Krzysztof Meyer

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Krzysztof Meyer
Krzysztof Meyer.jpg
Krzysztof Meyer, September 2002
Born (1943-08-11) 11 August 1943 (age 71)
Kraków, Poland
Nationality Polish
Occupation Composer, pianist, music scholar
Years active 1964–present

Krzysztof Meyer (born 11 August 1943) is a Polish composer, pianist and music scholar, formerly Dean of the Department of Music Theory (1972–1975) at the State College of Music (now Academy of Music in Kraków), and president of the Union of Polish Composers (1985–1989). Meyer served as professor of composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne from 1987 to 2008, prior to retirement.[1]

Biography[edit]

Meyer was born in Kraków, Poland. As a boy he played piano and organ, and began his composition study early – in 1954, with Stanisław Wiechowicz. Then, at the State College of Music in Kraków he continued studying with Wiechowicz, and after his death in 1964, did his diploma with Krzysztof Penderecki (1965). He also studied music theory (diploma in 1966). In Paris, he took courses with Nadia Boulanger (1964, 1966, and 1968), and in Warsaw he became a private pupil of Witold Lutosławski.[1]

His Symphony No. 1 was his first work to be performed, in Kraków in 1964. In 1965, while still a student, he made his debut at the "Warsaw Autumn", as the youngest composer in the festival’s history (String Quartet No. 1). He was fascinated with avant-garde not only as a composer: from 1965 to 1967, as a member of "MW2 Ensemble", he performed experimental pieces, typical for the sixties, in Poland and in some West European countries. Later he continued to be active as a pianist, performing mostly his own works, or playing chamber music.[1]

From 1966 to 1987 Meyer taught theory at the State College of Music (now Academy of Music in Kraków), holding the chairmanship of the Department of Music Theory from 1972 to 1975. From 1987 to 2008 he was professor of composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. He has written biographies of Dmitri Shostakovich and Witold Lutosławski.[1]

From 1985 and 1989 he was the president of the Union of Polish Composers. For fourteen years (1974–1988) he took part in the work of the Repertory Committee of the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music. Fellow of Collegium Invisibile.[2]

Music sample from work of Krzysztof Meyer

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Music[edit]

In his early compositions (String Quartets Nos. 1–4, Symphonies Nos. 1–3), Meyer experimented with unconventional sonorities, typical of the Polish avant-garde music in the 1960s. He used twelve-tone technique, albeit freely, as well as aleatoric technique and collage. All these means appear in his first opera Cyberiada, to a science-fiction libretto after Stanisław Lem's The Cyberiad.[1]

The style of Meyer's later works reflects his interest in tradition; even his use of titles such as "string quartet", "sonata", "concerto", "symphony" are indicators of the traditional trend in his aesthetic. "There are contemporary textures and timbres, but they are usually incidental to a language in which tonal pulls and familiar signposts govern the overall flow and structure"[3]

Selected awards[edit]

  • First Prize for Symphony No. 3 (1968) at the Fitelberg Composers’ Competition
  • Prix de Composition Musicale of the Prince Pierre de Monaco Foundation for opera Cyberiada (1970)
  • Special Mention at Tribune Internationale des Compositeurs UNESCO in Paris for String Quartet No. 2 (1970) and String Quartet No. 3 (1976)
  • First Prize at the Karol Szymanowski Competition in Warsaw for Symphony No. 4
  • Gottfried-von-Herder-Preis (Vienna, 1984)
  • Award of the Union of Polish Composers (1992)
  • Alfred Jurzykowski Award (New York, 1994)
  • Johann-Stamitz-Preis (Mannheim, 1996)

Selected works[edit]

Stage works[edit]

Works for orchestra[edit]

  • 7 symphonies:
No. 1 – 1964
No. 2 Epitaphium Stanisław Wiechowicz in memoriam for choir and orchestra – 1967
No. 3 Symphonie d'Orphée for choir and orchestra – 1968
No. 4 – 1973
No. 5 – 1979
No. 6 "Polish" Symphony – 1982 (Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, A. Wit, ISPV 179 CD)
No. 7 Sinfonia del tempo che passa – 2002–2003 (NOSPR, G. Chmura; DUX 0695)
  • Fireballs – 1976 (Silesian Philharmonic, Karol Stryja, Polish Information Center 007)
  • Symphony in D major in Mozartean style – 1976
  • Hommage à Johannes Brahms – 1982 (Kölner-Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester, A. Wit, KOCH 3-5037-2)
  • Musica incrostata – 1988 (WOSPRiT, A. Wit, Koch Schwann 3-1573-2)
  • Farewell Music – 1997
  • No.8 "Sinfonia da requiem" (2009)

Works for solo instrument(s) and orchestra[edit]

  • 2 Flute concertos
No. 1 – 1964
No. 2 – 1983
  • 2 Violin concertos
No. 1 – 1965 (R. Lasocki, WOSPRiT, K. Stryja, Olympia OCD 323)
No. 2 – 1996 (M. Rezler, NOSPR, G. Chmura, DUX 0594)
  • Concerto da camera for oboe, percussion and strings – 1972
  • Concerto for trumpet and orchestra – 1973
  • Concerto for piano – 1989 (Pavel Gililov, WOSPRiT, Antoni Wit, Koch Schwann 3-1573-2)
  • Concerto for saxophone and string orchestra – 1992 (John-Edward Kelly NEOS )
  • Canti Amadei per violoncello ed orchestra – 1984 (I. Monighetti, Capella Cracoviensis, S. Gałoński, ISPV 179 CD)
  • Concerto for violoncello and orchestra – 1995 (B. Pergamenschikov, NOSPR, A. Wit, DUX 0594)
  • Concerto for harp, cello and string orchestra – 1984 (B. Trendowicz, K. Jaroszewska, Chamber Orchestra Amadeus, A. Duczmal; PR CD 085-2)
  • Caro Luigi per 4 violoncelli ed orchestra d'archi – 1989
  • Concerto for clarinet and orchestra – 2001 (E. Brunner, NOSPR, G. Chmura, DUX 0594)
  • Double concerto for violin, violoncello and orchestra – 2006 (M. Rezler, Julius Berger, Ł. Borowicz, NOSPR; DUX 0695)
  • Concerto for (acoustic) guitar, kettledrums and string orchestra (2011)

Vocal works[edit]

  • Symphony No. 2 Epitaphium Stanisław Wiechowicz in memoriam for choir and orchestra – 1967
  • Symphony No. 3 Symphonie d'Orphée for choir and orchestra – 1968
  • Liryc Triptych for tenor and chamber orchestra – 1976
  • Mass for mixed choir and orchestra – 1996 (The National Orchestra and Choir in Warsaw, Antoni Wit, ACD 096-2)
  • Wjelitchalnaja for mixed choir – 1988 (Polish Nightingales, Wojciech A. Krolopp, Azymuth AZ AZ CD 11.045)
  • Creation (Schöpfung), oratorio for soli, choir and orchestra – 1999
  • Symphony No. 8 Sinfonia da requiem for choir and orchestra – 2009

Chamber music[edit]

For two instruments[edit]

Violin and piano:

  • Misterioso for violin and piano – 1994 (A. Breuninger, I. Berger; Ars Musici AM 1204-02)
  • Capriccio interrotto for violin and piano – 2000 (A. Bayeva, G. Karyeva, PR CD 194; – R. Simovic, Z. Darhomorska, PR CD 191)

Cello and piano:

  • Canzona per violoncello e pianoforte – 1981 (D. Geringas, T. Schatz, ISPV 192 CD; – E. Mizerska, E. Abbate, TOCC 0098)
  • Two sonatas for cello and piano
Sonata per violoncello e pianoforte No.1 – 1983 (- R. Korupp, K. Meyer, Ambitus 97848; – E. Mizerska, E. Abbate, TOCC 0098)
Sonata per violoncello e pianoforte No.2 – 2004 (E. Mizerska, K. Glensk, TOCC 0098 CD)

Other combinations:

  • Impromptu multicolore for two pianos – 2000 (A. Soós, I. Haag, MGB CTS-M 107)
  • Duetti concertanti for bassoon and piano – 2004 (K. & Etsuko Okazaki, ISPV 194 CD)
  • Metamorphoses for saxophone and piano – 2004 (J.-E. Kelly, B. Versteegh, ISPV 194)

For three instruments[edit]

  • Hommage à Nadia Boulanger for flute, viola and harp – 1971 (rec. E. Gajewska, R. Duź, H. Storck, ISPV 189 CD)
  • Piano Trio – 1980 (Trio Wawelskie, ISPV 176 CD; – Arcadia Trio, Bella Musica 31.2415; – Altenberg Trio, Challenge classic 72310)
  • Trio for flute, viola and guitar – 1992 (R. Aitken, E. Schloifer, R. Evers; ISPV 176 CD)
  • String Trio – 1993 (Deutsches Streichtrio; ISPV 176 CD; – T. Gadzina, R. Duź, M. Wasiółka; Acte Préalable AP0146)
  • Trio for clarinet, violin and piano – 1998 (E. Brunner, I. Monighetti, P. Gililov; ISPV 189 CD)
  • Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano – 2002 (Tomohara Yosiba, Koji and Etsuko Okazaki, ISPV 194)

For four instruments[edit]

  • 13 String Quartets
No. 1 – 1963 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 151 CD; – Kairos Quartett, polmic 016)
No. 2 – 1969 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 184 CD)
No. 3 – 1971 (Wilanow String Quartet Veriton ECD 035 & ISPV 184 CD)
No. 4 – 1974 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 162 CD)
No. 5 – 1977 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 162 CD; – Wieniawski-Quartett; Naxos 8.570776)
No. 6 – 1981 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 162 CD; – Wieniawski-Quartett; Naxos 8.570776)
No. 7 – 1985 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 151 CD)
No. 8 – 1985 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 151 CD; – Dafô Quartet, DUX 10190; – Wieniawski-Quartett; Naxos 8.570776)
No. 9 – 1990 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 171 CD)
No. 10 – 1994 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 184 CD)
No. 11 – 2001 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 192 CD)
No. 12 – 2005 (Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 192 CD; – Dafô Quartet, polmic 027)
No. 13 - 2010, op. 113 (Wieniawski String Quartet; Naxos 8.573001, 2012)
  • Quattro colori for clarinet, trombone, 'cello and piano – 1970
  • Concerto retro for flute, violin, violoncello and harpsichord – 1976 (E. Gajewska, T. Gadzina, M. Wasiółka, K. Meyer, Acte Préalable AP0076)

For five or more instruments[edit]

  • Clarinet Quintet – 1986 (E. Brunner, Wilanow String Quartet, ISPV 147 CD; – P. Drobnik, Kwartet Wieniawski; Dux 0507/0508)
  • Capriccio per sei strumenti – 1988 (E. Gajewska, T. Gadzina, R. Duź, M. Wasiółka, ISPV 189 CD)
  • Piano Quintet – 1991 (Wilanow String Quartet & K. Meyer; ISPV 171 CD; – Wieniawski Quartet & Andrzej Tatarski; Dux 0507/0508)
  • Cinque colori for flute, violin, violoncello, percussion and piano – 2001

Instrumental music[edit]

For piano solo[edit]

  • 6 Sonatas for Piano (Complete Piano Works - Christian Seibert, EDA 36)
No. 1 – 1962 (K. Meyer, Acte Préalable AP0076)
No. 2 – 1963 (B. Otto, Sächsische Tonträger LC 9930)
No. 3 – 1966
No. 4 – 1968
No. 5 – 1975
No. 6 – 2006
  • 24 Preludes for piano – 1978 (K. Meyer, ISPV CD 174; – P. Kubica, SMS RP 12691 CD )
  • Quasi una Fantasia for piano – 2005

For other keyboards[edit]

  • Sonata for harpsichord – 1973 (E. Chojnacka, ERATO Japan CD 056044
  • Fantasy for organ – 1990 (S. Palm; KR 10068)

For violin solo[edit]

  • Sonata for violino solo – 1975 (W. Marschner, ISPC 192 CD)
  • 6 Preludes for violin solo – 1981

For cello solo[edit]

  • Two Sonatas for Cello
no. 1 – 1961 (R. Korupp, CD Ambitus 97484)
no. 2 – 2007
  • Moment musical – 1976
  • Monologue – 1990 (D. Geringas; ConBrioDisc ConBES 2019)

For flute solo[edit]

  • Sonata per flauti soli – 1980 (E. Gajewska, Acte Préalable AP0076; – B.-G. Schmitt, ISPV 194 CD)

Essays and professional writings[edit]

  • Krzysztof Meyer, Schostakowitsch – Sein Leben, sein Werk, seine Zeit, Bergisch Gladbach 1995; also: Paris 1994, Amsterdam 1996, Madrid 1997, St Petersburg 1998, Warsaw 1999, Moscow 2006, Mainz 2008. [Orig. in Polish 1973.]
  • Krzysztof Meyer, Witold Lutosławski (with Danuta Gwizdalanka), Cracow 2003 (vol. 1), 2004 (vol. 2)
  • Krzysztof Meyer, Dmitri Schostakowitch. Erfahrungen, Leipzig 1983
  • Krzysztof Meyer, Prokofjew und Schostakowitsch, in: Bericht über das internationale Symposion "Sergej Prokofjew – Aspekte seines Werkes und der Biographie", Regensburg 1993, s. 111–133
  • Krzysztof Meyer, Analyse musikalischer Form in Psychologischer Hinsicht, in: Musikpedagogik als Aufgabe, Kassel 2003
  • and numerous articles published in Poland and abroad.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Małgorzata Kosińska (2013). "Krzysztof Meyer". Music (in Polish and English). Adam Mickiewicz Institute Culture.pl. Retrieved 26 July 2013. "Source: Polish Music Information Center, Polish Composers' Union, January 2002" 
  2. ^ Collegium Invisibile (2007). "Annual report and list of fellows (tutors: prof. Krzysztof Meyer)" (PDF file, direct download 10.4 MB). ci.edu.pl. 
  3. ^ Adrian Thomas Polish Music Since Szymanowski, Cambridge University Press 2005, p. 212.

External links[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • B. M. Maciejewski: 12 Polish Composers. Allegro Press. London, 1976, p. 202-206.
  • L. Rappoport-Gelfand: Musical Life in Poland. The Postwar Years 1945-1977. Gordon & Breach, New York etc. 1991, p. 133-141. ISBN 2-88124-319-3