Grażyna Bacewicz

Born in Łódź in 1909 and dying in Warsaw in 1969, Grażyna Bacewicz was an accomplished concert violinist and composer, before ditching the concert performances in order to concentrate on composing in the 1950s. She was a pupil of Boulanger in Paris during the 1930s.

She had four distinct composition periods, the first three of which are generally thought of as heavily neo-classical, though she also can be considered neo-Baroque in the third. She tried adopting new musical procedures in her fourth and last phase of composition, though she is generally not considered to have been innovatory. During this late phase, she experimented with more avant-garde techniques, but without abandoning her earlier neo-classical style. The New Groves is a bit sniffy about her in consequence saying things like "she struggled with her material" and "[her late works] demonstrate a discord, understandable enough in her situation, between a craftsmanship which had not transcended the standards of inter-war Paris and new techniques which could not be acquired mechanically or imitated". How to tell people she was too stupid to "do" avant garde without actually saying it, basically. I smell a hefty dose of sexism and misogyny in that particular New Groves article, to be frank.

Yet, Groves' final sentence cannot be ignored, either: "She was widely considered the most gifted woman composer of her time".

A complete catalogue of her works can be found at this website.

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(since January 9th 2021)

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Date of PlayTime of PlayGenreCompositionLengthPlay Count