About the Collection

Published as part of NINATEKA, the Wojciech Kilar music collection is the largest online repository of the composer’s works: it includes no fewer than 135 of them! Like our other music collections, it has been compiled under the guidance of Dr. Iwona Lindstedt, a musicologist from the University of Warsaw specializing in Polish composers.

Recordings of Kilar’s works are accompanied by detailed analyses, many of which have been enriched with “contextual” material such as the composer’s statements about the works, as well as opinions of critics and musicologists, many of which were contemporary responses to the analysed pieces. Additional aid in navigating Kilar’s oeuvre is provided by a chronological list of his works divided into
Creative periods, commonly used in literature on his music, an Alphabet bringing together terms associated with the composer and with people in his life, and Playlists of his works prepared by renowned experts on and lovers of his music. A visually enhanced Timeline places major events in Kilar’s lifetime against the background of biographies of other great Polish composers of recent decades – Witold Lutosławski, Andrzej Panufnik, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki – and in the historical and cultural context of the 20th and 21st centuries. The list of Kilar’s works includes a number of previously unknown items discovered in the composer’s archive deposited with the Museum of the History of Katowice.

photo: Euzebiusz Niemiec / AKPA

An important innovation, in comparison with previous NINATEKA collections, comes in the form of a tab dedicated to one of the most important areas of Wojciech Kilar’s oeuvre – his music written for film. Film music brings together 49 mini-essays by Jan Topolski, a musicologist and film critic, dealing with the important soundtracks composed by Kilar to Polish and foreign films. These essays are accompanied by recordings and by about 120 film excerpts featuring major musical motifs written by Kilar.

Also worthy of note is the fact that the collection includes the entire first film to which Kilar wrote music – Natalia Brzozowska’s The Skiers
from 1958. Another audiovisual gem is the legendary 1979 performance of Krzesany, Kilar’s piece with choreography by the eminent dancer and ballet reformer Conrad Drzewiecki, presented by artists of the Polish Dance Theatre. The Films about Kilar section contains a biographical film devoted to Kilar as well as about a dozen documentaries about him, including interviews and conversations with the composer and with people who had the opportunity to work with him.

Entries about Kilar’s concert music have been written by Dr. Iwona Lindstedt and Marcin Krajewski from the Institute of Musicology at the University of Warsaw. The managing editor of the collection is Anna Witek. As with previous NINATEKA collections, the Kilar collection is available in two language versions: Polish and English.

Most recordings presented in the collection come from the Polish Radio Archives digitized under the Culture+ Programme.