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Biografie

  • Geburtstag

    5. Mai 1819

  • Gestorben

    4. Juni 1872 (mit 53 Jahren)

Stanisław Moniuszko (May 5, 1819, Ubiel, Minsk Governorate – June 4, 1872, Warsaw, Congress Poland) was a Polish composer, conductor and teacher. He wrote many popular art songs and operas, and his music is filled with patriotic folk themes of the peoples of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (predominantly the Poles, Lithuanians and Belarusians).

He is generally referred to as "the father of Polish national opera".

According to Jim Samson in Moniuszko's Grove Music entry, "Like Glinka in Russia, Erkel in Hungary, and Smetana in the Czech lands, Moniuszko has become associated above all with the concept of a national style in opera." Moniuszko's opera and music as a whole is representative of 19th century romanticism, given the extensive use by the composer of arias, recitatives and ensembles that feature strongly in his operas. An exception is Straszny Dwór (The Haunted Manor), where beautifully scored choral parts testify to Moniuszko's mastery of writing for many voices. The source of Moniuszko's melodies and rhythmic patterns often lies in Polish musical folklore. One of the most visibly "Polish" aspects of his music is in the forms he uses, including dances popular among upper classes such as polonaise and mazurka, and folk tunes and dances such as kujawiak and krakowiak. The most notable among his choral works are cantatas Sonety krymskie (Crimean Sonnets) and Widma (Phantoms), composed to the texts of Adam Mickiewicz, the leading poet of the Polish Romanticism. The melodic line of the former is particularly expressive and in parts of the composition takes on the form of variations.

His series of twelve song books, Śpiewnik domowy (Songbook for Home Use), are notable for sheer number as well as quality. Though many of the songs are simple, predominately strophic, some take on a form of dialogues or ballads, and the majority testify to the composer's originality and melodic inventiveness. The source of Moniuszko's melodies and rhythmic patterns often lies in Polish and Belarusian musical folklore; the majority of the texts are those of some prominent Polish poets, of whom many traced their roots from what is now Belarus (where of Litvin origin): Mickiewicz, Pol, Kraszewski, Syrokomla, Lenartowicz, Czeczot, Odyniec, Dunin-Martsinkyevich.

An English version of Straszny Dwór was created and premiered by the student operatic society at Bristol University in 1970; this version has been performed since, specifically in 2001 by Opera South. The company also presented the world premiere of a specially created new English version of Verbum Nobile in 2002.

Pocket Opera, in San Francisco, produced and presented Donald Pippin's English language version of Straszny Dwór in 2009, and of Halka in 2010.

During his life, Moniuszko was recognised as an important national composer, but after his death, he became revered. From statues, to the names of parks, music competitions, musicians, and institutions the name Stanisław Moniuszko constantly features in Polish society. He has also been featured on stamps, bank notes and other official documents in Poland. The 1,841 seat main auditorium of the Teatr Wielki, where the Polish National Opera is based, is also named after him.

In 1951 Moniuszko's life, particularly his composition of Halka, was portrayed in the film Warsaw Premiere directed by Jan Rybkowski. Moniuszko was played by Jan Koecher.

Since the 1990s Stanisław Moniuszko is being recognized in Belarus as an important figure of Belarusian culture. Moniuszko's operas are regularly performed at the Belarusian National Opera. There is a Museum of Stanisław Moniuszko.

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