Fantastical melancholy (of the musical wren)…

A blog dedicated mainly to Polish culture, with a tilt towards classical music.

The initial premise was that this would be a blog about classical music, with a strong tilt towards Polish music – because I have another blog elsewhere, in Polish, where I sometimes (quite rarely, to be honest) post my thoughts about more general classical music matters. But I thought I’d start a blog in English that would have Polish music as its primary subject. Yet, even though I haven’t posted anything here yet, I can already tell that the blog will obviously go in other directions as well. Namely:
a) other areas of Polish culture (and my understanding of the word “culture” here is broad enough to include not only the arts but other areas too, e.g. history),
b) my thoughts/experiences pertaining to classical music in general (not only Polish music),
c) other thoughts/experiences I feel inclined to write about 😉 .

Obviously, there’s nothing special about all this – after all, this is a blog (duh…). But I just wanted to be clear. Because I think the title could be a bit misleading… 🙂

Ah, yes, the title! I guess I should explain that too…

Well, frankly – it is a bit contrived. I knew I wanted to start a music blog but didn’t have an idea for a title. I thought a good, preferably slightly mysterious quotation would do nicely but nothing came to mind. So I decided to look in the best source: Shakespeare. I went to Open Source Shakespeare, typed in “music” (which has roughly the same effect as the wildcard search “music*” in most engines), carefully went through the 220 results (in real life my field is literary theory so I quite enjoy this kind of thing), and selected two favorites:

Result no. 12, source: As You Like It [IV, 1], character: Jaques (lord), starting line: 1806

I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is
emulation; nor the musician’s, which is fantastical; nor the
courtier’s, which is proud; nor the soldier’s, which is
ambitious; nor the lawyer’s, which is politic; nor the lady’s,
which is nice; nor the lover’s, which is all these; but it is a
melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted
from many objects, and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my
travels; in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous

Result no. 86, source: Merchant of Venice [V, 1], character: Portia , starting line: 2559

The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended, and I think
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.

How many things by season season’d are
To their right praise and true perfection!
Peace, ho! the moon sleeps with Endymion
And would not be awaked.

And thus came to be… The Fantastical Melancholy of the Musical Wren!!! The music blog you are reading now.

Would you like to know some of my discarded Shakespearian ideas for a music blog title? Here they are. The first series are my favorites. The second I’m somewhat less fond of. Feel free to discuss your preferences… ;D

MUSIC I’ THE AIR (Antony and Cleopatra IV, 3)
MARK THE MUSIC (Merchant of Venice V, 1)
THE MUSICAL CONFUSION (Midsummer Night’s Dream IV, 1)
THE SILVER SOUND (Romeo and Juliet IV, 5)
QUICKENING INFLUENCE (Taming of the Shrew I, 1)
ORDAINED TREATMENT (Taming of the Shrew III, 1)
MARVELLOUS SWEET MUSIC [the main excitement here is in the spelling ;-)] (Tempest III, 3)
MUSIC, AWAKE [a bit of cheating here] (Winter’s Tale V, 3)

THE BRIGHT LUTE (Love’s Labour’s Lost IV, 3)
HO MUSIC SUCH AS CHARMETH SLEEP (Midsummer Night’s Dream IV, 1) [I’d have to limit myself to minimalism… ;-)]
SLUMBERING MUSIC (Pericles V, 1) [ditto ;-)]
A MUSICAL DISCORD (Midsummer Night’s Dream IV, 1)

  1. 27 June 2008 at 19:57

    Just to let you know, both Pawels will be at Other Minds 14, the San Francisco music festival of maverick composers, March 5-7, 2009, which I direct. And further, that I’ve heard music by both composers that is of such a high level that I was thoroughly impressed. Did you hear the opening concert of the 2007 Warsaw Autumn Festival with orchestral works by both? Wow. I was there in the hall and was thoroughly impressed by both pieces. BTW, I don’t see your name on this blog and have no idea who or where you are. Thanks for the note about this new CD release, in any case. Blessings . . .

  2. maciek
    27 June 2008 at 23:07

    Wow! I love the Other Minds web page – have been there lots of times (you have a stream of Hanna Kulenty’s Flute Concerto, and she’s a favorite composer of mine). Thanks for dropping by!
    I wasn’t aware of the fact that my name is not visible – I was under the impression it was added automatically next to each entry. But now I see that this only happens with comments. Will have to see about getting that “automaticated”. 😉 Perhaps I need to change the “theme” in my layout options or something… Thanks for pointing this out.

  3. Robert Berkoff
    14 October 2009 at 23:57

    Hi Maciek,
    Nice site…..I was wondering if you have heard Kulenty’s String Quartet 4. The Kronos Quartet have included it as part of their current tour…..Hope family is fine…


    • maciek
      15 October 2009 at 10:51

      Hi Robert! Everyone is fine here, thanks. Haven’t heard any of her quartets – maybe they’ll finally record something? I’ll PM you. Maciek

  4. LN
    5 February 2011 at 7:54

    Hi Maciek!

    I found your comment when I was looking for musical score of Roman Statkowski.

    Around 1990 I played piano for his Krakowiaks in C sharp minor but I don’t remember and I can’t find the score.

    If you have it or know a publisher, please let me know. I will really appreciate!!!

    • maciek
      7 February 2011 at 18:11

      Hi LN!

      I have no idea. You could try pwm.com.pl – they have a handful of his scores (three, actually), but they don’t have anything of his called “Krakowiak”. Was this a piece for violin and piano? They do have “Trzy tańce” (Three Dances) for violin and piano – maybe it’s one of those? I don’t know. Hopefully someone else will be able to help you.

  5. LN
    13 February 2011 at 5:07

    Hello Maciek!

    Thank you for quick reply!

    It was for solo piano. I also here in Japan asked it for the import score shop but they can’t.

    I have no idea why my piano teacher 20 years ago had score even copied.

    I will keep this in mind and if I have a chance to travel to Poland I would look for it.

    Anyway, I really appreciate you.

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