Composers / Witold Lutosławski / Places catalog
This charming resort in the Lubusz lake region is dominated by a Gothic tower – the former seat of the Joannite Order. From 5 to 8 August 1949, a conference of composers was held here, chaired by the then deputy minister of culture, Włodzimierz Sokorski. The discussions were accompanied by concerts, which in keeping with a custom practised in the Soviet Composers Union were treated like auditions, and after the performances the works were discussed and assessed with regard to their conformity to socialist realism. In one of the concerts, Krystyna Szneer, with Lutosławski’s accompaniment, sang six of his songs for children to words by Julian Tuwim, and Zbigniew Drzewiecki played his Folk Melodies. Prominent among the largely moderate opinions in the ensuing discussion was that of Jan Maklakiewicz, who accused the Folk Melodies of being ‘monstrously set’, although at the same time he admitted that the children’s songs had awaken within him faith in the victory of socialist realism.
‘It’s the funeral of Polish music’, said Drzewiecki at the time, and Lutosławski later quoted that opinion many times.
Caste of Order of Saint John in Łagów. (creative commons)
Jan Maklakiewicz. National Digital Archive.
Zbigniew Drzewiecki. Phot. Jan Biniek. National Digital Archive.