Mieczysław Karłowicz and the “Young Poland” Movement
The group which at the turn of the 19th century opposed the conservative character of Polish music, represented by such composers as Żeleński and Paderewski, came to be known as “Young Poland”. Associated with this group, the composer Mieczysław Karłowicz wrote six symphonic poems, with which in the early 20th century he secured for himself the position of one of the most important European writers in this genre, derived from the post-Romantic tradition as represented by Richard Strauss. The most eminent representative of “Young Poland” was Karol Szymanowski, Poland’s greatest composer after Chopin. After a period of writing under the influence of Skryabin’s expressionism and Debussy's impressionism, Szymanowski developed his own style rooted in the most recent developments in European music, but also imbued with the spirit of the Polish tradition.
Szymanowski’s music has enjoyed tremendous worldwide success in recent years. One of the focal points of its present-day renaissance is King Roger, most likely – the most popular Polish opera of all time.
In the photo: the Young Polish Composers’ Publishing Company with its patron. Left to right: Apolinary Szeluto, Karol Szymanowski, Duke Władysław Lubomirski, Grzegorz Fitelberg and Ludomir Różycki.