USC Monogram Polish Music Center Books


Compiled by Wanda Wilk


Even though there are hundreds of records and compact discs with music by more than seventy Polish composers, very few of them, except for Chopin, have been easily available in the average record shop. In the past, alphabetical listings of recordings by composer included--in addition to the ubiqitous Chopin--only the names of Paderewski or Wieniawski. Recent years, though, have brought a change: the names of many composers, such as Bacewicz, Górecki, Lutosławski, Moniuszko, Penderecki, Panufnik, or Szymanowski have been added to the distributors' listings.

This change has resulted, in part, from the increase of the number of companies which produce and distribute recordings of Polish music. Today in Poland the oldest recording company is POLSKIE NAGRANIA (the name literally means Polish Recordings). For years it produced LPs and tapes under the MUZA, WIFON and TONPRESS labels; these recordings are available in the US through Koch International. The only other independent LP record producers in the past were VERITON (run by Jan Wecowski and long discontinued) and POLJAZZ (a project of the Polish Jazz Society).

The 1989 transformation in the Polish political system created conditions for the development of small, independent recording companies, such as DUX , which has built a sizeable catalog of classical recordings, especially of Polish music. Dux has co-produced recordings in cooperation with the Pro Musica Camerata Foundation (associated with the Warsaw Chamber Opera). The PMC series includes interesting recordings of early Polish music as well as carefully prepared editions of historic operas. Since the monopoly of Polskie Nagrania has been broken, the POLISH RADIO - a producer of documentary and archival recordings for many years - can now also issue these recordings on its own label, S-1. POLISH RADIO.

A large selection of historical recordings of Polish music is being reissued by OLYMPIA (distributed by Allegro) and MARCO POLO (distributed by Naxos). Other non-Polish producers of Polish music recordings (almost 40 labels) are included in the List of Labels.

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Copyright 1996-2001 by the Polish Music Center
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This page created in 1996 by M.A. Harley & M. Pilatowicz. Updated on 2 July 2001.