National Library acquires composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki's archives
PR dla Zagranicy
The entire archive of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, one of the most prominent 20th-century Polish composers, has been added to the collection of the National Library in Warsaw.
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. Photo: Lech Kowalski and Włodzimierz Pniewski - scanned from Polish monthly "Studio" Nov/Dec 1993 page 8/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)
The manuscripts were purchased from the composer's family thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
The archive includes the autographed manuscripts of almost all of Górecki’s works, including the Third Symphony which skyrocketed him to international fame in the 1990s, sketches of compositions, letters, diaries and notes.
The correspondence includes a letter dated 1977 from Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who became Pope John Paul II a year later.
Wojtyła commissioned Górecki’s Beatus vir and the work premiered during Wojtyła's first visit to Poland as Pope in June 1979.
There are also letters from prominent composers and conductors such as Witold Lutosławski, Tadeusz Baird, Włodzimierz Kotoński, Luigi Nono and Yehudi Menuhin.
The archive also includes a piece for unaccompanied mixed choir entitled Susan which was hitherto unknown to researchers and publishers.
The director of the National Library, Tomasz Makowski, described the acquisition as a rare case of a complete archive documenting the creative process of a world-class composer being handed over to a Polish institution.
“We are extremely happy that the archive of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki remains in Poland, mindful of the fact that some of Polish 20th-century composers decided to deposit their archives outside Poland”, he said.
Górecki died in 2010, at the age of 77. (mk/vb)