Conductor’s Trade from Orchestral Player’s Perspective

Maria Brzuchowska


Although the basic conducting patterns have little changed in the two-century history of orchestral conducting, there does not exist any acknowledged system of conducting which could be universally taught to orchestral players. The institutionalised conducting education covers less than half of this two-hundred-year time span, and it has been traditionally sanctioned that a Maestro may be the autodidactic, using his own intuitive – more or less efficient – technique of conducting. The players, too, are supposed to respond intuitively to the set of gestures and signs, even though they discuss this collaboration in terms of ‘understanding’ conductor’s intention.

Conductors’ education comprises little if any experience or knowledge of efficient verbal communicating with an orchestra. They are taught how to explore and make music, while rehearsing much involves dealing with people, both individually and as the assembly, in a particular given space and the limited time frames. Therefore, the two orchestral paradoxes are that orchestral players are not familiarised with the theory of conductor’s gestures while conductors’ training is little concerned with people factor in this profession. One impossible without another, orchestral player and conductor are educated in astonishing separation.

Thomas Mann and the Harmonic Profusion. Reading Beyond the Sound of Music

Iulia Micu


The aim of the study is an approach to Thomas Mann’s literature in terms of its many-sided musical implications. Some similarities are identified between the Wagnerian pattern and the texture of Mann’s novels: ”the composition with its psychological grounded motifs”, ”the polyphonic structure”, ”the endless melody of Wagner” vs. ”Mann’s musical prose” and so on.

The German writer’s acquaintance with the new sociology of music, especially with works by Georg Lukàcs, Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno, is also closely observed. Not only characters like Leverkühn (Doctor Faustus) or Aschenbach (Death in Venice) illustrate the influence of these theories, but also ”the figure of Adorno was used by the author as the projection of the devil himself”.

„Surconventionalism” in the Interpretation of Paweł Szymański and Stanisław Krupowicz

Anna Granat-Janki


Surconventionalism is a term invented by Paweł Szymański and Stanisław Krupowicz in 1984, aiming to an artistic method, a technique (coming, of course, from surrealism). Paweł Szymański has used it since 1978 (Partita II for orchestra), and Stanisław Krupowicz since 1981 (Tempo 72 for amplified harpsichord and strings, String Quartet No. 2). Some analyses (Szymański: Partita III, Partita IV, quasi una sinfonietta, Recalling a Serenade and Krupowicz: Tako rzecze Bosch, Tempo 72, Wariacje pożegnalne na temat Mozarta, Fin de siècle) will show the differences of understanding surconventionalism. Stanisław Krupowicz believes that this method consists of the confrontation of several stylistic conventions and creation of a certain context from these conventions, which could not have come into being in any so far existing style. Surconventionalism is, therefore, according to him, “an art of composing contexts”. Paweł Szymański, however, thinks that surconventional method relies on the transformation of “basic structure”, also called by him “deep structure”. This leads to two-level composing of music.
          Paweł Szymański dismantles, and then distorts musical structures and conventions, while Stanisław Krupowicz chooses to make unreal musical reality by distortion and destruction and surprising juxtaposition its elements as this manner is closer to him.

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