Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Polish Song and Dance Ensemble Śląsk vol. 1

   Popular music all over the world has its roots in folk music. In historical and social perspective this is the folklore what is the mainstream of musical culture. The function of both is pretty the same and in most cases the more folk, the more popular music is. In 20th century every country has own way for promoting folk music with sing and dance ensembles and in many European countries such bands were extremely popular. In Poland after the war there were two state bands with the status of national culture institution – Mazowsze in central part of the country and Śląsk on south part of Poland.
   The Polish Song and Dance Ensemble “Śląsk” was founded in 1953 by Stanisław Hadyna, composer, conductor, musicologist and writer. The main idea was to present great shows of stylized folk music and dance. First covered region was Śląsk (Silesia) taking its name from native region and primarily part of repertoire. The debut of the ensemble in 1954 became great success, first in Poland, than internationally. With about ten dozens of singers, dancers and instrumentalists, Śląsk was highly efficient entertainment unit, thus estimated and warmly welcomed all over the world. International appreciation facilitated contacts so band in 60 years of artistic work gave six thousands shows for more than twenty millions of people.

Śląsk – The Polish Song and Dance Ensemble – vol. 1 (1964)

   In 1964 The Polish Song and Dance Ensemble “Śląsk” published first two records with basic song repertoire. Recordings were issued by Polskie Nagrania label. First albums were numbered as vol. 1 (XL 0182) and vol. 2 (XL 0183) and this became tradition for later vinyl recordings by Śląsk with very few exceptions they were just numbered as consecutive volumes of songs from huge ensemble’s repertoire. It is worth to remember in 1964 main domain of culture was subordinated to propaganda issues. The image of a strong rural culture thriving in the working-class society was politically correct. In the cover note somebody wrote: “The Company resides at Koszęcin. There, in the old castle, which three hundred years ago belonged to the Polish nobleman Kochcicki and then passed into the hands of German princes, now the Polish youth lives, learns, dances and sings”. In fact there was not any lie in this text – youth from Śląsk lived and work in Koszęcin made old mansion the center of vivid and radiating culture.
   The very first album of Śląsk was also first wider presentation of its artistic director Stanisław Hadyna who was composer of many popular songs and arranger for huge part of Śląsk repertoire. The songs strongly connected with national style were perfectly popular in sixties. Some like Pasała wołki (She Herded Her Oxen) have clear folkloristic character and typical folk style, while the other like Zalotnice i swat (The Young Girls and the Match-maker) have more popular and playful characteristics. Such songs as Starzyk (The Old Miner), Szła dzieweczka (A Young Girl Was Walking) or Karlik (Carl) were number one hits in the radio and ballrooms in sixties.

1 comment:

Krzysztof Dziewięcki said...

Now one can get a large collection of new CDs of the Song and Dance Ensemble SLASK from http://www.sklep.zespolslask.pl/standard/shop/1---Płyty.html

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