Stamp of the Month: May 2019

Romania 28.3.1985
Stanisław Moniuszko

The Polish composer, conductor and music educator Stanislaw Moniuszko was born on May 5, 1819 in Ubiel near Minsk (now Belarus). He died on June 4, 1872 in Warsaw. May 2019 marks his 200th birth anniversary.
Moniuszko’s family belonged to impoverished Polish gentry and lived in Warsaw from 1827. From 1937 he studied in Berlin for three years and then earned for living as an organist and piano teacher in Vilnius.

In 1847, the first version of his opera “Halka” was listed on the Warsaw State Opera, but was banned immediately after the premiere because of their sharp social criticism. Only 11 years later, on 1 January 1858 it was followed by the second performance, which was a resounding success and is considered the birth of the Polish National Opera. On two trips through Europe, Moniuszko made contact with Liszt, Smetana, Gounod and Rossini. After his return, he was offered the Head of the Warsaw Opera, which he held until his death.
Except of 24 operas and operettas, Moniuszko’s work covers about 300 songs. In its simplicity they document his common touch and his ability to musical poetry.

Poland 15.11.1972

The video shows the orchestra of the State Music School in Żagań under the direction of Ivan Moroz with the Mzurka from Stanislaw Moniuszko’s opera “Halka”.