The Musical Rhetoric of the Polish Baroque
Chapter 1 Emergence of a Domestic Musical Rhetorical Tradition in the Renaissance
The study of musical rhetoric in prebaroque Polish music is necessarily fragmentary. This is because Polish musical compositions in that period are poorly documented. We know of few domestic composers in the Renaissance, and their extant compositional oeuvre only includes a handful of works (Sebastian z Felsztyna, Wacław z Szamotuł, Marcin Leopolita, Krzysztof Borek, Tomasz Szadek) and occasionally just one (Marcin Paligon), while only in isolated cases, a larger body of works has survived (Mikołaj Gomółka, Mikołaj Zieleński).101 It is clear that such a state of affairs makes it impossible to examine more closely the evolution of interpretative devices, the main tendencies, or dominating conventions in the use of figures, requiring a richer repertoire both quantitatively and qualitatively. In that aspect, a Polish music historian is handicapped compared to a Dutch, Italian, or German colleague.102 In our case, the endeavour was rather to identify solutions parallel to the pan–European repertoire. This was so that we could disclose, be it only in part, the process of emergence of a domestic Polish rhetorical tradition.103 ← 49 | 50 →
1. Latin Polyphony
Within Latin compositions, the first numerous and decipherable interpretative procedures can be found in the works of Wacław z Szamotuł. Although the surviving oeuvre of this composer is more than modest, it represents a number of phenomena that are unequivocal evidence of a compositional thinking in terms of figures. They can be considered the true beginning of Old Polish...
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