KAROL SZYMANOWSKI AS THE CHANCELLOR OF THE HIGHER SCHOOL OF MUSIC IN WARSAW. NEW FACTS, NEW LIGHT
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The authoress discusses the question of historical evaluation of Szymanowski's stand and his role as the Chancellor of the Higher School of Music in Warsaw. Taking into account different narratives she argues that too often those judgments are based on statements made by Szymanowski himself, who tended to reduce the controversy over the Higher School to the struggle between progressivism and conservatism. The article re-examines these views to prepare ground for a more objective discussion, by providing a detailed reconstruction of the story of the controversies linked to the future of the School. This brings the authoress to the conclusion that they resulted from two different tendencies. The first was represented by Szymanowski, who saw the need to expand the existing narrow system of vocational teaching and to create an 'oasis of wisdom' in Warsaw with an elite of virtuosos. The second was egalitarian and utilitarian. According to the authoress, Szymanowski's vision in the time of the economic depression was utopian. That is why, she argues, it is the latter tendency, convergent with the policies of the Polish educational authorities, which prevailed in the conflict over the shape of the Conservatory.
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