Dance songs (1957–1963)

Recording not available.

Opis materiału
  • Composer:Witold Lutosławski
  • Original title: Piosenki taneczne (1957–1963)
  • content: Vol.1 (PWM 2013): Silent heart, The witch, Distant journey, The circus is coming, The little green beret, Good fortune, To fall in love with the wind, Love and the world, Taboo, The captain's ballad, At the funfair, Telimena, The Warsaw cabman, I am not expecting anyone today, Heart on the wind, Bored Philipina, Golden shoes, Why sing songs, My birds
    Vol. 2 (PWM 2013): Odds and ends, What are you waiting for, What is going to happen now, From childhood, One stop further, You will find me everywhere, No longer for us, I do not want to date you anymore, Podlotek, Your name-day, Sunspots, Only this word, How to win hearts, In the empty room
  • year of completion: 1963
  • Text language: Polish
This description refers to a group of pieces

It was not until 1963 that Lutosławski began to receive regular commissions from abroad and high fees associated with them. Before that, the composer’s budget was modest, especially given the fact that he had to support his wife, stepson, ailing mother and a former housekeeper. To increase his income, he wrote educational pieces, music for theatre and radio, and from 1957 to 1963 dance songs as well. A similar approach was adopted by other artists: Władysław Strzemiński, the painter who originated the concept of unism, decorated shop windows, while Maciej Słomczyński, a translator of Shakespeare and Joyce, wrote crime novels under the pseudonym Joe Alex.

Lutosławski treated his light music as a source of income and did not nurture any great ambition with regard to it. His songs for adults do not equal those he wrote for children, nor are they as interesting as popular music that his younger “serious” colleagues composed, for example Adam Sławiński’s Night Emerged Around and Krzysztof Knittel’s An Autumn Concerto for Two Crickets. Yet some of Lutosławski’s lighter compositions won recognition. The foxtrot I’m No Longer waiting for Anyone Today, performed by Rena Rolska,became the radio song of the month in January 1960.


Other great composers had flirted with popular music when forced by various circumstances, as in the cases of Schönberg’s cabaret songs and Szymanowski’s operetta Lottery for a Husband. Despite the existence of such a tradition, Lutosławski clearly had no respect for his light oeuvre and was even ashamed of it. Foxtrots, waltzes and tangos that he composed were signed always with the pseudonyms Bardos or Derwid. This distancing from his popular works may also have determined the choice of pseudonyms: Derwid is one of the writer Juliusz Słowacki’s protagonists, the hapless king from Lilla Weneda, who “holds a future seeing spirit in his harp, and when captured by his enemies, cries: O! no – never will you turn a captive king / into a menial harp player.” A visionary artist entangled in the mass-culture network and forced to think about his household budget could fully subscribe to those words.