish composers’ manuscripts found in the collections of the Paris Opera Library, a part of the National Library of France.

After almost one hundred years, the discovery of an unknown collection of the autographs of 19th-century Polish composers (mostly fragments, but also short works) is a case without precedent. The manuscripts, ordered by C. Malherbe for the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900, are written on special, decorative forms. The autographs of 27 composers, including Henryk Melcer-Szczawiński, Józefa Joteyko, Ludwik Grossman, Roman Statkowski, Józef Wieniawski, and Mieczysław Karłowicz, are of great value for Polish culture.

The discovery of the manuscripts is even more significant though. At a time when Poland was not present on the map of Europe, representatives of the French artistic world made it possible for Polish artists to manifest that Polish music still exists.

The publication is thus not only a historical document of high political importance, but also an artistic event with a bibliophile and didactic envoy.

The manuscripts were discovered by Ewa Talma-Davous, a worker of the National Library of France. The collection has been prepared (along with writing the biographies) by the notable musicologist Professor Irena Poniatowska.

The first promotional meeting organised by the institute is planned for the beginning of December in Paris. The first part of the meeting will be dedicated to the presentation of the publication. Next, a chosen pianist and singer will perform selected works from the publication. Both authors – Professor Irena Poniatowska and Ewa Talma-Davous – will attend the presentation.

Translated by AW, December 2016

Tags: polish composersthe universal exposition in Parisroman statkowskijózef wieniawskiadam mickiewicz instituteamipolish classical music

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