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Tadeusz Baird. The Composer, His Work, and Its Reception


Barbara Literska

This book is the first monographic study of Tadeusz Baird – one of the greatest Polish composers of the second half of the 20th century, a connoisseur of music tradition and a prophet of the future of music (postmodernity), a composer of worldwide renown, an erudite. Baird was deeply engaged in art, aware of the threats and problems of contemporary world, and endowed with a sense of a mission. His personality was shaped by traumatic experiences during World War II and during the late 1940s and early 1950s. He was very demanding of himself and others. As signaled in the title, the book is an extensive, monographic representation of the composer's work and concepts in their stylistic, cultural, and esthetic contexts.

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Tadeusz Baird (1928–1981), a Polish composer active during the second half of the twentieth century, was an outstanding creative artist. Unfortunately, the composer and his music are familiar to few people today. Baird, a ‘tone poet’, was an erudite man committed to his art, a composer aware of the dangers and problems of the modern world, working with a sense of mission. His personality was formed by the traumatic experiences of the Second World War and the turn of the 1950s: he was extremely demanding of himself and of others. His sudden death brought an end to his thirty-two-year period of post-war activity, which bore fruit in a body of fifty-four autonomous compositions, music to sixty-three stage plays and forty films, and numerous contributions to the press and radio. The period of more than thirty years since Baird’s death (1981) allows us to ponder his achievements from a distance; on the other hand, this is perhaps the last moment when such a complex summary can still be made.


This book is an abridged version of the monograph Tadeusz Baird. Kompozytor, dzieło, recepcja published by Uniwersytet Zielonogórski in Zielona Góra (Poland) in 2012.


The photographs of Tadeusz Baird come from the private collection of Alina Sawicka-Baird (the composer’s wife).

Music examples are reprinted by kind permission by publishers:

1. PWM Edition, Cracow, Poland (for works: Colas Breugnon; Piano Concerto; Cztery eseje [Four essays...

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