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Polish Radio Folk Collection Volume 12 - Slask
Silesia - a typical borderland - for centuries lay in the center of different countries' interest. The Polish kingdom lost it to the Bohemian crown in the 14th century. It passed with that crown to the Austrian Hapsburgs in 1526


 
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Description
 
Silesia - a typical borderland - for centuries lay in the center of different countries' interest. The Polish kingdom lost it to the Bohemian crown in the 14th century. It passed with that crown to the Austrian Hapsburgs in 1526, fell to Prussia during the war of 1740-48 and later became part of Germany. Divided into a German and a Polish part in 1922, the whole region was incorporated into Poland in 1945.
Silesians spoke in the Polish dialect at home, and in German at schools and offices. In the churches, services were held in both languages until 1938. The more violently the family and community values were attacked by the state administration and political authorities, the more they were cherished as the ancestral heritage, scrupulously handed down to the next generation. The Silesians' regard for their own traditions, rituals, customs,, songs, and legends resulted in the preservation of numerous relics of ancient Polish culture, of folkloric phenomena which have long disappeared from other regions, but are still alive in this repository of Polish culture. As a result of changes which accompanied the development of Silesian industry, the old forms of social life and the ways of music-making have dwindled in scope and influence. Ritual wedding songs, abundantly represented on the CD are still relatively well preserved in the memories of the older generation. Most of them, as e.g. the capping songs with the well-known Hop, my hop, are also performed in other regions of Poland. Easter, Midsummer and Christmas rituals and customs have, conversely, disappeared and the related repertoire is but rarely performed.
Lyrical - love and wooing - songs are quite numerous in Silesian music folklore and are common to other regions of Poland. Songs about mining and the songs of the Silesian uprisings (1919-24) constitute, on the other hand, a distinct repertoire specific to Silesia, as also do the songs about Silesians emigrating to Germany in search of work. (the song They're working hard abroad).
In the 19th century, the old folk instruments (Pan pipes and other types of pipes, bagpipes, horns, wooden trumpets, two stringed folk fiddles called gesle) were eventually supplanted by factory-made products: the clarinet, the trumpet, the accordian, the violin. Also today, these are the basic instruments of Silesian bands playing to dances and dance-games, a rich variety of which is presented on this CD. Apart from dances known in other regions of Poland - obereks, polkas and marches - the Silesians would also dance the trojak (a dance in threes: one man and two women) and the grozik (a boy and a girl stamping their feet and shaking fingers at each other, then dancing in a circle with the polka steps). The music on this CD was collected in 1971-98. The performers and the repertoire come from two different parts of Silesia: the Opole region (Smolarnia, Raclawiczki, Dziedzice, Dziergowice) and Upper Silesia (Piekary Slaskie, Grodzied, Zychcice, Mierzecice, Myszkow, Rogoznik). English-Polish booklet enclosed with details about the region and the musicians.
Features
  • Compact Disc
  • 41 selections
  • Total Time: 73:11
  • English-Polish language booklet


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