Polish Music Journal
Vol. 1, No. 2. Winter 1998. ISSN 1521 - 6039


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ABSTRACTS OF ARTICLES IN VOL. 1, NO. 2

(Winter 1998)


Barbara Przybyszewska-Jarmińska:

Towards Unity in Diversity: Four Religious Rondo Concerti by Marcin Mielczewski

At the end of the sixteenth century and during the first decades of the seventeenth century, the repertoire of religious music composed in Venice, other important Italian cities, as well as certain transalpine centers (such as Graz) contained numerous rondo concerti. Their form consisted of a refrain recurring in the course of the composition, contrasting couplets, and later on, an added instrumental introduction. According to the current stage of research, the known group of Polish composers from the first half of the seventeenth century did not display an interest in the form of the rondo concerto - especially the artists working in the Commonwealth. Benedictio et claritas (2C A 2T B, 2 vni, 4 tbni, b.c.) by Marcin Mielczewski (d.1651) was considered the only typical example of this architectonic arrangement in Polish music. However, the Emil Bohn Collection in the Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin, which up to World War II belonged to the Stadtbibliothek in Wrocław among 40 compositions signed with the monogram "M.M." and ascribed by the author to Marcin Mielczewski, contains three other rondo concerti: Currite populi (2 choirs C A T B, 2 vni, 4 tbni, org.), Ingredimini omnes (2C 2T B, 2 vn, 3 tbni, fg., org.), and Plaudite manibus (2C A 2T B, 2 vni, 3 tbni, fg., org.). These concerti are composed to texts whose fragments were used - also in rondo concerti - by the most outstanding Venetian composers (Giovanni Croce, Giovanni Gabrieli, Claudio Monteverdi and Alessandro Grandi). The article presents the rondo compositions by Mielczewski from the Bohn Collection, which are comparable to Benedictio at claritas. The author places a special emphasis on demonstrating the variety of the technical means, the differences in compositional outlines discernible in particular works, and the similarity of solutions applied in the rondo concerti signed by "M.M." to those found in the vocal-instrumental religious compositions by Marcin Mielczewski that were identified earlier.

Abstract Translated by Aleksandra Rodzińska-Chojnowska

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Dorota Popławska:

Representation of Musical Instruments in Stone Sculpture in Lower Silesia until the Beginning of the 16th Century

The oldest stone depictions of musical instruments in Lower Silesia date from the thirteenth century. The figures of music-making angels or laymen are, however, among the rarest Gothic stone sculptures in the region. Pertinent research discovered only about thirty such depictions portraying fifteen types of instruments. The musical instruments appear in sculpted iconography primarily in scenes of the Last Judgment. Initially, these scenes included assorted wind instruments which at the end of the fifteenth century were also accompanied by string and percussion instruments. Other Biblical scenes predominantly show various types of string instruments. Instruments sculpted in sandstone or marble were placed on tympana, corbels, keystones and epitaphs, and at the end of the fifteenth century, musical instruments were present also in genre scenes decorating the Town Hall in Wrocław. A characteristic feature of the objects in question is the realistic rendering of the appearance of particular instruments and the techniques of performance. Stone sculpture is an essential and heretofore totally ignored source for becoming familiar with the medieval music instrumentarium of the region. The presented study is the first to examine this topic.

Abstract Translated by Aleksandra Rodzińska-Chojnowska

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Editor: Maria Anna Harley. Publisher: Polish Music Reference Center
Design: Maria Anna Harley & Marcin Depinski. 10 - 30 December 1998.
Comments and inquiries by e-mail: polmusic@email.usc.edu