Roman Palester

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Roman Palester (copyrights unclear)

Roman Palester (born December 28, 1907 in Śniatyn , Austria-Hungary ; died August 25, 1989 in Paris ) was a Polish composer.


Palester was born in Śniatyn, which belonged to Austria-Hungary until 1918, then to Poland. From the age of seven he received piano lessons. He studied the instrument from 1919 to 1921 at the Kraków Music Institute and until 1925 at the Lviv Conservatory with Maria Soltys . From 1925 he studied philosophy at the University of Warsaw and at the same time at the Music Conservatory with Kazimierz Sikorski . In 1930 he made his debut as a composer with the performance of the Muzyka symfoniczna in Warsaw.

In 1932 Palester won Psalm V in the Singers' Societies Association competition , and Wariacje in 1935 in the Polish Music Publishing Society competition. In 1937 his ballet Pieśń o ziemi was awarded a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris . In addition , numerous film, drama and radio music were created during this time, among others in collaboration with Leon Schiller and Juliusz Osterwa .

From 1936 Palester was vice-president of the Polish composers' association, from 1937 vice-president of the Polish section of the International Society for Contemporary Music , whose 17th festival he directed in 1939 in Warsaw and Krakow. During the Second World War he lived in Warsaw. Some of his compositions were lost during the Warsaw uprising , and Palester himself was in a Gestapo prison for six weeks.

From 1945 to 1947 Palester was Vice Rector and Professor of Composition at the Cracow State Music Academy. In 1947 he left Poland and finally settled abroad after the proclamation of socialist realism in music by the Polish composers' association. He first lived in Paris and from 1952 to 1972 in Munich. Here he worked for the Polish section of Radio Free Europe .

While in Poland his name was not allowed to be mentioned in the media and the composers' association canceled its membership, Palester had international success with his compositions. The Italian section of the International Society for Contemporary Music awarded him first prize in 1962 for the opera Smierc Don Juana , and two years later he received the Alfred Jurzykowski Prize for his work in emigration.

Since the late 1970s, Palester has been rehabilitated in Poland. In 1981 the Composers' Association canceled its expulsion, and the Polish section of the International Society for Contemporary Music and the Karol Szymanowski Music Society followed suit. However, Palester only visited Poland once again for the premiere of his hymn pro gratiarum actione in 1983.


  • Sonatina na skrzypce i wiolonczele (Sonatina for violin and cello), 1929
  • Kwartet smyczkowy nr 1 (String Quartet No. 1), 1929–1930
  • Trzy pieśni do słów Kazimiery Iłłakowiczówny (Three songs based on texts by Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna ) for soprano and piano, 1930
  • Psalm V for baritone, mixed choir and orchestra 1930–1931
  • Taniec z Osmolody (Dance from Osmoloda) for symphony orchestra, 1932
  • Symfonia dziecięca (Children's Symphony ) for seven instruments, 1932
  • Symfonia nr 1 for large orchestra, 1934–1935
  • Wariacje (Variations) for chamber orchestra, 1935
  • Mała uwertura (Little Overture) for symphony orchestra, 1935
  • Piosenka łowicka (Song from Lowicz) for piano, 1935
  • Pociąg towarowy (Freight Train) for piano, 1935
  • Canon for piano, 1935
  • Concert na fortepian i orkiestre , 1935–1936
  • Kwartet smyczkowy nr 2 (String Quartet No. 2), 1936
  • Sonatina na trzy klarnety (Sonatina for three clarinets), 1936
  • Pieśń o ziemi (Song of the Earth), ballet, 1937
  • Tańce Polskie (Polish Dances) from Piesn o ziemi for orchestra, 1937
  • Suita symfoniczna , 1937-1938
  • Concertino for alto saxophone, 1938
  • Sonata na dwoje skrzypiec i fortepian (Sonata for two violins and piano), 1939
  • Divertimento for six instruments, 1939–1940
  • Koncert na skrzypce i orkiestrę (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra), 1939–1941
  • Sonatina na fortepian na 4 rece (Sonatina for piano four hands), 1940
  • Symfonia nr 2 , 1941-1942
  • Concertino for piano and orchestra, 1942
  • Kołacze , wedding poem for female choir and chamber orchestra, 1942
  • Kwartet smyczkowy nr 3 (String Quartet No. 3), 1942–1944
  • Polonezy MK Oginskiego (MK Oginskis Polonaisen) for small orchestra, 1943
  • Dwie etiudy na fortepian (Two Etudes for Piano), 1943
  • Requiem for four solo voices, mixed choir and orchestra, 1945–1949
  • Serenada for two flutes and string orchestra, 1946
  • Trio smyczkowe no.1 ( string trio no.1 ), 1946
  • Nokturn , 1st version for string orchestra, 1947
  • Mała serenada (Little Serenade) for flute, violin and viola, 1947
  • Sinfonietta for chamber orchestra, 1948
  • Divertimento for nine instruments, 1948
  • Suita weselna ( bridal suite ) for small instrumental ensemble, 1948
  • Symfonia nr 3 for two string orchestras, 1948–1949
  • Wisła , cantata for speaker, mixed choir and instrumental ensemble, 1948–1949
  • Symfonia nr 4 , 1st version, 1948–1952
  • Missa brevis for mixed choir a cappella, 1951
  • Passacaglia for orchestra, 1953
  • Nokturn 2nd version for string orchestra, 1954
  • Adagio for string orchestra, 1954
  • Preludia for piano, 1954
  • Variazioni per orchestra , 1st version, 1955
  • Taniec polski (Polish Dance) from the ballet Piesn o ziemi , 1955
  • Concertino per clavicembalo e dieci strumenti su temi di vecchie danze polacche , 1955
  • Muzyka na dwa fortepiany i orkiestrę (music for two pianos and orchestra), 1955–1959
  • Koncert na skrzypce i orkiestrę (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra) 2nd version, 1957–1959
  • Study 58 for chamber orchestra, 1958
  • Piccolo concerto for chamber orchestra, 1958
  • Trio smyczkowe no.2 ( string trio no.2 ), 1959
  • Śmierć Don Juana (The Death of Don Juan), musical action in one act, 1959–1961
  • Treny , three excerpts by Jan Kochanowski for voice and instrumental ensemble, 1962
  • Śmierć Don Juana (The Death of Don Juan), three symphonic episodes for orchestra, 1963
  • Varianti for two pianos, 1963–1964
  • Duety for two violins, 1965
  • Metamorfozy for orchestra, 1966–1968
  • Trio stroikowe (wind trio), 1967
  • Variazioni per orchestra [2. Version], 1968
  • Sonata na skrzypce i wiolonczele (Sonata for violin and cello), 1968
  • Suita we czwórkę (Suite for four instruments) for oboe, violin, viola and cello, 1969
  • Sonata na fortepian nr 1 , 1970-1971
  • Symfonia nr 4 (2nd version), 1972
  • Wariacje na fortepian (Variations for piano), 1972
  • Passacaglia for piano, 1973
  • Ekspresje (Expression) for piano, 1974–1975
  • Kwartet smyczkowy nr 3 (String Quartet No. 3) 2nd version, 1974
  • Trzy wiersze Czesława Miłosza (Three Poems by Czesław Miłosz ) for soprano and twelve instruments, 1975–1977
  • Koncert na altowke i orkiestre (Concerto for Viola and Orchestra), 1975–1978
  • Concertino for alto saxophone and string orchestra, 2nd version, 1977–1978
  • Symfonia nr 5 , 1977-1981
  • Monogramy , Chamber Concerto for Soprano and Piano, 1978
  • Wisła , 2nd version, Kanata for speaker, mixed choir and instrumental ensemble, 1979
  • Hymnus pro gratiarum actione for children's choir, two mixed choirs and instrumental ensemble, 1979
  • Etiudy na fortepian , 1979-1981
  • Sonata na fortepian nr 2 , 1980
  • Koncert na skrzypce i orkiestrę (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra), 3rd version, 1984–1985
  • Listy do matki (Letters to Mother), cantata for baritone and small orchestra, 1984–1987
  • Trio na flet, altowke i harfe (Trio for flute, viola and harp), 1985
  • Wisła , 3rd version, cantata for speaker, mixed choir and two pianos, 1985
  • Suita Symfoniczna , 1986
  • Kolędy (Christmas carols) for mixed choir, 1988
  • Kolędy (Christmas carols) for solo soprano and instruments, 1988
  • Psalm V 2nd version, for baritone, mixed choir and orchestra, 1988

Filmography (selection)