Polish Music Journal
by James Wierzbicki
The Music of Feliks Łabuński:
List of Works and First Performances
by James Wierzbicki
Music for Symphony Orchestra
Danse fantastique, 1926;
Triptych champétre, 1931; Symphony in G Minor, 1937;
Note: Ewen's American Composers: A Biographical Dictionary is the only source that makes specific reference to this work; in addition, the brief entry on Łabuński in the Oxford Dictionary of Music (1994) also states that the composer's output includes not one but two symphonies. However, during his 1976 interviews with the author, Feliks Łabuński never mentioned a Symphony in G Minor, and it should be noted that Łabuński's brother, Wiktor, completed a Symphony in G Minor in 1936. The presence of this Symphony in the Feliks Łabuński's output remains doubtful.
God's Man (ballet), 1937; In memoriam, 1941;
Note: The article on Łabuński in the Słownik muzyków polskich incorrectly gives 1940 as the date of composition of In memoriam. The piece is dedicated to the memory of Paderewski, who died in June of 1941.
Suite for String Orchestra, 1941;
Note: Schaeffer's articles on Łabuński in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The New Grove Dictionary of American Music give 1938 as the date for the Suite. Significantly, the 1940 edition of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians also gives 1938 as the date. A version of the Suite may have been written in 1938, but the final version was completed in 1941 and premiered in San Francisco the following year.
Variations for Orchestra, 1949;
Note: Łabuński, in his 1976 interviews with the author, stated that the Variations were written in 1949. Baker's, Ewen's, the two New Grove dictionaries and the Słownik muzyków polskich, however, all give 1947 as the date. The article in the
Encyklopedia Muzyczna PWM dates the piece to 1951, which is the year in which it was premiered in Cincinnati.
Note: The New Grove articles incorrectly give 1955 as the date of composition of this work.
Symphony in B Major, 1954;
Note: The New Grove articles and Ewen incorrectly state that the piece is in D major.
Xavieriana (two pianos and orchestra), 1956;
Nocturne, 1957; Overture to Images of Youth, 1958; Symphonic Dialogues, 1960;
Note: The New Grove articles give the date as 1961. The work was completed in 1960; the autograph score bearing that date is in the Archiwum Kompozytorów Polskich XX Wieku at the University of Warsaw, Poland. It was premiered in Cincinnati on 9 February 1961.
Canto di Aspirazione, 1963; Polish Renaissance Suite, 1967; Music for Piano and Orchestra, 1968; Salut à Paris (ballet suite), 1968; Primavera, 1973. Note: The autograph score, dated 1973, is in the Archiwum Kompozytorów Polskich XX Wieku at the Library of the University of Warsaw. In the 1976 interviews, however, Łabuński stated that Primavera was completed in the spring of 1974.
Chamber and Instrumental Music
Concert champétre (eight instruments), 1928; Sonata Fantasia (piano), n.d.; Mazurka and Prelude for piano, 1930; String Quartet No. 1, 1934;
Note: The Encyklopedia Muzyczna PWM incorrectly gives 1935 as the date of composition. The work was premiered on Polish Radio in May of 1934.
Divertimento (flute and piano), 1936; Threnody (piano), 1941; Piano Sonata No. 1, 1949; Four Miniatures (piano), 1949; Three Bagatelles (brass quartet), 1955; Divertimento (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon), 1956; Piano Sonata No. 2, 1957; Diptych (oboe and piano), 1958; String Quartet No. 2, 1962; Five Polish Carols (organ), 1966; Salut ŕ Nadia (brass ensemble), 1967; Intrada festiva (brass and percussion), 1968.
Vocal-Instrumental and Choral Music
Olympic Hymn (chorus and orchestra), 1932; Polish Cantata (vocal quartet, chorus, and orchestra), 1932; Two Songs ("Lato," "Kozice"), 1934; Ptaki ("The Birds"), (soprano and orchestra), 1934; Song Without Words (soprano and string orchestra), 1946; There Is No Death (soprano, chorus, and orchestra), 1950; Images of Youth, (mezzo-soprano, baritone, children's chorus, and orchestra), 1956; Ave Maria (a cappella chorus), 1957; Mass (treble voices and organ), 1958; Two Madrigals (a cappella chorus), 1960.
Selected First Performances
Triptych Champétre; 30 January 1931; Warsaw. Ptaki (The Birds); 4 March 1935; Reims, France. Divertimento for Flute and Piano; 25 April 1936; Paris. Polish Cantata; 6 June 1936; Polish Radio, Warsaw. Suite for String Orchestra; 2 August 1942; San Francisco, California. There Is No Death; 30 April 1950; Cincinnati Ohio. Variations for Orchestra; 6 January 1951; Cincinnati, Ohio. Xaveriana; 20 November 1956; Cincinnati, Ohio. Elegy; 21 February 1957; Dayton, Ohio. Nocturne; 9 April 1959; Cincinnati, Ohio. Mass; 29 April 1959; Ashland, Kentucky. Symphonic Dialogues; 9 February 1961; Cincinnati, Ohio. Symphony in B Major; 16 April 1962; Polish Radio, Warsaw. String Quartet No. 2; 8 May 1962; Cincinnati, Ohio. Canto di Aspirazione; 26 March 1964; Cincinnati, Ohio. Polish Renaissance Suite; 6 January 1967; Cincinnati, Ohio. Intrada Festiva; 15 May 1968; Cincinnati, Ohio. Salut à Paris; 18 January 1970; Lima, Ohio. Music for Piano and Orchestra; 11 November 1972; Lima, Ohio. Primavera; 19 April 1974; Cincinnati, Ohio.
Writings By/About Łabuński
Text of the Article
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Copyright 2001 by the Polish Music Journal.
Editor: Maja Trochimczyk. Assistant Editor: Linda Schubert.
Publisher: Polish Music Center, 2001.
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