The most elusive composer of her time

The most elusive composer of her time

Album Of The Week

norman lebrecht

August 11, 2023

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Is there a more elusive composer in the whole of the 20th century than Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)?

Bacewicz is usually designated a Polish composer but her Lithuanian father left the family after his state won independence in 1918. Her brother, Vytautus Bacevičius, was a composer in New York….

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  • SNORRI says:

    Insofar as nobody’s heard of her, I’d say, sure, there’s no more elusive composer than what’s-her-name.

    • Peter San Diego says:

      One has to have been asleep for the past couple of decades not to be aware of Bacewicz and her music. It’s very much worth getting to know.

      For my part, I wonder what makes her “elusive,” aside from her slightly complicated heritage. And now I’m curious about her brother Vytautas (not Vytautus) and his music! I see that he devised an atonal system of his own, regarding Schoenberg’s as outdated; he also claims to be in the legacy of Scriabin, Jolivet and Varese…

  • Garry Humphreys says:

    Elusive? Hardly. Just Google her and see the results! Also plenty of recordings, on disc, online, etc., not least by British artists. But perhaps it’s her style you find elusive? Well, that’s simply a personal matter, but what are you looking for? Just sit back and enjoy it. You might be surprised.

  • Simon Holt says:

    Fine composer! Terrific string writing.

  • Genius Repairman says:

    There is playfulness and joy in Bacewicz but also flashes of darkness and anger. There are signs of the horrors of war and oppression in her music but they are subtle and do not predominate. But she is not trying to be Shostakovich and her personality bubbles through