The works by Feliks Nowowiejski are closely tied with and should be considered in the context of the time and places where the composer lived, the tradition which shaped him and the people he met. It is difficult to separate an author’s external experiences and internal reflections from himself and his oeuvre, and so in Nowowiejski’s case his personality and constantly changing life situation shaped and directly translated into his work. And he did live and compose in times of great transformations, rich in strong artistic personalities.

The composer’s style began shaping already the early years of childhood when folk songs filled his home. His religious upbringing and Catholic school education in Święta Lipka contributed to and inspired his continued studies in sacred music.

Studying in Berlin enabled Nowowiejski to acquire new skills and become acquainted with the European music culture. Although at the turn of the centuries Berlin was a world metropolis and an important academic centre, it remained a conservative oasis where artistic innovation and avant-garde were not favoured. Nowowiejski was thus educated by traditionalists. His student compositions include mostly works in a typically late-Romantic style. This is particularly evident in the composer’s musical forms of choice, with works of this time characterised by significant length and rich harmonies, as well as the type of melodic development, a degree of romantic pathos, the use of folk music, and inclusion of programmatic elements.

The political situation of his country also greatly impacted the composer. Already before the First World War Nowowiejski’s style underwent changes, and the Polish hope to regain independence inspired his compositions and motivated him to be involved in his nation’s strife. His mature style was shaped through his contributions to numerous cultural circles. His creative self-awareness, related to the composer’s life situation and patriotic feelings at the time, helped him to turn towards a new aim focused more on the listeners and performers instead of the composer’s own success.

Membership in international organisations, the ability to take part in world-class concerts, as well as an easier access to European literature, caused Nowowiejski to open to new techniques towards the end of his life. Although his compositional language underwent only small transformations, there is visible formal evolution and the breadth of techniques used, including the use of the whole-tone scale, clusters, dissonant chords, and the inclusion of improvised elements. Nowowiejski’s music also acquired the weight and spirituality which make it his musical testament.

The enrichment of compositional language is a characteristic feature of Nowowiejski’s work, as his technique shaped through slow evolution rather than abrupt changes. His music can thus be classified as traditional with innovative elements which appear particularly in the last period of his life.

Nowowiejski holds an important place in the history of 20th century Polish music. His impressive oeuvre includes many kinds and forms of instrumental, vocal, and mixed vocal/instrumental music. This rich and versatile body of work enjoyed wide public acclaim and some critical recognition during the composer’s lifetime. With his active involvement in many cultural endeavours he contributed to the growth of Greater Poland and the increased popular interest in music. Nowowiejski most certainly enriched Polish music with his extraordinary works and should be considered a preeminent figure of the country’s music world.

MAIN WORKS

 

SYMPHONIES

Symphony No. 2 Op. 52 Labour And Rhythm

Symphony No. 3 Op. 53 Białowieża Symphony

Symphony No. 4  Op. 58 Symphony Of Peace

SYMPHONIC POEMS

Beatrice Op. 17 No. 1

Nina And Pergolesi Op. 17 No. 2

Death Of Ellenai Op. 32

OVERTURES

Polish Wedding

The Return Of The Prodigal Son Op. 3

In Winet’s Enchanted Town Op. 28

OPERA
The Legend Of The Baltic Sea Op. 28

BALLETS

Tatra Mountains/ King Of The Winds Op. 37

Folk Drawings Op. 18

 

ORATORIOS
Quo vadis Op. 30
The Finding Of The Holy Cross  Op. 35
The Return Of The Prodigal Son Op. 3

WORKS FOR A SOLO INSTRUMENT AND ORCHESTRA

Concerto For Piano And Orchestra / Concerto (Re mineur) Op. 60

Concerto For Cello And Orchestra Op. 55

Légende Op. 32

ORGAN AND PIANO WORKS

  • nine organ symphonies op. 45
  • four organ concertos op. 56 No. 1
  • In Paradisum 61
  • Laments 20 No. 3, Concerto fantasy for piano
  • mazurkas, dances for piano

MASSES

Gregorian Mass 157

Polish Mass “MOTHER OF GOD” Op. 25 No. 5

Missa / Messe „Stella Maris” Op. 49 No. 4

Missa „Christus – Spes mea” Op. 46 No. 6

Missa de Lisieux Op. 49 No. 2

Missa de Lourdes Op. 49 No. 5

Missa Mariae Claramontanae Op. 49 No. 1

Missa Pro Pace Op. 49 No. 3

 

VOCAL LYRICS

Roses For Sapho Op. 51 No. 1

Under The Sky Of Persia Op. 51 No. 7

The Enamoured Op. 51 No. 4

Nights Op. 51 No. 5

CHORAL WORKS

Homeland, Psalm 136 (Jerusalem) Op. 18

The Białowieża File Op. 56

Danae Op. 29 No. 3

hymns

numerous Kashubian, Warmian, Silesian, Greater Poland and Podhale songs, Christmas carols

Powstanie strony dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego w ramach programu „Nowowiejski 2017” realizowanego przez Instytut Muzyki i Tańca oraz z budżetu Miasta Poznania w ramach projektu „Nowowiejski w Poznaniu dawniej i dziś”

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tekst

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