A phonographic journey through Poland – Jedinka

Contest Audio Recording Sources Held for the first time in 2009, its primary premise is to motivate local communities to present their musical traditions and indigenous artists.

Album cover “Stefan Nowaczek. Fiddler from Podłęże”

First prize ex aequo with the album “Funeral Traditions in Kurpie”. Kadzidło municipality, part 1 “Won Friday album. Stefan Novaczyk. violinist from Powder”. This is another post in the series “Land of Music”, published by the Town Hall of Masovian Prefecture. The series is intended to be a series of studies of the representatives of the music of the Masovian province, the founder of which is the violinist and ethnographer Mateusz Nevinsky. Also talk about the album and the person Stefan Novaczyk. As a student of Mister Stephan, he knew the Master well, and more accurately describes the nuances of the traditional music of Powiśle Maciejowicki.

Stefan Novaczyk He is the late, unfortunately, legendary violinist from Podłęże in the so-called Powiśle Maciejowicki. Although Powiśle lies on the Masovian “side” of the Vistula, it is a type of transitional land between Mazovia and northern Małopolska. Musicians from both regions, with dramatically different music, often cross the Vistula and play with the “Zawilac”, hence the strong mutual influence.

– The idea was to register the masters in their “natural environment”, for example in a room, in the country. Why Stefan Novaczyk? Because he was one of the greatest violinists from this side of the Vistula. In southeastern Mazovia, few instrumentalists were very skilled and at the same time immersed in ancient musical traditions.

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Stefan Nowaczek playing powiślak at folk festivals (Musical Scene of Tradition 2013)

As Niwiński says, Powiśle Maciejowickie was still a pocket violinist in the 2000s. Eight violinists playing there at the beginning of the twenty-first century! Stefan Novaczyk was one of them. He played the beautiful powiślaki – “Masovian mazurkas,” in the words of Niwiński.

– I had a friendship with Stephane Noachek. I used to visit him often and we played music together. These were intimate and sweet meetings. Thanks to these visits, I learned more about Powile’s music – Niwiński said. – Stefan Novaczyk was second to none. She had a very distinctive voice, with that kind of bird song. It was great!

As Mateusz Neuinski recalls, Novaczyk himself valued the accordion and harmony more than the violin, and urban music soaring on Boeslaki. However, it was a repository of memory for the ancient type of playing. With his father and brothers, he formed a band where he played bass. It is a rarity, because Mazowsze Leśne was soon dominated by the harmonies and city music of Warsaw. Powiśle remained pocket violin longer. Stefan Novacik was born in 1933. He remembered the way musicians played from the 19th century, and could practice playing after World War II (during cheerful games and weddings). Nowaczek took an interest in the ancient sound, but his generation was also keen on trends coming from the city. It was possible to get from Maciejowice to Warsaw by ship, so local residents often went to the capital for exhibitions, and from there brought, among other things, city music. Stefan Novaczyk and his peers learned melodies from gramophone recordings. Nowaczek himself was more appreciative of the foxtrots and tango. Forced somewhat by Niwiński, Puffers pulled out of the breaks of his memory. For Niwiński, it was important to rebuild the Powiśle band’s voice. On the album “Stefan Novaczyk. Violinist from Podłęże” we’ll hear Stefan Novaczyk playing the violin, Mateusz Nevinsky playing the bass for him and Agnieszka Nwijska playing the drums.

Stefan Nowaczek had his own view on music. He did not recognize versions of the melody other than his own, and did not appreciate the other regions very much. Because of this firmness, the partner was not the easiest – said Mateusz Nevinsky. – This part of Central Poland was also not so attractive that the pilgrimage of musicians came here. In retrospect, I appreciated this separation. Undoubtedly, Powiśle itself was a link with the violin and the tradition of the nineteenth century. It could be a hint of how it was played before, before the Warsaw music fashions and three-row harmonies came into being.

cylinder casing “Glade, Glade” album cover

clearing, clearing Which in turn is the album that took second place in the Phonogram Sources 2021 competition.

The second album, from which we will listen to excerpts, is an album documenting the work of excellent singers and craft artists of Beskid Żywiecki – Sordel Sisters. All their lives the sisters dealt with the farm and worked on the so-called clearing, or mountain meadow, belonging to the group of the so-called polanierzy – clearing owners. The extensive repertoire of Zofia and Józefa Sordyl is testimony to the ancient phonosphere of upland life. The songs performed in the clearing or the calls of the shepherd, which can be used to communicate between neighboring clearings, are particularly interesting. The authors of the album spoke about the sisters and their work, including Brygida Sordyl – a young violinist, singer, dancer and animator of the musical life of the city of Beskid Żywiecki, who visited the Sordyl sisters several times (coincidence of names) and commanded them a large part of the repertoire of country songs and tales of ancient traditions .

Sisters, when you are asked when you sing, at what time of the day, and in what circumstances, you have one answer: you always sing. No matter what time of day, vacations, at work, with a little rest, singing comes naturally. – I just started singing, Bridget Sordell explained. Their mother, who learned to sing from her mother, the grandmother of the two sisters, taught them the most important lesson in how to use the voice naturally.

Sisters Josefa and Zofia Sordel have never let their way into singing, but they have always said that they want to sing as hard and loud as ‘Mom’. They trained for a long time and often, which allowed them to master their singing and at the same time invented many new hymns!

What distinguishes the singing of the Sordyl sisters (and the other Polanyanki sisters) is the “apparition” – the calls, the shouts of the shepherd, thanks to which it was possible to communicate with neighbors from another mountain. “Pop” often contained the melody of the song. As Brygida Sordyl remembers, after jumping, hujkaniu, you can also get to know each other – to distinguish a man from a woman, and even a woman!


Program title: Market under the cock

Performed by: Peter Durose

Release date: May 8, 2022

Release time: 5.05

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