Early post-war Polish folk music recordings (1945-1950)
Zniszczenia i straty poniesione w czasie drugiej wojny światowej, które dotknęły dorobek polskiej nauki, kultury i sztuki, odcisnęły także swe piętno na przedwojennych zbiorach fonograficznych, w tym również na kolekcjach nagrań muzyki tradycyjnej zgromadzonych w powstałych w okresie międzywojennym instytucjach. Po wojnie, rozpoczęte dzieło prof. Łucjana Kamieńskiego – inicjatora systematycznej dokumentacji fonograficznej folkloru muzycznego na ziemiach polskich i założyciela Regionalnego Archiwum Fonograficznego na Uniwersytecie w Poznaniu – kontynuowali Jadwiga i Marian Sobiescy. Warunki odtwarzania zbioru nie były wówczas pomyślne: badacze po wojnie nie dysponowali nawet urządzeniami do nagrywania. Nie czekając na stabilizację warunków, które by umożliwiły wyposażenie archiwum w odpowiedni sprzęt, Marian Sobieski wraz z Tadeuszem Wrotkowskim sami zmontowali aparaturę, umożliwiającą dokonywanie nagrań dźwiękowych. Pierwsze rejestracje powstały już w sierpniu 1945 r. W pierwszych latach działalności Sobieskich na polu dokumentacji fonograficznej polskiego folkloru muzycznego dokumentacją zostały objęte: Ziemia Lubuska, Wielkopolska, Kaszuby. Brak odpowiedniego środka transportu uniemożliwiał poszerzenie zakresu nagrań o inne, bardziej oddalone regiony Polski. Sobiescy uzyskali samochód dopiero w 1949 r. co pozwoliło na przeprowadzenie nagrań m.in. w Opoczyńskiem, a w 1950 także w Lubelskiem i w Rzeszowskiem. W latach 1945-1950 powstał zbiór 420 płyt stanowiący kolekcję pierwszych, powojennych nagrań polskiej muzyki tradycyjnej.
Do realizacji nagrań został użyty zapis mechaniczny na tzw. szybkoobrotowych miękkich płytach decelitowych oraz na płytach lakierowych Presto. Płyty tego typu nagrywane i odtwarzane z prędkością 78 obr/min pozwalały na zapisanie na jednej stronie krążka tylko kilku minut nagrania. Już wówczas pojawił się techniczny problem dotyczący możliwości wielokrotnego (zwłaszcza dla celów transkrypcyjnych) odtwarzania nagrań z płyt. Brak odpowiedniej aparatury do odgrywania, która by nie niszczyła nagrań stwarzał konieczność szybkiego ich skopiowania na nośniki trwalsze. Dokonano tego w drugiej poł. lat 50. XX w. przegrywając materiał na szpulowe taśmy magnetyczne. Troska o zachowanie i zabezpieczenie tej unikatowej kolekcji muzycznej jest priorytetem także w działaniach współczesnych. Europejski projekt DISMARC (Discovering Music ARChive), współrealizowany przez IS PAN pozwolił na ujęcie informacji o nagraniach archiwalnych w postaci dostępnej w sieci internetowej bazy danych oraz stworzył okazję do przeprowadzenia digitalizacji historycznych zapisów dźwiękowych.
Pomimo słabej niejednokrotnie jakości technicznej omawiane nagrania stanowią bezcenny dokument i źródło wiedzy o autentycznej kulturze muzycznej wsi sprzed okresu stylizacji, przemian a nawet zaniku tradycji. Repertuar utrwalony w nagraniach przekazali wykonawcy, spośród których większość urodziła się w drugiej połowie XIX w. Na płycie CD prezentujemy wybór nagrań z lat 1945-1950 zrealizowanych na Wielkopolsce, w Opoczyńskiem, w Rzeszowskiem i w Lubelskiem.
Pierwszy nakład płyty został wyczerpany. Obecnie istnieje możliwość nabycia płyty wyłącznie w formie dodatku do kwartalnika „Muzyka” (nr 1/2009). Treść bookletu została opublikowana w formie artykułu.
Wydawca: Instytut Sztuki PAN
PL ISSN 0027-5344 Indeks 330965
Cena: 25 zł
This CD project is the fourth of four audio compilations created in the framework of DISMARC (Discovering Music Archives), co-funded by the European Commission. The project consists of 99 songs, several photos and a detailed booklet.
Descripition of regional musical traditions presented on the CD:
Wielkopolska (Great Poland) is a region situated in the western part of Poland, in the middle part of the Warta river-basin, with Poznan and Gniezno as historic cities being important centres of the early Polish statehood. The territory of Wielkopolska which was inhabited by wealthy people aware of its regional and cultural distinctiveness was administered by the Prussians between 1793-1919.
Wielkopolska is an exceptional region in terms of folk music traditions. Particular attention has always been paid to bagpipes. This instrument, which became the symbol of musical tradition of Wielkopolska, exists in different types and performs various functions (e.g. dudy, koziol, sierszenki). Recordings made in Wielkopolska in the 1930s were the core of the audio collection of the Western Phonogram Archive (ZAF). The first recordings of performers presented on this CD, such as: Wawrzyniak brothers band, Tomasz Brudlo, Jan Gniotowski, Tomasz Sliwa, Jan Pajchrowski and Marianna Kulawiak were registered in the pre-war period by the RAF. After the war, Jadwiga and Marian Sobieski started the reconstruction of folk music documentation by re-recording those artists, among others.
The bagpipe which already had been known in Europe in Middle Ages was documented in Poland in the 14th century. This musical instrument has survived in musical practice of Wielkopolska until present. The bagpipe existed in Wielkopolska in several types which differed in construction, timbre and style of decoration. The simplest form of bagpipe was siesienki (or sierszenki) which used to be played by shepherds. Later it became an exercise instrument for young boys. Jan Pajchrowski plays siesienki on the recording made in 1950 . The koziol is another local type of bagpipe [1, 3, 5, 9, 13, 16, 19]. This instrument has a very characteristic timbre, lower in pitch than that of the dudy [6, 12]. Koziol was popular in the surroundings of Zbaszyn, Chrosnica and Wolsztyn. The wide interest in bagpipe among young people as well as existence of schools of traditional playing are a good example of cultivation of old regional musical traditions. Tomasz Sliwa was a great and well-known koziol player [1, 3, 16, 18]. He worked as an instructor of playing koziol, violin and clarinet in the State Music School in Zbaszyn.
The typical ensemble set of Wielkopolska was dudy and violin. In the past dudy was accompanied by mazanki - a small three-string fiddle with shrill timbre which was hollowed out of one piece of wood . Later mazanki was replaced by factory-made violins with tied up strings (podwiazane or przewiazane violin) . Although musicians used to play for dancing, they also participated in wedding rituals. The black wedding koziol (koziol slubny) was used solo or with mazanki only during the wedding ceremony . The oldest generation of bagpipe players of Wielkopolska was recorded on the Deceliths. Most of them were born in the 19th century. They represented the original style of playing which was based on variation-like playing of musical theme. The koziol players presented on this CD (Jan Gniotowski, Tomasz Brudlo) played the E instruments (the typical key for bagpipes before the Eb clarinet was introduced to local folk bands).
A great part of the audio collection of Wielkopolska is made of vocal music sung in the local dialect. The oldest vocal recordings represent typical singing in fast tempo with rich embellishments. The modal scales in melodies testify to the ancient origins of the repertoire. The folk song style of Wielkopolska was influenced by bagpipe music in terms of music scales and performance style. Wielkopolska singers are represented by Marianna Kulawiak  and Franciszka Ciesiólkowa [4, 7, 8, 14, 15, 17]. Kulawiak was an expert in wedding vocal repertoire and was often invited to local weddings as a wedding-hostess. Tempo rubato is a key feature of her singing style. Franciszka Ciesiólkowa was considered the best folk singer of Wielkopolska. The singing style of Ciesiólkowa which had been influenced by instrumental music of Wielkopolska is characterised by rich ornamentation, tempo rubato, fast tempos, variable accentuation and melismatic undulating melodic lines. Her manner of singing with a strong, slightly fluttering alto, results from her familiarity with bagpipe music and her reflection of its style.
The popular folk dances in Wielkopolska were wiwat [3, 4, 5, 9, 11], chodzony (a walking dance) and okragly (a round dance) , równy (an even dance), szocz  as well as polka  and oberek  - the last two extremely popular in majority of regions in Poland.
The region of Opoczynskie (the name of the region comes from the name of the Opoczno town) is situated in the southern boundaries of Central Poland. The influence of neighbouring regions is noticeable in folk music of Opoczynskie. Duple-meter typical of Malopolska (Little Poland) appears in local songs and instrumental music. However, triple-time melodies (especially couplets) which predominate in Mazowsze region occur here as well. The couplets of Opoczynskie are short, vivid, expressive, often improvised. This vocal form can be found in several melodic types which supply countless numbers of lyrics [23, 24, 27, 28, 30, 31, 35, 36]. One text can be sung with different melodies, one melody can serve different texts. This variability makes couplets different from the ritual (mostly wedding) songs, the lyrics of which are strictly linked with the canonical melodic types [25, 32].
The singing style of Opoczynskie is characterised by a full, strong and intensive vocal delivery. The extension of musical phrases with non-semantic words is typical for this region [28, 30]. One important and distinct feature of folk singing of Opoczynskie is the exclamations which are performed especially by women in the end of musical phrases [27, 30]. The recordings of singers of Opoczynskie (e.g. Marianna Felinska, Franciszka Pluta, Józef Binczyk) which were made between 1945-1950 are characterised by the richness of the tempo rubato manner and overlapping of duple-time and triple-time metres.
The traditional band of Opoczynskie consisted mainly of violin and small one-sided drum with jingling discs. The three-string bass (basy) and big drum with plate (baraban) were also a part of the instrumentation of folk ensembles of the region.
Particular attention should be paid to the unique live recording of authentic dance events recorded in Ogonowice - the only one in the whole Decelith collection. The folk ensemble performed popular folk dances in the Opoczynskie region . A folk game-dance Miotlarz  and Owczarek  are examples of instrumental music which was played in the oberek tempo.
Rzeszowskie (the name of the region comes from the name of the Rzeszów city) is situated in south-eastern part of Poland. This ethnographic region borders Lubelskie region in the north and on its south it reaches the northern edges of Beskid Niski mountains. The distinct musical folklore of Rzeszowskie is a result of cultural influences of neighbouring regions. E.g. the krakowiak  which is typical syncopated dance of Krakowskie region has been popular in Rzeszowskie as well. The lively tradition of ritual singing was a common feature with Lubelskie. Archaic wedding [49, 50, 52, 54, 61, 68] and harvest [42, 43] songs of Rzeszowskie were sung in a plaintive manner with expressive narration, rich embellishments, free rhythm and slow tempo. Narrow range melodies (i.e. based on simple scales) testify to the ancient origins of this repertoire. The lyrics of songs contain many archaic lexical forms. Long historical epic songs (present also in other regions of Poland) performed by wandering blind musicians belong to a vocal repertoire of old provenance .
The old set of folk music ensemble of Rzeszowskie consisted of violin and basy. Hand-made basy was traditionally used in a band to play rhythm, rather than supporting harmony. The basy player would not stop the strings while playing. Harmonic thinking did not develop until the end of WWI. Later the second violin was added to the traditional bands of Rzeszowskie. Two violins and three-string basy comprised a typical ensemble of Rzeszowskie in the 1950s [59, 60, 64, 67].
The instrumental folk music of Rzeszowskie was played mainly for dancing. Two-beat dances predominate in the region. Different types of polka (tramelka, wsciekla=mad, drobna=fine, galopka=running, szalona=crazy) are characteristic of Rzeszowskie [39, 45, 65, 69]. One of the typical kinds of polka was haciok dance . Oberek [46, 62, 67], równy , okólka , sztajerek, walczyk are examples of triple-time dances popular in Rzeszowskie. Marches represent the type of obligatory repertoire played at specific moments of the wedding [53, 56]. The Jewish tune (Zyd) is an example of intermingling of the repertoire and style of ethnic minorities into Polish native culture . Fiddlers of Rzeszowskie also played ritual melodies during weddings.
Lubelskie (the name of the region comes from the name of the Lublin city) is situated in the south-eastern part of Poland. The region borders Rzeszowskie on the south, and Mazowsze and Podlasie on the north. Vocal and instrumental music of this region is influenced by the culture of Eastern Slavs, while inner differentiation distinguishes various subregions. The centre of Lubelskie is an area between the towns of Pulawy, Bilgoraj and Tomaszów Lubelski.
The phenomenon of mixing the repertoire is characteristic for Lubelskie, where duple- and triple-time metres intermingle. Krakowiak, oberek and waltz tunes are played at dance events. Many examples of ritual repertoire were alive in the eastern part of Lubelskie in the 1950s. Old wedding songs of free rhythmic structure, long musical phrase and narrow-range melody were sung in maudlin and lament style [79, 81, 85, 92, 93]. The most archaic form represents the Lado refrain . The ritual wedding vocal repertoire used to be sung collectively. Parts of the presented recordings of such repertoire were performed by young generation of singers, evidence of the vitality of those archaic songs. The vocal repertoire of Lubelskie consists also of so-called spiewanki and przyspiewki (couplets) [74, 77, 91, 95]. Jan Miksza represents a local style of singing couplets . Carols, szczodrak  songs represent the oldest layer of local musical folklore which was still vivid in 1950s. Similarly the harvest songs with a narrow-range melody structure were also of ancient origin .
The traditional wedding as well as other family ceremonies could have been accompanied by fiddler solo or by an ensemble of fiddle and one-sided drum with jingling discs. The fiddlers of Lubelskie were typical wedding musicians (e.g. Marcin Gilas, Piotr Kiszczak, Józef Kozlowski, Józef Kosz, Józef Radej, Hipolit Tracz, Jacenty Borsuk). They represent the old style of village music characterised by variability in playing the melody, rich ornamentation, tempo rubato, repeating melodies in different registers, changing accentuation and rhythm [71, 72, 78, 80, 82, 84, 86-90, 94-96, 99]. The violin players solo [80, 86] or with the band  often took part in the ritual parts of the wedding. The drum virtuoso was Adam Korczak who used imitational techniques (e.g. sound of basy) when playing the one-sided drum . The second violin which was incorporated in traditional band of Lubelskie played usually up-beats [71, 73, 75, 83, 84, 86, 90].
The most popular dance in Lubelskie was oberek [73, 75, 84, 88, 90, 94-96, 99]. Majdaniak  was one of regional types of this folk dance, played slower then oberek. Prosty (a straight dance)  was another dance tune of this kind popular in the area of Bilgoraj. Podrózniak  was the type of oberek played on cart during the way to or from the wedding. Polka [72, 89] was also a very popular dance in Lubelskie. The interesting example of dance with singing was Mach .