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(b. 1937, Łomża)

Biography List of Works IRCAM site


Zbigniew Bargielski was born on 21 January, 1937 in Łomża. He studied law at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin (1954-57). In 1958 he began studying composition at the State College of Music in Warsaw under Tadeusz Szeligowski. After his teacher's death he continued his studies under Bolesław Szabelski at the State College of Music in Katowice, where he gearned a degree in composition in 1964. He continueded his studies under Nadia Boulanger in Paris (1966-67) on a French government scholarship, and also at the Hochschule fur Music in Granz (1972). Since 1976 he has been living in Austria, where he is engaged in teaching.

Bargielski's compositions have been played at numerous festivals of contemporary music, such as the Warsaw Autumn, Muzicki Biennale Zagreb, Festival de Paris and Steirischer Herbst in Graz. He has received prizes at composers' competitions, among them the First Prize at the Young Polish Composers' Competition for his Parades for orchestra (Warsaw, 1965) and the Second Prize at the Arthur Malawski Composers' Competition (Cracow, 1976), as well as Special Mention at the UNESCO International Composers' Rostrum (Paris, 1981) for the Alpine String Quartet.

In his compositions Bargielski applies his own method of the organization of sound material. It is based on balancing the proportions of quantity, dynamics and instrumentation that occur between center sounds (specially isolated) or constant harmonic centers (sets of sounds) and the remaining sounds of the twelve-tone scale (neutral or "neutralizing" sounds). The composer refers to the system based on this method as "the theory of center structures." For the first time he put this theory into practice in his Rose Garden (1971); subsequently he used it in most of his works (such as Concerto for Percussion, Violin Concerto and String Quartets Nos.1 and 2, among others).


Chamber Music

Neosonatina for violin and piano - 1956

"Alpine" String Quartet - 1976

Butterfly Cage, wind quintet - 1978

String Quartet "Spring" - 1980

Orchestral Works

Parades 1970 for symphony orchestra - 1970

Concerto for percussion and orchestra - 1975

Concerto for violin and orchestra - 1975

Polish Rhapsody for wind orchestra and percussion - 1976

"...and they will both flame up, and no one will suppress it," for string orchestra - 1978

Reconstruction of a picture for orchestra - 1980

Nocturne in blue for violin and string orchestra - 1981

Music for Solo Instruments

7 Studies for piano - 1957

5 Sonnets for violin (or viola) solo - 1962

Impromptu for percussion solo - 1975

Quasi Una Fantasia for bassoon solo - 1979

The Glance of the Cyclops for tuba solo - 1980

Vocal-Instrumental Works

Im Kreis for soprano, alto, baritone, bass and chamber ensemble, to the text by Alicja Patey-Grabowska - 1969

Rose Garden for baritone and bass clarinet, to the text by Thomas S. Eliot - 1971

Ein Zimmer for clarinet, trombone, cello, piano and reciter (tape), to the text by Franz Kafka - 1972

4 Love Songs for mezzo-soprano and piano, to words of Alicja Patey-Grabowska - 1972

There's yet night, there's yet sound for mezzo-soprano, 4 percussionists and orchestra; abstract text - 1980

Works for Instrumental Ensembles

Servert for 1-3 string instruments (violin or viola or violoncello), percussion and piano - 1966

Still Life With a Rose, for brass instruments and percussion - 1977

Glasvogel for 4 recorders and harpsichord - 1977

Valley of Dry Bones for instrumental ensemble and 6 percussionists - 1977

Soiree D'antan for guitar and harpsichord/celesta (1 performer) - 1980

Traumvogel for accordion and percusssion - 1980

Wooden Wings for 6 percussionists - 1980

Stage Works

The Little Prince chamber opera - 1966

Danton or some Scenes from the History of the Great French Revolution - 1968-1969

Ghosts do not Lie tragicomic opera - 1972

Alice in Wonderland opera for the young - 1971-2

The Little Haunted Manor comic opera - 1979-80

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Copyright 2001 by the Polish Music Center
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Based on material from Bargielski's PWM brochure (2000).
Edited in July 2000 by Ewa Grzegrzułka. Updated on 26 June 2001.