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

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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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1. Methodological Issues

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1.1. The subject, aim and scope of research

This study deals with Tadeusz Baird, his music and its reception. It was justified by the need to fill in a gap in the history of Polish musical culture, since one of the primary tasks of Polish scholarship is the documentation, critical analysis and interpretation of the work of outstanding Polish figures, such as Tadeusz Baird. Up to now, his life’s work has not been treated to an extensive, penetrating monograph, although it is fully deserving of such a study. I hope that the present work will help to reconstruct the history of Polish musical output after 1949. In practical terms, it may perhaps stimulate renewed interest in Baird’s music and help restore it to concert halls.

The aim of this work was to show the standing of Tadeusz Baird’s output in the history of Polish music. The title signals my intention to produce a wide-ranging, multi-aspectual study of the composer’s music and views in stylistic, cultural and aesthetic contexts. The main issue at stake is the position that Tadeusz Baird and his music hold in the history of Polish music. This question will be considered from three perspectives:

1. Baird’s aesthetic approach to the artistic ideas of his epoch and of past times, to the role of the composer in twentieth-century culture, the creative process and the role of music in people’s lives. What type of creative personality did he represent...

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