Mieczysław Karłowicz, a composer of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, went down in music history as mainly a creator of orchestral works, especially symphonic poems. At the age of about 20, on the borderline of "school" creativity, the young artist also wrote songs for voice and piano. In one year (from the end of 1895 to the end of 1896) almost all of his 29 songs were created - 22 of them have survived to this day. These compositions have been arranged in three opuses: op. 1, op. 3, op. 4, while some also function as unpublished works. The poet most often chosen by Karłowicz was Kazimierz Tetmajer, although in the collection there are also single songs to lyrics i.a. by Heinrich Heine, Adam Asnyk, Juliusz Słowacki and Zygmunt Krasiński. In these very personal artistic statements, researchers of Karłowicz's works look for announcements of the later style of the composer and the characteristic features of Young Poland - a mood of melancholy and longing that permeates the author’s poems.
The earliest period in the output of the composer, who died prematurely at the age of only 32, is closed by the Symphony in E minor, ‘Rebirth’ Op. 7. The work was supplemented with a detailed literary program, which appeared in the press before the Polish premiere of the work in Lviv on April 7, 1903. Non-musical content concerns the death of youthful dreams, the struggle with a gray everyday life and unfulfilled desires. In the finale of the four-movement symphony, the soul struggling with discouragement finally gets the title ‘rebirth’. Formally, the composition adopts a traditional scheme - a gloomy introduction, a sonata allegro in a melancholic mood, a free lyrical second movement, and a scherzo in the third movement.
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Walewska | Songs by Karłowicz
Symphony HallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48