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Stanislaw Monuiszko: Songs From 'Songbooks For Home Use'

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Stanislaw Monuiszko: Songs From 'Songbooks For Home Use'
Stanislaw Monuiszko: Songs From 'Songbooks For Home Use'


Traditional Polish songs have, like most other cultures, evolved over the centuries, and Monuiszko's Songs fall into this category. Culture was restricted not only by politics, but also by world view and morality (church censorship was just as vigilant in Poland as in some independent European countries). That 'Songbooks for Home Use' were universally familiar to Polish society is a myth and an illusion; todays average consumers of beer and kebabs, assuming that they've heard traditional songs at all, are not likely to be acquainted with more than a few of the three hundred songs that Moniuszko wrote, and no one expert knows them all. Nor is it true that the most famous of those songs are at the same time the best. There are, for instance, several excellent ballads with complex drama and brilliant musical ideas; there are some intriguing tunes setting foreign texts, such as the Slav-sounding song of Ophelia from Hamlet. There are the wonderful Beranger settings, such as the grim (and splendid, fortunately quite well known) Old Corporal, and the comic tale of Margot who, while replacing St Peter, let into paradise whoever came to the gate. Twelve songs have been chosen for this new recording, including only two better-known ones: the indispensable The Distaff and a hit from the past, An Evening Song. We opted for poets of high calibre, such as Mickiewicz and Goethe, but also the good-standard Syrokomla and young Asnyk (though his text is not especially successful). Also incorporated is Kraszewski (famous as a novelist, but also a skilful poet, especially in the satirical genres), Zeligowski (valued more for his social activism than his writings), and Czeczot (more of a craftsman than an original voice in poetry). We also included the frequently neglected Russian thread. Far from rejecting all things Russian, Moniuszko sought a career in Petersburg, made friends with musicians who lived there, and knew Russian well.


  1. Name
  2. Monuiszko: Songs From Songbooks For Home Use - The Distaff (from The 3rd Songbook)
  3. The Tear (from The 7th Songbook)
  4. A Hermits Song (from The 7th Songbook)
  5. Will He Return? (from The 2nd Songbook)
  6. Hushaby (from The 3rd Songbook)
  7. Dumka Come My Love (from The 5th Songbook)
  8. The Moon And The Rivulet (from The 3rd Songbook)
  9. Converted (from The 3rd Songbook)
  10. Oh Tell Me (from The 7th Songbook)
  11. An Evening Song (from The 2nd Songbook)
  12. Duettino First She Remembers (from The 3rd Songbook)
  13. I Love You So (from The 12th Songbook)
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