updated 23 May 2022
© DR

Kazimierz Serocki

Compositeur polonais né le 3 mars 1922 à Toruń et décédé le 9 janvier 1981 à Varsovie.

Kazimierz Serocki began to study piano at the age of four with Maria Drzewiecka in his hometown of Toruń, Poland. Passing through the Conservatory of the Pomeranian Music Society in Toruń, he completed his studies in 1946 at the State Higher School of Music in Łódź in the piano classes of Stanisław Szpinalski and the composition class of Kazimierz Sikorski. In 1947, through the advocacy of Sikorski and the Polish Minister of Culture and Arts, he received a scholarship to study for a year in France, which he did with Nadia Boulanger for composition and Lazare Lévy for piano. Not very interested in the neoclassical conception of composition, Serocki familiarized himself with dodecaphony and the work of Béla Bartók.

Upon his return to Poland, he joined the Polish Composers’ Union. His participation in a 1949 conference of composers and musicologists in Łagów yielded a creative alliance with Jan Krenz and Tadeusz Baird, whose pieces he would perform and with whom he founded Group 49.

The 1950s affirmed Serocki’s status within musical circles. He began to work as a film composer and wrote the music for nineteen films, including animated films and documentaries. He collaborated with the director Aleksander Ford, for whom he composed the music for five films, including Youth of Chopin (1952).

Serocki deepened his involvement in the Polish Composers’ Union, holding various positions within it and participating in the creation of the Festival of Polish Music held in 1951 and 1955. Together with Baird, he initiated the creation of the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1956. Although he left the Festival in 1974, his career remained closely linked to it: by 1981, there had been twenty-four performances of his works at various editions of the Festival. In 1974, he was appointed by the Minister of Culture and Arts as a member of the Commission for the Evaluation of Feature Films at the Central Board of Cinematography, and from 1975 to 1978, as a member of the State Prize Committee.

On three occasions, from 1957 to 1959, Serocki was part of the Polish delegation to the Darmstadt Summer School, where his Musica concertante (1958) and Symphonic Frescoes (1964) would be premiered. Promoted by German musical institutions (the WDR and SWR radio stations commissioned five pieces from him), Serocki’s works appeared in the 1959 catalog of Moeck Verlag. From his ties with this publishing house, which was also a wind instrument manufacturer, Serocki brought home various recorder models. These became the source of compositions such as Impromptu fantasia (1973), Concerto alla cadenza (1974), and Arrangements (1976).

Serocki’s output is focused primarily on orchestral music and pieces for instruments and voice, including song cycles based on contemporary Polish texts by Julian Przyboś, Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński, and Tadeusz Różewicz. As the press of the time noted, Serocki spoke very little about his music, neither giving interviews nor paying attention to what was being written about his work. In Essen in 1965, in the conclusion of one of his few lectures, he stated his hope: “If a composer is not convincing through his music, no words he will utter will help. I have uttered many words here. Since words are not enough, before the end of my life I would like to compose a work that would be totally convincing as music.”1

Prizes and awards

  • Prix Italia for Pianophonie, 1979
  • Order of the Banner of Labor Second Class for the whole of his creative achievements, 1974
  • State Prize, 1972
  • Prize of the Association of Polish Composers, 1964
  • First Prize of the Polish Minister of Culture and Art, 1963
  • Prize from the International Rostrum of Composers of UNESCO for Sinfonietta, 1959
  • First Prize in the first Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition for Composers for Sinfonietta, 1956
  • State Prize, 1952

1. Quoted in “The Composer’s Personality,” https://www.serocki.polmic.pl/en/biography/the-composer-s-personality (accessed 18 January 2023).

Sources

Site dédié au compositeur (www.serocki.polmic.pl), PWM Edition, Ricordi

  • Solo (excluding voice)
  • Chamber music
    • Suita for four trombones (1953), 10 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Dance for clarinet and piano (1954)
    • Sonatina for trombone and piano (1954)
    • Taniec transcription of the third mouvement of the Sonatina for trombone (1954), for clarinet and piano (1954), 2 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Improvisations for recorder quartet (1959)
    • Continuum for percussion sextet (1965-1966), 12 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Swinging Music for clarinet, trombone, cello (or double bass) and piano (1970), 4 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Fantasmagoria for piano and percussion (1970-1971), between 11 mn and 14 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Arrangements for 1 to 4 recorders (1975-1976), between 6 mn and 10 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Krasnoludki miniatures for children for 3 guitars (1978), 7 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
  • Instrumental ensemble music
    • Symphonic Scherzo for orchestra (1947)
    • Triptych for chamber orchestra (1948)
    • Four Folk Dances for small orchestra (1949)
    • Three Etudes for orchestra (1950)
    • I Symfonia for orchestra (1952), 25 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Sinfonietta per due orchestre d'archi (1956), 14 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Musica concertante for chamber orchestra (1957-1958), 15 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Epizody for strings and three groups of percussion (1958-1959), 11 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Segmenti for orchestra (1960-1961), 7 mn, Ricordi
    • Freski symfoniczne for orchestra (1963-1964), 11 mn 40 s about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Dramatic story for orchestra (1968-1970), 16 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Impromptu fantasque for six recorders, three or six mandolins, three or six guitars, two percussions (15 instruments) and piano (1973), between 9 mn and 11 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Ad libitum five pieces for orchestra (1973-1977), between 16 mn and 18 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
  • Concertant music
    • Concertino for piano and orchestra (1946)
    • Koncert romantyczny for piano and orchestra (1950), 24 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Koncert na puzon i orkiestrę (1952-1953), 20 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Forte e piano music for two pianos and orchestra (1967), 12 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Fantasia elegiaca for organ and orchestra (1971-1972), 14 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Concerto alla cadenza for recorder and orchestra (1974), 16 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
    • Sonatina for trombone and orchestra (1974), 7 mn, Ricordi
    • elec Pianophonie for piano, electronic sound transformation and orchestra (1976-1978), 32 mn about , PWM (Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne)
  • Vocal music and instrument(s)
  • A cappella vocal music

Catalog sources and details

Musique de film
  • The Deluge (film de Jerzy Hoffman, 1974)
  • A Magnificent March (film d’animation de Witold Giersz, 1970)
  • A Horse (film d’animation de Witold Giersz, 1968)
  • Hotline (film de Wanda Jakubowska, 1965)
  • The End of Our World (film de Wanda Jakubowska, 1964)
  • The First Day of Freedom (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1964)
  • The White Trail (film de Jarosław Brzozowski et Andrzej Wróbel, 1963)
  • The Other Shore (film de Zbigniew Kuźmiński, 1962)
  • Against the Gods (film de Hubert Drapella, 1961)
  • From the Prehistory of Poland (documentaire de Edward Czurko, 1960)
  • The Teutonic Knights (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1960)
  • A Short Documentary from the Pole (documentaire de Jarosław Brzozowski, 1959)
  • Eighth Day of the Week (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1958)
  • Warsaw Mermaid (film de Tadeusz Makarczyński, 1956)
  • The Five from Barska Street (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1953)
  • Chopin’s Youth (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1952)
  • Devil’s Ravine (film de Tadeusz Kański, 1949)
  • Szlembark (documentaire de Tadeusz Makarczyński, 1948)
  • The Mine (documentaire de Natalia Brzozowska, 1947)

Catalog source(s)

Musique de film
  • The Deluge (film de Jerzy Hoffman, 1974)
  • A Magnificent March (film d’animation de Witold Giersz, 1970)
  • A Horse (film d’animation de Witold Giersz, 1968)
  • Hotline (film de Wanda Jakubowska, 1965)
  • The End of Our World (film de Wanda Jakubowska, 1964)
  • The First Day of Freedom (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1964)
  • The White Trail (film de Jarosław Brzozowski et Andrzej Wróbel, 1963)
  • The Other Shore (film de Zbigniew Kuźmiński, 1962)
  • Against the Gods (film de Hubert Drapella, 1961)
  • From the Prehistory of Poland (documentaire de Edward Czurko, 1960)
  • The Teutonic Knights (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1960)
  • A Short Documentary from the Pole (documentaire de Jarosław Brzozowski, 1959)
  • Eighth Day of the Week (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1958)
  • Warsaw Mermaid (film de Tadeusz Makarczyński, 1956)
  • The Five from Barska Street (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1953)
  • Chopin’s Youth (film d’Aleksander Ford, 1952)
  • Devil’s Ravine (film de Tadeusz Kański, 1949)
  • Szlembark (documentaire de Tadeusz Makarczyński, 1948)
  • The Mine (documentaire de Natalia Brzozowska, 1947)

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en mai 2022).

Bibliographie

  • Iwona LINDSTEDT, « The Musical Language of Kazimierz Serocki in the Light of the Composer’s Self-Reflection », Musicology Today, Vol 12, Issue 1, 2015, p. 63-73.
  • Ruth SEEHABER, « Die ›polnische Schule‹. Überlegungen zu einem polnischen Stil in der Neuen Musik am Beispiel des Komponisten Kazimierz Serocki », XIII. Internationaler Kongress der Gesellschaft für Musikforschung. Weimar, 2004.

Une bibliographie approfondie en polonais est accessible sur le site dédié au compositeur.

Discographie sélective

  • Kazimierz SEROCKI, Suite of preludes, dans « Works For Solo Piano », comprenant aussi des œuvres de Toru Takemitsu, Karol Szymanowski et Frédéric Chopin, 1 CD Steinway & Sons, 2019, STNS 30118.
  • Kazimierz SEROCKI, Epizody ; Segmenti ; Continuum ; Fantasmagoria ; Fantasia elegica ; Arrangements, dans « Awangarda », 1 CD Polskie Nagrania Muza, 2013, PNCD 1441.
  • Kazimierz SEROCKI, Sonatina, dans « On The Edge. Works For Trombone », comprenant aussi des œuvres de Ernst Krenek, Henri Dutilleux, Henry Cowell, Jean Françaix et Paul Hindemith, 1 CD CDKlassisk, 2010, CDK 1046.
  • Kazimierz SEROCKI, Romantic concerto, dans « Piano Concertos », comprenant aussi des œuvres de Tadeusz Baird et Jan Krenz, 1 CD DUX Recording Producers, 2008, DUX 0651.
  • Kazimierz SEROCKI, « Pianophonie », 1 vinyle Polskie Nagrania Muza, 1980, SX 1850.
  • Kazimierz SEROCKI, « Musica Concertante / Segmenti Für Kammerorchester / Episoden - Für Streicher Und 9 Schlagzeuggruppen / Symphonische Fresken », Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jan Krenz : direction, 1 vinyle WERGO, 1966, WER 60 018.