Skip to contentSkip to site navigation

Karol Szymanowski Score, circa 1921

Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Szymanowski, Karol, 1882-1937
Title: Karol Szymanowski Score
Dates: ca. 1921
Quantity: 1 score [partial]
Abstract: Holograph manuscript of 3 of the 5 songs from Słopiewnie, op. 46.
Forms of Materials: Music score

Biographical Note

Polish composer Karol Szymanowski was born October 3, 1882 in the Ukraine and moved to Warsaw in 1901. With three other composers (Fitelberg, Rozycki, and Szeluta), he formed Young Poland in Music which was similar to the Young Poland movement in literature. Szymanowski's work was singled out for praise in a program of works by Young Poland composers in Warsaw and Berlin in 1906. His early work was strongly influenced by German composers such as Wagner and Richard Strauss, but beginning in 1914, his work began to be more influenced by modern French and Russian music and by his interest in Mediterranean and Arab cultures. This period during World War I proved to be his most prolific.

Szymanowski's family, members of the landed gentry, had moved to the Ukraine after the partition of Poland. The family was greatly impacted by the Russian Revolution in 1917 and during this time, Szymanowski found it difficult to compose. Instead, he read widely and concentrated on writing a novel, only fragments of which survive. He also began working on the opera King Roger, set in the 12th century Byzantine court in Sicily.

During the 1920's, Szymanowski's work reflected a growing sense of Polish nationalism. In 1921, his first new work in three years, was the song cycle Słopiewnie, which he orchestrated in 1923. Its words were written by Julian Tuwim in a Slavic-derived language which combined old root words and word-endings in new combinations. Experimental in nature, it could not be translated. Słopiewnie, op. 46b includes five songs: "Słowisień," "Zielone Słowa," "Świety Franciszek," "Kalinowe Dwory" and "Wanda." Szymanowski became director of the Warsaw Conservatory in 1927 and rector of the State Academy of Music in 1930. Neither were good experiences and he was dismissed from the Conservatory in 1929 and from the Academy in 1932. He died in March 29, 1937 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Return to the Table of Contents

Scope and Content Note

Holograph manuscript of 3 of the 5 songs from Słopiewnie, op. 46.

Return to the Table of Contents

Access and Use


This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

Return to the Table of Contents

Related Material

  • The rest of the manuscript might be located in the National Library of Poland.

Return to the Table of Contents

Subject Headings


  • Tuwim, Julian, 1894-1953.


  • Songs with chamber orchestra -- Scores and parts.

Document Types:

  • scores.


  • Słopiewnie: fuünf Gesänge, op. 46

Return to the Table of Contents

Encoding Information

Encoded by Jessica Kemm, October 2009.

Return to the Table of Contents

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Gift from Dewey Owens, Wappingers Falls, NY on May 8, 2006.

Accession Number M2006-010

Return to the Table of Contents

Container List

There is no container list currently available for this collection.