Grażyna Bacewicz and social realism
The history of Social Realism and its relation to music has never been clear. Many scholarly sources provide varying degrees of discussion on the topic, but all are either superficial or diffused and vague in scope. It is the intention of the present study to bring a degree of clarity to the doctrine of Social Realism in relation to Polish music, and to the compositions of Grazyna Bacewicz in particular. Great attention has been given to the study of Social Realism in relation to literature and visual art, but not in relation to music. The abstract nature of music makes allusions to Social Realism, which are by their nature extra-musical associations, difficult to support. Indeed, in music without programmatic content, any associations are subjective and open to debate. The history of Social Realism is traced beginning with the political climate which fostered the movement, through its origins, authors, definitions, guidelines, manifestation, monitoring organizations (musical), composers' reactions and ultimate demise.Bacewicz was a highly respected and immensely prolific artist, and was one of the few Polish composers to successfully embrace Social Realist doctrine in her absolute music, doing so in ways that could be defended. Her use of traditional forms and genres, as well as folk idioms, helped her to avoid censure. Many of her best known and most enduring works date from this period of isolation. Thus, she is an important composer through which to view the manifestation of Social Realism.
- Music