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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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3. Work


3.1. Changes in compositional style

The music of Tadeusz Baird eludes clear and unambiguous classification. Several previous periodisations have identified three main periods:241

– the first, often referred to as the neoclassical (1949–1956, 1949–1957),

– the second, associated with twelve-note composition (1956–1968, 1956–1958, 1958–1970),

– the third, given many different names: sonoristic-textural, sonoristic watershed, serial, post-dodecaphonic (after the years 1958, 1968, 1971).

Two years before his death, the composer approved the following classification, which should be treated as crucial to our considerations:242

– the neoclassical period (1949–1956),

– the dodecaphonic period (1956–1968),

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