composing the 6 Songs, for the first
time in his career Lutosławski used poems for children. He did it again later,
on several occasions, though these works were not always addressed to audiences
of children. Some were written with child performers and listeners in mind,
others were meant for professional performers and young listeners, while there
were also those that Lutosławski wrote for adult musicians and audiences. 6 Children’s Songs belong to the first
group, and the fact that they are to be performed by and for children is
emphasized in the title by the word “children’s”.
Playful, fast songs alternate with
slow, lyrical ones. Despite their utilitarian nature, all remains works of high
quality. Three of them, Year and trouble,
Kitten and Little river, are musical pieces of exceptional depth of
The composer arranged the 6 Songs for unison children’s voices and
orchestra in 1952.