Thursday, July 26, 2018

Grażyna Bacewicz string quartets performed by the Silesian Quartet

If, like me, you're the least bit into string quartets and also have some appreciation for Polish music then the string quartets of Grazyna Bacewicz are quartets you should check out.  I've been listening to her quartets over the last month or so.  First heard of her work through the blogging/reviewing of Norman Lebrecht.  He may be a crankypants about any number of things but this tip is a fun one to follow.  And there's a handful of reviews to peruse at your leisure.

As for a recent recording, that's something you can sample over here at Youtube.

Bacewicz is one of the composers mentioned in the book Composing the Party Line, which I haven't been reading through as quickly as I thought because I'm distracted by a bunch of other reading.  But her work is a useful case study for demonstrating the gap between Cold War myths about how repressive the Soviet bloc was in contrast to Western musical scenes.  A repressive communist regime isn't necessarily going to be repressive all across the board.  Socialist Realism was more or less a dead letter by 1953-1955, as the aforementioned monograph discusses in early chapters. 

But I can write about that some more after I finish the book. 

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