Krzysztof Baculewski

Krzysztof Baculewski "Subjective Annals 60 Editions of the Festival"


The unfortunate 12th 'Warsaw Autumn' was combined with the 42nd World Music Days, organised under the auspices of the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music). At that time, the function of the Polish section of ISCM was ful lled by the Polish Composers' Union. The PTMW (Polish Society for Contemporary Music), though older than the PCU (formed in 1924), had suspended its activities after the Łagów conference (the official acceptance of socialist realism) in 1949, and was formally dissolved as late as in 1960 (!); it was reactivated and became independent of the PCU in 1979.

It was a year of political unrest in Europe: the March events in Poland, May protests in Paris, then in August - the intervention in Czechoslovakia by the Soviet and Warsaw Pact armies. The latter invasion caused global protests. Many performers and composers refuse to attend the 'Warsaw Autumn', and to visit a state which took part in the suppression of democracy in a neighbouring country. Only a few foreign artists decide to ignore the boycott, among them oboist Lothar Faber, conductor Mario di Bonaventura and mezzosoprano Josephine Nendick. Works of importance for contemporary music performed at that Festival include: Requiem by György Ligeti, Quattro monologhi for solo oboe by Witold Szalonek, Symphony for Tape by Bogusław Schaeffer, Iris by Per Nørgård, Five Songs to Words by Halina Poświatowska by Tadeusz Baird and Symphony No. 5 by Bolesław Szabelski.

The programme book printed for the first time the names of the members of the Repertoire Committee, then chaired by Włodzimierz Kotoński (until 1969).