Krzysztof Baculewski

Krzysztof Baculewski "Subjective Annals 60 Editions of the Festival"


The familiar format and content organisation of 'Warsaw Autumn' programme books, with an index of past events at the end, dates from that year. In 1961-67 at the front of that publication we find the names of the members of the so-called Organising Committee -a somewhat curious body which was originally involved in organising the Festival, but over the years became more of an honorary committee, which not infrequently fulfilled a rather decorative and ceremonial function in different fora, especially those in a position to grant imprimatur, and even more importantly, allocate funds, Sometimes the Committee also played the role of a mediator between different parties.

Guests at the 5th 'Warsaw Autumn' included: Benjamin Britten, tenor Peter Pears, Italian flutist Severino Gazzeloni, and the West German piano duet Aloys & Alfons Kontarsky. The famous Cathy Berberian and the then well-known ensemble of avant-garde music Die Reihe under Friedrich Cerha made their appearance for the first time, as also did the pianist Barbara Hesse-Bukowska. The alto Daniela Ogłaza, who sang at the opening concert, is known today almost exclusively from the LP 'Golden Hits of Socialism', where she sings an actual hit: Alfred Gradstein's Na lewo most, na prawo most (A Bridge to the Left, a Bridge to the Right). The performance by Beijing Opera was quite a sensation. The composers Augustyn Bloch and Andrzej Koszewski made their debuts that year. The programme included a number of significant points: Luigi Nono's Il Canto sospeso, Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and Stanisław Wiechowicz's Lettre à Marc Chagall.