articles

artykuły naukowe, articles scientifiques, wissenschaftliche Artikel

  1. Szostak Michał, "A 157-stop organ in the Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń",
    in: "The Diapason", One Hundred Tenth Year: No. 8, Whole No. 1317, August 2019, Scranton Gillette Communications Inc., Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA, ISSN 0012-2378, pp. 16-19.

  2. Szostak Michał, "An appreciation of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll on the 120th Anniversary of his Death",
    in: "The Organ”, No 387, February-April (Winter) 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 6-21.

  3. Szostak Michał, "Austrian change for the World’s largest organ list",
    in: "The Organ”, No 396, May-Jul 2021, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 8-25.

  4. Szostak Michał, "Aristide Cavaillé-Coll: a Biographical Sketch",
    in: "Organ Canada", Journal of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Vol. 33, No 1, Winter 2020, Royal Canadian College of Organists, Toronto, ISSN 1486-2492, pp. 15-19.

  5. Szostak Michał, "Canada’s Largest Organs and World Colossi",
    in: "Organ Canada", Journal of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Vol. 33, No 2, Spring 2020, Royal Canadian College of Organists, Toronto, ISSN 1486-2492, pp. 14-20.

  6. Szostak Michał, "Creativity and Artistry in Organ Music",
    in: "The Organ”, No 391, February-April (Winter) 2020, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 24-31.

  7. Szostak Michał, "Emanuel Štěpán Petr, a Czech Cavaillé-Coll",
    in: "The Organ”, No 394, Nov.2020-Jan.2021, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 26-41.

  8. Szostak Michał, "Evolution of Cavaillé-Coll’s Symphonic Organs”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 384, May-July 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 8-23.

  9. Szostak Michał, "Frédéric Chopin and the organ", 
    in: "The Organ”, No 389, August-October 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 30-49.

  10. Szostak Michał, "Implementation of the Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s Vatican project in Poland”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 383, February-April 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 33-47.

  11. Szostak Michał, "Jan Śliwiński: A Polish apprentice to Cavaillé-Coll",

  12. in: "The Organ", No 395, February-April 2021, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 10-27.

  13. Szostak Michał, "Kicz: nasza ochrona przed rzeczywistością",
    in: "Więź", Jaunary 12, 2021, link here.

  14. Szostak Michał, "Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély - a Sesquicentenary Assessment", 
    in: "The Organ”, No 388, May-July 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 4-21.

  15. Szostak Michał, "Romantic Tendencies in 19th-century Organ Building in Europe”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 385, Summer 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 10-27.

  16. Szostak Michał, "The Art of Stylish Organ Improvisation",
    in: "The Organ”, No 390, Nov.2019-Jan.2020, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 20-27.

  17. Szostak Michał, "The French Symphonic Organs – Instrument as Inspiration for the Performer”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 386, Fall 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 6-27.

  18. Szostak Michał, "The Largest Pipe Organs in the World”,
    in: "The Vox Humana”, An affiliate of the American Guild of Organists, September 30, 2018.

  19. Szostak Michał, "The Organ of Notre Dame, Paris”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 389, August-October 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 12-28.

  20. Szostak Michał, "The Perception of Organ Music”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 393, August-October 2020, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 8-13.

  21. Szostak Michał, "The World’s Largest Organs”,
    in: "The Organ”, No 382, November 2017 - January 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 12-28.

  22. Szostak Michał & Sułkowski Łukasz, "The challenges in identification of artists-managers: consequences for creativity", in: "Creativity Studies",  Vol. 14, Issue 1, pp. 112-124, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Press, Vilnius 2021, ISSN 2345-0479, eISSN 2345-0487.

  23. Szostak Michał & Sułkowski Łukasz, "Kitsch in Management: Characteristic Forms, Carriers and Propagators",
    in: Khalid S. Soliman (edit.) "Education excellence and innovation management: a 2025 Vision to sustain economic development during global challenges : proceedings of the 35th International Business Information Management Association Conference (IBIMA)", 1-2 April 2020, Seville, Spain, ISBN: 978-0-9998551-4-0, p. 7584–7598. 

    Video presentation of the abstract - here. Link to the article in 35th IBIMA Conference Proceedings - here.

  24. Szostak Michał & Sułkowski Łukasz, "Manager as an Artist: Creative Endeavour in Crossing the Borders of Art and Organizational Discourse", in: "Creativity Studies",  Vol. 13, Issue 3, pp. 351-368, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Press, Vilnius 2020, ISSN 2345-0479, eISSN 2345-0487.

  25. Szostak Michał & Sułkowski Łukasz, "The identity and self-perception of artists-managers", in: "Problems and Perspectives in Management", Vol. 19, Issue 1, pp. 372-386, LC “Consulting Publishing Company “Business Perspectives”, Sumy 2021. doi:10.21511/ppm.19(1).2021.32

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Szostak Michał, "Austrian change for the World’s largest organ list",
in: "The Organ”, No 396, May-Jul 2021, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 8-25.

 

Abstract:

In the shadow of the pandemic, which for a year has been affecting us extremely painful in all areas of our lives, 2020 saw an important but very quiet event in the world of organ building. After three years of intensive works, the restored main instrument in the cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna (Austria), electronically connected with the choir organ, changed the balance of powers in the rankings of the largest instruments in Europe and the world. It is worth adding here that since 2007, i.e. from the completion of the Zych organ in the Basilica in Licheń Stary, Poland, until the end of 2020, these rankings remained unchanged. As the capital city of Austria, Vienna abounds in buildings within the walls of which important musical events took place and still are. One of these marvelous buildings is the Saint Stephen’s Cathedral (Ger. Stephansdom) located in the heart of the city. The first documented mention of the church and parish of St. Stephen took place in 1137 in correspondence between Babenberg Duke Leopold IV of Austria and Bishop Reginmar of Passau (a German city). This date is associated with the construction of the first Romanesque church in this place; it was consecrated ten years later, 1147. The historical turmoil did not spare the church but there were efforts to lift the building from the ashes every time. The construction of the current building began in the years 1230–1263. In 1365 it became the founding seat of a collegiate chapter in the course of the new Gothic building by Rudolf IV. It was extended from the 14th to the beginning of the 16th century due to establishing the bishopric of Vienna in the 1470s. Liturgically, St. Stephen followed the catholic tradition of the Diocese of Passau until the 16th century. The archbishopric of Vienna was established in 1723 and the cathedral became one of the largest European temples.

"A 157-stop organ in the Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń", "The Diapason" (No 1317)

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Szostak Michał, "A 157-stop organ in the Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń",
in: "The Diapason", One Hundred Tenth Year: No. 8, Whole No. 1317, August 2019, Scranton Gillette Communications Inc., Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA, ISSN 0012-2378, pp. 16-19.

 

Abstract:

At the beginning of the 21st century, in the years 2002-2007, in the small village of Lichen Stary, located in the geographical center of Poland (Europe), in the largest Catholic temple of the country, Polish company „Zaklady Organowe Zych” according to the concept of prof. Andrzej Chorosinski build a monumental symphonic instrumentarium with 157 stops managed by a six-manual console. It was suppose to be the largest organ in Poland and one of the finest in the world.

This article describes in detail the organ of the Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen in Poland.

Lichen Stary is a small village with a community of around 1,500. After the World War II Marian Priests developed there the cult to Holy Mary, Mother of God, thanks to the small oil painting from XVIII century. The permanently increasing amount of pilgrims visiting the village could not fit in the small local church containing the picture. Marian Priests decided to build great Basilica to worship Mary and fit all pilgrims there. The idea of building the great Basilica have been materialized between 1992-2002: the capacity of the Basilica is 300,700 m3; the usable area is 23,000 m2, the length of the nave is approx. 139 m, the width of the transept with uneven shoulder lengths is approx. 144 m. After this step there was a need to equip the interior with liturgical elements, including pipe organ.

"The World's Largest Organs", "The Organ" (No 382)

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Szostak Michał, "The World’s Largest Organs”,
in: "The Organ”, No 382, November 2017 - January 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 12-28.

 

Abstract:

The first part of this paper attempts to address this gap in the literature of the subject by providing the most objective criterion on which to base a reliable classification of organs in terms of size can be made. In the second part, on the basis of this criterion, classifications of the largest organs in Europe and the world were made on this basis.

The research area of the largest organs leads naturally to the issue of their comparison and classification in terms of size. The bibliography of the subject and the various classifications present the rankings of selected instruments on the basis of various criteria, often inaccurate or not accurately verified. There is no comprehensive approach to this subject in international literature of the subject. Until now, the below described methodology was published in Polish literature of the subject only.

There are many methods of classifying organs in terms of size, and each of these methods has its greater or lesser imperfections that result from the fact that each instrument is unique in its own way. The following is a summary of the most common criteria for classification of organs in terms of size (see Table 1).

The most common criterion for classification of organs in terms of size is the number of stops. The basic imperfection of this criterion is the non-variation of stops which are extremely diverse - in terms of construction (wood/metal, labial/reed), the amount of material used (labial voice 2' versus labial voice 16') or degree of complexity (one rank vs many ranks). In addition, there is the issue of real stops, i.e. having their own set of pipes corresponding to each key of the scale; combined voices - using pipes of other real stops (e.g. acoustic stop Subkontrabas 32' achieved with a combination of real stops Subbas 16' + Quintbas 10 2/3'); extensions, that is use the order of the pipes of the existing real stop and add a missing number from the top or bottom of the scale to give a higher or lower tone for a specific interval (e.g. octave, quint, other); transmission - that is the voices that use a single row of pipes to obtain a given sound in two or more sections; stops with the electronic sound source. Due to the above shortcomings, this criterion was rejected.

The second criterion for organ classification in terms of size is the number of pipes. This criterion seems very accurate, but the basic problem in its use for this study is the difficulty in verifying the actual number of pipes in each instrument (we deal with the largest instruments in the world where the number of pipes is in the tens of thousands). In addition, there is the issue of the distinction of pipes from muted pipes (placed in organ cases only for aesthetic impressions). This criterion was also rejected.

The third criterion for organ classification in terms of size can be the number of switches in the organ console. This criterion is the least accurate, because the switches in the counter refer to real registers, combinational registers, copulas, fixed and free combinations, additional equipment, and many other solutions. Certainly the number of switches increases the musical capabilities of the instrument, but it does not necessarily indicate its actual physical size. This criterion was also rejected.

The last criterion, which is derived from the above criteria, may be the number of choruses/rows of pipes playing in real stops. This criterion is sufficiently precise and verifiable in the particular instruments that it has been selected - along with the additional assumptions referred to above - as the basis for this analysis.

"Implementation of the Aristide Cavaille-Coll's Vatican project in Poland", "The Organ" (No 383)

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Szostak Michał, "Implementation of the Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s Vatican project in Poland”,
in: "The Organ”, No 383, February-April 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 33-47.

 

Abstract:

Particular attention should be pay on the project from 1875 of monumental organ for the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome made by the great French visionary of the symphonic organ, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899). This 124-stops colossus was to crown the work of Cavaillé-Coll and was “to complement the artistic achievements of the greatest masters of architecture, sculpture and painting, because music, the most religious of fine arts, did not have a worthy monument in this place”. Unfortunately, this project has never been implemented at its destination. However, at the beginning of the 21st century, around 130 years after the idea came into being, in the small village of Lichen Stary, located in the geographical center of Poland, in the largest Catholic temple of the country, the vision of Cavaillé-Coll materialized. In the years 2002-2007, the Polish company „Zaklady Organowe Zych” according to the concept of prof. Andrzej Chorosinski reproduced the sound of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll's organ in a monumental instrumentarium with 157 stops managed by a six-manual console.

This article describes in detail the design of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll's organ for the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome, completed organ of the Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen in Poland and a comparative analysis of these two sound concepts.

Cavaillé-Coll, after realizing the monumental instruments in the Parisian Basilicas Saint-Sulpice (100, 5M+P) and Notre-Dame (86, 5M+P), in the race for the title of the creator of the largest instrument in the world, he wanted to do this work in the most famous and the prestigious church of the world, as proof of the power of the idea of French symphonic organs.

Cavaillé-Coll thought about constructing of this instrument already at the time when he designed the reconstruction of the organ in Saint-Sulpice, i.e. around 1860 (in 1862, the first official mentions of these plans appeared in the Paris-based newspaper “Le Monde”). The scale of such a venture was enormous, which is why the organ master did not stop at just designing the instrument only, but gathered around this idea a large group of patrons and protectors, among whom there was no shortage of aristocracy and world-renowned organists. The prospectus of the instrument was designed by a friendly architect, Alphonse Simil.

Cavaillé-Coll has three times tried to interest the Vatican's governors to implement his idea. The first attempt took place on November 6, 1875, when the publication „Projet d'orgue monumental pour la Basilique de Saint-Pierre de Rome”, in which he described his entire idea, sent to Pope Pius IX. Soon afterwards, in a private audience on December 22, 1875, he personally presented the project to the Pope, who accepted the idea with favourable interest, but eventually suspended its implementation. The second attempt was to send March 18, 1881 to the next Pope, Leo XIII, a petition reminiscent of the new organs. This request, together with a brochure on the project, was presented to the Pope by Bishop Cataldi, Prefect of the Holiness ceremony. This attempt brought more hope for the execution of the project, due to the upcoming exhibition of products of Catholic art and industry, which was planned for 1887 on the occasion of the priesthood jubilee of Pope Leo XIII. This exhibition, as the third attempt to bring the Pope's attention to the idea, mobilized Cavaillé-Coll to build a model of the instrument in the 1:10 scale. This model was made and mounted in a workshop at rue du Maine 15 in Paris. Many prominent clergymen and people from the world of art and science came to admire the model. At the request of Cavaillé-Coll, the French Ministère de l'Instruction publique, des Cultes et des Beaux-Arts set up a special commission at L'Académie des beaux-arts to study this model. The committee included: from the musical composition sections Ambroise Thomas, Charles Gounod, Ernest Reyer, Gilles Massenet, Camille Saint-Saens and Leo Delibes, from the sculpture section Pierre-Jules Cavelier and Louis-Ernest Barrias, and from the architecture section Charles Garnier, Léon Ginain, Questel, Daumet and Baron Haussmann. The third attempt to make the decision to build this instrument, extended to the finished model, took place in 1888 in front of Pope Leo XIII; unfortunately, it also did not have a positive effect. The instrument's model is placed to this day in the vaults of the Vatican Basilica. Finally, for his project Aristide Cavaillé-Coll received the medal of Saint. Silvestre only.

"Evolution of Cavaille-Coll's symphonic organ", "The Organ" (No 384)

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Szostak Michał, "Evolution of Cavaillé-Coll’s Symphonic Organs”,
in: "The Organ”, No 384, May-July 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 8-23.

 

Abstract:

In the history of musical culture, romantic organs created in France in the 19th century are commonly called symphonic instruments. For French Baroque organs, called Classical organs –  which to this day occupy a significant card in the history of organ building – symphonic instruments constituted an opposition pattern of construction, educated in the spirit of the aesthetics of the Romantic era. These instruments, being predominantly the works of one artist, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899), combine a repetitive structure of elements whose mutual relations influenced their individual tone. This structure of elements paved the way for many 19th-century organ composers and improvisers, and then created perspectives on 20th-century music. The legacy of French composers-improvisers associated with this particular type of organbuilding is a direct reflection of the features of these instruments.

The literature on Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s organist and organist is very rich. France has well-preserved archives, and the 19th century has already been a time of comprehensive use of permanent methods of recording both text and image (initially figures and then photographs). In addition, Cavaillé-Coll left many written materials – notes, scientific articles and other publications including illustrations; many non-existent instruments were sketched or photographed. First of all, many instruments have survived to this day, which are tangible proof of the features and skills of their author. The uniqueness of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s instruments and their influence on many phenomena of organ art caused and cause the development of many scientific studies.

In this article I would like to show the evolution process of Cavaille-Coll’s symphonic organ throughout the whole life of this visionary organbuilder.

In the literature on the subject, Kurt Leuders divides Cavaillé-Coll’s organ works into three periods: 1) post-classical period, 2) operatic period, and 3) symphonic period. The first post-classical period includes eight early instruments made up to 1850; the larger works of this period include the organs of Saint-Denis (1841) and Congrégation du Bon Secours de Paris (1850). The middle operatic period includes fourteen works made from 1851 to 1871 (during the Second Empire); the most important of which are organs in Chapelle Notre-Dame de l’Hôpital du Val-de-Grâce (1853), Chapelle de la Fondation Eugène-Napoléon (1857), Saint-Louis-d’Antin (1858), Saint-Bernard-de-la-Chapelle (1862), Saint-Sulpice (1862), Congrégation des Lazaristes (Chapelle Saint-Vincent-de-Paul) (1864), Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Neuilly (1865), l’Église Évangélique Luthérienne de la Résurrection (1866) and Charenton-le-Pont and Chapelle de Conflans (1866).

"Romantic tendencies in 19th-century organ building in Europe”, "The Organ” (No 385)

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Szostak Michał, "Romantic Tendencies in 19th-century Organ Building in Europe”,
in: "The Organ”, No 385, Summer 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 10-27.

 

Abstract:

The nineteenth century is extremely diverse in its phenomena and tendencies, often marked by the coexistence of opposing currents. The Great French Revolution (1789-1799) and the so-called "Coalition Wars" (1799-1815) conducted against France under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) plowed the social order of Europe and have received wide echoes in all aspects of life not only of the inhabitants of the country on the Loire. The Congress of Vienna, convened in 1814-1815 to revise the territorial and political changes, was to develop new principles of continental order. After a period of temporary restoration of the old order and the presence of significant conservative forces, subsequent social revolutions in France in 1848 (the Spring of Nations) followed by general democratization. In economic and social terms, especially in France and England, it was a period of industrialization (use of a steam engine, the development of railroads, use of natural gas, inventing electricity) and deepening of social differences (massification and increase of poverty, isolation and loneliness of an individual in anonymous society with rising fortunes of industrialists). France was the largest country in Europe in the 19th century, both in terms of area and population.

Against this social background, culture, including music that interests us the most, also underwent significant stylistic changes. Art and music have become a domain, except as always high spheres, so-called enlightened burghers with very different ambitions; besides works of the highest artistic value, low-flight music was also created. The development of machines that enabled mass production resulted in huge popularisation of musical instruments and musical notes in printed form. In addition to home music, music flourished in salons, concert halls, operas and churches (here with some interruptions). The development of the instruments made it possible to develop the playing technique, examples of which are Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840, violin) and Ferenz Liszt (1811-1886, piano). In the history of music, the nineteenth century has been described as one denominator - the century of Romanticism. Although Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) formally belongs to the group of great classics, it was precisely on the basis of his orchestral work, already exhibiting many features of Romanticism, that the successors built a building of great Romantic symphonic music in various forms and variations in which they appeared new elements - poetics and metaphysics; there was a shift of the center of gravity from the impersonal "idea" to the emotionally lived "phenomenon", from the cold "mind" to the hot "feeling"; self-expression, subjectivism and emotions began to dominate; in turn, the principle of dynamism caused changes in the means of expression: structures, forms, game techniques and sound, manifested, among others, in new instruments and the development of the orchestra.

"The French Symphonic Organs - Instrument as Inspiration for the Performer”, "The Organ” (No 386)

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Szostak Michał, "The French Symphonic Organs – Instrument as Inspiration for the Performer”,
in: "The Organ”, No 386, Fall 2018, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 6-27.

Abstract:

From the point of view of aesthetics, as a science dealing with the so-called aesthetic situation, inspiration is an inseparable element of the initial phase of the aesthetic situation, which includes the artist (creator), creative process, work of art, the recipient, the process of art perception and aesthetic values. Inspiration (from Latin noun 'inspiratio' = inspiration and Latin verb 'inspirare' = blow in) is an encouragement to action, especially in man's creative work. It involves stimulating the creative process of the artist to perform a specific work of art. The opposite of inspiration is discouragement, demotivation, weakening the spirit. The phenomenon of inspiration (and “deinspiration”) can be considered as an ephemeral temporary situation (coincidence) and as a long-term process (e.g. an inspiring place).

From the point of view of the performer, sources (factors) that can be an inspiration I divide into external (objective) to the performer and internal (subjective) to the performer.

External sources of inspiration include: a) the instrument; b) interior acoustics; c) listeners (their number, their potential level of perception of a work of art); d) circumstances (concert, liturgical: great and solemn ceremony or modest morning service); e) history of the place and the characters with connected places; f) epoch-fashion-style; g) musical theme; h) musical form.  I will now discuss each of these factors on the example of 19th-century French symphonic organs.

The inspiration of the French symphonic instrument will be discussed in more detail later in this paper. At this point, it is worth mentioning the issue of instrumental inspiration (its type and features) on a more general and fundamental level, i.e. the Cavaillé-Coll instruments, through the applied solutions, were the inspiration for the entire school of French symphonic organ music that transcends time beyond the frame of romanticism. The founder of this school is Cesar Franck with his "Grande pièce symphonique" considered the first organ symphony, which is in close correlation with the Cavaillé-Coll instrument of the Sainte-Clothilde church in Paris, and for follow-up - Guilmant (instruments in Trocadero and La Trinité), Widor (Saint-Sulpice), Vierne (initially Saint-Sulpice, then Notre-Dame) and even Messiaen (La Trinité).

Also in earlier eras, we find a number of examples when the instrument was a source of inspiration - even for the formation of whole groups of music pieces. I am thinking here of the characteristic sounds of the classical French organ stops, which, explored in appropriate ambituses, reflect unique aesthetic values: the busy "Basse de Cromorne" moving against the background of flute voices in higher registers, the sentimental "Tierce en taille" braided from above and below with flute sounds, "Flûtes" showing mood sounds in a different combination of these stops and many others; compositions with such titles can be found in all composers of the French Baroque (e.g. in the Clérambault part of "Basse de Crommorne" or "Flûtes" in "Suite du 2me ton", in Louis Couperin "Fantaisie sur la Tierce du Grand-Clavier" or in Nicolas De Grigny in "Messe pour orgue" part of "Cromorne en taille").

"The largest pipe organs in the world”, "The Vox Humana” (Sept. 30, 2018)

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Szostak Michał, "The Largest Pipe Organs in the World”,
in: "The Vox Humana”, An affiliate of the American Guild of Organists, September 30, 2018.

Abstract:

Considering which organs are the largest leads to a major issue of their comparison: objectively, what makes one organ larger than another? The existing literature on the subject and the various classifications present the rankings of selected instruments on the basis of various criteria are often inaccurate, and there is no comprehensive approach to this subject in literature of the subject.

There are many methods of classifying organs in terms of size, and each has some degree of imperfection, because each instrument is unique in its own way. The following is a summary of the most common criteria for classification of organs in terms of size.

The most common criterion for classification of organs in terms of size is the number of stops. However, stops are extremely diverse in terms of material and construction (wood/metal, labial/reed), the amount of material used (a 2' flue stop versus the same kinds of pipes at 16ʹ), and the degree of complexity (one rank versus many ranks). In addition, some organs have stops in which each key plays only one pipe of the scale; some use combined voices — using pipes of other real stops to create an imitation (e.g. an acoustic stop Subcontrabass 32' achieved with a combination of real stops Subbass 16' + Quintbass 10 2/3'); extensions — adding a missing octave (or more or less) to the top or bottom of a rank of pipes to give a higher or lower pitch for a specific interval (e.g. adding an additional low octave to an 8’ principal could result in a 16’ principal stop in electric action instruments); and transmission — voices that use a single row of pipes to obtain a given sound in two or more sections (one rank of pipes could result in a 4’ principal and a 3’ principal).

The second criterion for comparing size is the number of pipes. This is problematic because practically, verifying the actual number of pipes in each instrument can be nearly impossible (some instruments have tens of thousands of individual pipes). In addition (though to a much lesser extent), there is the issue of the distinction of playing pipes from muted/dummy pipes (those placed in organ façades only for aesthetic reasons).

"An appreciation of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll on the 120th anniversary of his death”, "The Organ” (No 387)

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Szostak Michał, "An appreciation of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll on the 120th Anniversary of his Death",
in: "The Organ”, No 387, February-April (Winter) 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 6-21.

Abstract:

2019 marks the 120th anniversary of the death of the father of symphonic organs, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. On this occasion, it is worth recalling this monumental figure, which in the 19th century changed the image of French instruments, and thus influenced the then organ building in Europe and in many corners of the world, radiating in a unique way to present day.

Reading the source materials about Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (his publications, scientific articles, notes, correspondence) and the literature of the subject allows to thoroughly follow the entire life story of this character. Below I present the silhouette of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, first of all as a man, emphasizing important moments in his life, which he experienced in parallel with the idea of ​​symphonic organs evolving in his mind.

Aristide Cavaillé-Coll came from the family for generations of organ builders with the roots of French and Spanish, which explains his two-part name. His great-grandfather, Gabriel Cavaillé (1699-1745), was a weaver in the village of Tarn. The first organ builder in the family was Gabriel's brother, Joseph Cavaillé (1700-1767), a disciple of the Isnards Brothers, leading his workshop in Toulouse; he built many instruments in the south of France and Catalonia. The grandfather of Aristide, and the son of Gabriel, Jean-Pierre Cavaillé (1743-1809), also an organ builder, married on February 12, 1767, Maria-Francesca Coll, a young woman from Barcelona (daughter of a weaver and producer of canvas). From the marriage of Jean-Pierre Cavaillé and Maria-Francesca Coll, Dominique-Hyacinth Cavaillé-Coll (1771-1862) was born, the organ builder, the father of Aristide. Dominique Cavaillé-Coll on April 26, 1810, at the age of 39, married 22-year-old Jeanne Autard (1788-1864), with whom from October 30, 1808 he had an illegitimate son, Vincent. Less than a year after his marriage, on February 3, 1811 in Montpellier, southern France, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll was born, a man who revolutionized the French and international organ architecture of the 19th century.

We should also mention the half-brother Dominique Cavaillé-Coll, uncle Aristide, Martin Cavaillé (1785-1862), son of Jean-Pierre Cavaillé and second wife (after the death of Maria-Francesca in 1780) Marguerite Fabry from Saint-Thibéry; Martin was also the organ builder. The descendants of Martin Cavaillé-Coll for some time represented the already famous Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and his brother Vincent in minor organ works constructed in the south of France. Jean-Pierre Cavaillé, Dominique Cavaillé-Coll and his sons, Vincent and Aristide, were professionally active in southern France (Montréal, Gaillac, Perpignan, Albi, Toulouse) and in Spain (Barcelona, ​​Puigcerdá and Lérida).

"Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély - a sesquicentenary assessment", "The Organ” (No 388)

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Szostak Michał, "Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély - a Sesquicentenary Assessment", 
in: "The Organ”, No 388, May-July 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 4-21.

Abstract:

2019 is the round 150th anniversary of the death of an interesting and important figure for the French organ and organ music world of the 19th century, Louis-James-Alfred Lefébure-Wély (1817-1869). He was called by his contemporaries the “prince of organists”, “notability”, ”dandy”, “Auber of organ” and even – this is the very word of Alexandre Guilmant – ”the most significant, the greatest and timeless organist of France”[1].

Round anniversaries are a good opportunity to recall characters who – although forgotten today – played an important role in their field in their time. This article presents facts from the life of this musician, and sheds light on the realities in which he lived.

The cultural and moral plight that reached France during the Great Revolution (1789-1799) and the subsequent decades of the 19th century reflected a significant turning point in whole culture but also in organ music. Temporary closed on this wave the organ class at the Paris Conservatory completed the work of the chapter of the "old" classical era and the "new" romantic era. Organists of so-called the “Golden Age” naturally left without leaving behind their successors who would cultivate the Baroque (classical in the French sense) organ playing technique. In this case, there was no natural transition of the old into new ones. It can be said that new music – in the spirit of developing Romanticism – began to appear in French organ music in the 30s and 40s of the 19th century. This phenomenon was closely related to the appearance in Paris in 1833 of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899) and his instruments built in the spirit of symphonic style.

Another important factor of the time was development of the orchestra which was the area for composers to create larger and larger symphonic works, where crescendi and diminuendi played an important role.

It must be also remembered that even up to the end of the 1860s, there was a relaxed atmosphere in the French churches – far from contemplative piety, as we know it; people entered the churches in hats (including men), they were vividly reacted to the music – turning their faces to the organs, the works that were liked were applauded. When Adolph Hesse visited Paris in 1844, he observed that “organ playing in France was generally irreverent, although occasionally a significant talent came to my attention within this irreverence. Not infrequently is a gay pastorale heard during a church service, which turns into a thunderstorm before closing with a sort of operatic grand finale in free style. Given that this is untenable from the German religious viewpoint, it must be admitted that such things are often done quite talentedly. In response to my astonishment over this, I was told that the clergy as well as the congregation expect light-hearted music.”

All these elements were important factors in creating one of the most original person in organ world of 19th century in France.

"Frédéric Chopin and the organ", "The Organ” (No 389)

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Szostak Michał, "Frédéric Chopin and the organ", 
in: "The Organ”, No 389, August-October 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 30-49.

 

Abstract:

19th-century Paris was a place where all important musicians wanted to perform, to be performed, to be seen and noticed. As we know, Parisian organ world – thanks to Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s instruments and symphonic-school organ performers – kept this trend perfectly. This pattern also became a 20-year-old Chopin, who arrived in the city in 1830.

This article – written for the 170th anniversary of Chopin’s death – is a collection of reflections from a contemporary walks a) along the streets of Warsaw, b) around the church at the village Obory (Polish lands) and c) around the church of Notre-Dame-du-Mont, Marseille, France. There are a lot of studies on this great artist, which is why our walks will concern organ matters only – both historical and contemporary ones. For us, organ performers and lovers, Chopin is an unusual inspiration. However it is worth to stimulate our imagination by looking for not popular but still interesting facts.

We know without any doubt, that organ was generally unfamiliar instrument for Chopin. He did not arouse any artistic interest in it, which can be explained by two facts. Firstly, that organ of that time were not able to realize the performance ideas (subtle dynamic changes, moodiness, intimacy) that Chopin was interested in. Secondly, he never showed any interest in religious life; even on his deathbed, he did not want to accept the last ministry of a friendly priest, Aleksander Jełowicki.

We can only find a few confirmed facts about Chopin’s contact with the organ. Firstly, we know about his regular performances during obligatory masses for Warsaw Lyceum pupils and Warsaw University students in the church of Nuns of Visitation at Krakowskie Przedmieście street. Secondly, he visited the organ loft at the church in small village Obory, where he spent some Summer holidays as a teenager. And thirdly, he performed on the organ during a funeral in Marseilles. Sometimes, Chopin wrote about organ in his letters, but it was always a metaphor. F.eg. he said to one of his friends, when he realized that tsarist army attacked the Polish Uprising, November, 1830 (Poland was no longer on the European map since 1792 until 1918): “My public work [as a concert pianist] is already finished. You have a small church in your village. Please, give me just some bread and I will play on the organ hymns to Mary, Holly Queen of Poland until the end of my life.”[1] Fortunately, he didn’t fulfil this forecast and reborn for the second time in Paris.

Let’s begin the trip.

"The Organ of Notre Dame, Paris”, "The Organ” (No 389)

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Szostak Michał, "The Organ of Notre Dame, Paris”,
in: "The Organ”, No 389, August-October 2019, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 12-28.

 

Abstract:

The majestic Parisian Notre-Dame cathedral is one of the indisputable symbols of the civilizational and cultural achievements of mankind. Although it is located in the centre of Paris – and for every Frenchman is an undeniable proof of the greatness of the French nation – it is also a reference point for humanity throughout the world, which occupies an important place in the heart of every person sensitive to the eternal beauty.

For us, the organists, the instrument of the cathedral is also one of the most important works of organ-master art, with which there were and still is many great organ-makers and organists. This article – in reference to the fire of April 15, 2019 – aims to synthetically collect facts about the great organ of the Notre-Dame cathedral and to familiarize the reader with its rich history.

The origins of the Paris cathedral Notre-Dame date back to the 12th century; the building was erected in the years 1163-1345, as a masterpiece of early Gothic architecture, on the site of the Merovingian cathedral dedicated to Saint Stephen.

The history of stationary organs in this sacral space begins in the 13th century. Before that date, musicians like Léonin, Pérotin and others have been using small portable instruments only. The presence of the first instrument is attested from 1357. The historical sources called it was suspended in form of swallow's nest under the high eastern window of the nave, and had to be there probably since almost hundred years; it was finally sold for scrap in 1425. On October 25th, 1403, the new second organ – built by Frédéric Schambantz (Fredericus Schaubantzis, Schaubankes) on the high narrow tribune above the doors at the west end of the nave – was finished; it had 1M+P, scale b1-b4 and 600 tin pipes. Probably, this instrument served in this place for more than next 300 years.

Due to uncertain sources from this period, containing many assumptions, the analysis of this period has been kept to a minimum in the article.

In 1618, one of the best organists of that time, Charles Racquet (1597-1664), was appointed as the cathedral organist; with him the instrument evolved considerably and became the most modern organ of the French Kingdom. It was then the first organ with three keyboards built in Paris. The official acceptance of the instrument took place in 1620.

During the reign of Louis XIV the Great called the “Sun King” (between 1643 and 1715) and Louis XV „Beloved” (between 1715 and 1774), the cathedral underwent major architectural changes – both inside and outside – because the Gothic style was considered then obsolete.

Médéric Corneille (16??-1731) succeeds Racquet in 1689 and, in agreement with the canons, ordered the famous organ builder Alexandre Thierry (1646-1699) who – with Hippolyte Ducastel – did some important works at the instrument around 1691.

"The Art of Stylish Organ Improvisation”, "The Organ” (No 390)

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Szostak Michał, "The Art of Stylish Organ Improvisation”,
in: "The Organ”, No 390, November 2019 - January 2020, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 20-27.

 

Abstract:

The spontaneous musical activity of a man was the main source from which the entire musical culture of humanity was born. Before the musicians started composing their repetitive works, improvised music was used both for entertainment and for the needs of worship. For centuries, along with the development of instruments, the development of playing techniques has continued. The adaptation of organ for the use of the Western Church implied a dynamic development of this wonderful instrument. The flexibility of the liturgy meant that improvisation was the most optimal way of implementing live music during worships. In principle, until the early second half of the 19th century, improvisation was the dominant form of organ playing. At that time, organs in concert halls were located (e.g. Albert Hall in Sheffield, The Royal Albert's Hall in London, Palais Trocadéro in Paris), and regular concerts were organized there, during which organ literature began to appear regularly.

The subject of this article is the issue of showing the methodology of the performer's approach to the art of stylish organ improvisation, which after a period of stagnation at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, has been experiencing its renaissance in recent decades. Detailed analyses will be provided on the base of the 19th-century French symphonic era, but the same approach and methodology can be used for each epoch and each style.

The dictionary definition of improvisation is “to compose a work of art on the spot, spontaneously, often under the influence of emotion or on a given topic, without any preparation”. The phenomenon of improvisation occurs in every field of art: in literature, music, theatre, or fine arts. Musical improvisation is a creation that combines elements of creativity and reproduction (performance) in a spontaneous and one-off process.

In musical creativity, three types of improvisation are distinguished depending on the role of the performer-composer: 1) creativity based on a specific topic, in close communication with the form (e.g. fugue, variation, partita) or consisting in adding some of its elements to an existing work (e.g., parts, or implementation of basso continuo); 2) creativity consisting in introducing one's own part into an existing work (e.g. cadenza in an instrumental concert), and 3) creation which results in a completely new and independent work (e.g. free fantasy, impression).

"Creativity and Artistry in Organ Music”, "The Organ” (No 391)

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Szostak Michał, "Creativity and Artistry in Organ Music”,
in: "The Organ”, No 391, Ferbruary-Aprli 2020, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 24-31.

 

Abstract:

Each musician likes to call himself an artist. But whether each person who performs music is an artist indeed? What it means to be an artist? Where to look for creativity in artistic performance? All these questions are natural for musicians who try to do their job in creative way – not just to repeat the notes mechanically. Does then aesthetics – as a science deals with art and beauty – can answer these questions? Does artistry can be developed? Let’s see.

On the beginning of our considerations, we’ll go through some definitions and aesthetic concepts to build a set of tools which help us to formulate the future conclusions. An art in human life has been present since the earliest eras. Although aesthetics as an autonomic science was separated from philosophy relatively late, within philosophical discourses it was present from the beginning of abstract thought. Originally, the concept of individual creativity wasn’t separated, and art was understood as the ability to combine three factors: material (given by nature), knowledge (flowing from tradition) and work (derived from man). Initially, creativity was understood passively as imitation (mimesis). Then the process of defining and analysing the phenomenon of individual creativity, which is the key to our considerations, has just began.

Artist is “someone who creates things with great skill and imagination”. The medieval practical perception of art says: artist is “someone who – according to art – works through tools on matter”. Synonyms are: master, expert, geek, guru, virtuoso, wizard and antonyms are: amateur, inexpert, nonexpert. The artist concept has changed over time and is even off-defined now. Synthesizing the achievements of ancient aesthetics, there are several key issues defining an artist: imagination, thought, knowledge, wisdom, the idea he has in his mind, abilities in using the rules of art; in art, only the artist is the legislator. The artist’s features are: creativity, sensitivity, intuition, “getting lost” in the creative process, putting everything in the creative process (from concept to implementation), self-analysis and self-correction. No less important for the effective implementation of artistic goals are also: persistence/consistency, hard work from an early age and throughout the life, self-discipline, mental resilience, responsibility, the ability to set goals and implement them, the ability to observe the world, perceptiveness, openness. The artist’s goals have changed over time, although the most persistent ones include: materialization, giving the form of universal ideas, passing on values, giving satisfaction and pleasure to the recipient, bringing the recipient to a catharsis state, transforming ugliness into beauty. To simplify further considerations, the 20th-century postmodern meanings of the artist’s concept were rejected.

"Aristide Cavaillé-Coll: a Biographical Sketch”, "Organ Canada” (Vol. 33, No 1)

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Szostak Michał, "Aristide Cavaillé-Coll: a Biographical Sketch",
in: "Organ Canada", Journal of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Vol. 33, No 1, Winter 2020, Royal Canadian College of Organists, Toronto, ISSN 1486-2492, pp. 15-19.

 

Abstract:

2019 was the 120th anniversary of the death of the father of symphonic organs, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. It is worth recalling this prominent figure who in the nineteenth century changed the sound of French instruments and thus influenced organ building in Europe and many corners of the world, radiating to the present day.

Aristide Cavaillé-Coll descended from multiple generations of organ builders with family roots in both southern France and in Spain, from which his two-part surname derives. Aristide’s great-grandfather Gabriel Cavaillé (1699–1745) was a weaver in the village of Tarn, France. The first organ builder in the family was Gabriel’s Cavaillé’s brother Joseph Cavaillé (1700–1767), a disciple of the Isnard Brothers[1], leading his workshop in Toulouse[MS1] , who built many instruments in the south of France and in Catalonian region of Spain. Joseph Cavaillé trained his nephew (Gabriel’s son) Jean-Pierre Cavaillé (1743–1809) as an organ builder. In 1767 Jean-Pierre married Maria-Francesca Coll, a young woman from Barcelona (daughter of a weaver and producer of canvas). From the marriage of Jean-Pierre Cavaillé and Maria-Francesca Coll, Aristide’s father Dominique-Hyacinthe Cavaillé-Coll (1771–1862), who would also become an organ builder, was born. In 1810, at the age of 39, Dominique-Hyacinth Cavaillé-Coll married 22-year-old Jeanne Autard (1788-1864), with whom he’d had an illegitimate son, Vincent, in 1808. Less than a year after the marriage, Vincent’s brother Aristide was born on February 3, 1811 in Montpellier. 

We should also mention one of Aristide’s uncles Martin Cavaillé (1785–1862), son of Jean-Pierre Cavaillé and his second wife, Marguerite Fabry from St-Thibéry, for Martin was also an organ builder. Descendants of Martin Cavaillé-Coll for some time represented the already-famous Aristide and Vincent Cavaillé-Coll in minor organ works constructed in the south of France.

Due to the revolutionary war and post-revolutionary events, the young Aristide with his parents and brother had to change place of residence several times, traveling between France and Spain, which significantly worsened their financial situation. Eventually, in 1827, Dominique Cavaillé-Coll settled in Toulouse, where, supported by his sons he continued his organ building activity.

"Manager as an Artist: Creative Endeavour in Crossing the Borders of Art and Organizational Discourse”, "Creativity Studies” (Vol. 13, Issue 3)

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Szostak, M. & Sułkowski, Ł. (2020), "Manager as an Artist: Creative Endeavour in Crossing the Borders of Art and Organizational Discourse", in: "Creativity Studies",  Vol. 13, Issue 3, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Press, Vilnius, ISSN 2345-0479, eISSN 2345-0487. https://doi.org/10.3846/cs.2020.11373

 

Abstract:

The key to the considerations contained in this work is the authors’ metaphor of the organization: “organization as an artwork”, which – based on the achievements of aesthetics – allows us to look at the manager as a creator (true “artist”), and on organization’s stakeholders as recipients of this artwork. This new approach places management on a skeleton of Maria Gołaszewska’s concept of “aesthetic situation”. Thanks to this approach, the elements of aesthetic theories appearing in the management literature take the right context, and solutions borrowed from the theory of aesthetics bring a new quality to the theory of creativity in management. The inspiration to take up the topic was one of the authors 1 own experience in both art and management. The research methodology is based on a qualitative review of the literature. The methodological approach is based on interdisciplinary and multi-paradigm approach taking into account the publications from areas of management and organization, as well as art and psychology. After applying the theory of aesthetics to the management process, it can be said that artistry should be considered as a kind of higher level of management; highest degree in gradation: administrator, manager, management artist.

Keywords: aesthetic discourse, artist, artistic work, creative personality, creativity, creator, manager.

 

Link to download page - here.

Link to the magazine webpage - here

"Canada’s Largest Organs and World Colossi”, "Organ Canada” (Vol. 33, No 2)

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Szostak Michał, "Canada’s Largest Organs and World Colossi",
in: "Organ Canada", Journal of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Vol. 33, No 2, Spring 2020, Royal Canadian College of Organists, Toronto

 

Abstract:

Each organist understands perfectly that the quality of an organ is much more important than its size. We also know, that each organ is different, even if it is built by the same creator and in the same aesthetical style. On the other hand, each of us loves to perform on the greatest instruments located in huge buildings, where the space plays with us simultaneously being great inspiration. Objectively, what makes one organ larger than another? Doing our researches, I have can encounter different rankings of organs presenting them according to their physical size; but always my conclusion was a concern that the used criterion has some imperfections. The existing literature on the subject and the various classifications present the rankings of selected instruments but there is no comprehensive approach to this subject.

Three years ago I started to think about my own methodology for these comparisons. This methodology is presented to the Canadian reader for the first time here. Until now, with some minor adjustments, it was published in Poland, UK and the USA.

The most common criterion for classification of organs in terms of size is the number of stops. However, stops are extremely diverse in terms of material and construction (wood/metal, labial/reed), the amount of material used (a 2' flue stop versus the same kinds of pipes at 16ʹ), and the degree of complexity (one rank versus many ranks). In addition, some organs have stops in which each key plays only one pipe of the scale; some use combined voices – using pipes of other real stops to create an imitation (e.g. an acoustic stop Subcontrabass 32’ achieved with a combination of real stops Principal 16' + Quintbass 10 2/3’); extensions – adding a missing octave (or more or less) to the top or bottom of a rank of pipes to give a higher or lower pitch for a specific interval (e.g. adding an additional low octave to an 8’ Principal could result in a 16’ Principal stop in electric action instruments); and transmission – stops that use a single row of pipes to obtain a given sound in two or more sections (one rank of pipes could result in a 4’ Principal and a 2’ Principal).

The second criterion for comparing size is the number of pipes. This is problematic because practically, verifying the actual number of pipes in each instrument can be nearly impossible (some instruments have tens of thousands of individual pipes). In addition (though to a much lesser extent), there is the issue of the distinction of playing pipes from muted/dummy pipes (those placed in organ façades only for aesthetic reasons).

"Kitsch in Management: characteristic forms, carriers and propagators”,
"Proceedings of the 35th International Business Information Management Association (IBIMA),
1-2 April 2020, Seville, Spain”

Link to the IBIMA Conference, Sevilla, Spain, April 2020 - here.

Link to video presentation of the article - here.

Link to the article in 35th IBIMA Conference Proceedings - here.

Link to the article on the IBIMA Conference webpage - here.

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Szostak, M. & Sułkowski, Ł. (2020). "Kitsch in Management: characteristic forms, carriers and propagators". "Education excellence and innovation management : a 2025 Vision to sustain economic development during global challenges : proceedings of the 35th International Business Information Management Association Conference (IBIMA)", ISBN: 978-0-9998551-4-0, 1-2 April 2020, Seville, Spain

 

Abstract:

Motivation to deal with the problem of managerial kitsch was the natural consequence of our previous research about crossing the borders of art and management. Our own – both practical and theoretical – experience in the fields of art and management was the main argument for combining these areas with benefits to the science and practice of management. This approach in management literature is rare and fragmentary; we try to establish the main routes for the future research. The delicate edging and features of art lead to the phenomenon of kitsch as something opposite to art or. Applying the well-developed theory of aesthetical kitsch into management area was vital for understanding the real nature of the phenomenon of kitsch in management. The research methodology bases on a qualitative review of the literature; the methodological approach bases on interdisciplinary and multi-paradigm approach taking into account the publications from areas of art (aesthetics theories) and management (organisational kitsch). The main research questions were: 1) is there any set of factors/features constituting the management kitsch and 2) what type/types of organisational roles are main for kitsch transfer? After the broad review of the literature, a synthetic description of management kitsch forms (one best way claim, simplification, grandiosity, organisational cynicism functional stupidity, bullshit jobs, seeming management) and the main carriers and propagators of organisational kitsch (management gurus, narcissistic managers, mendacious CEOs and owners) were described and the management kitsch was defined. Management kitsch should be defined and reduced for quality improvement of organizational life.

Key words:
kitsch in management, kitsch in aesthetics, critical management studies

"The Perception of Organ Music”, "The Organ”, No 393, August-October 2020

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"The Perception of Organ Music”, "The Organ”, No 393, August-October 2020, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 8-13.

 

Abstract

My considerations to date in terms of the aesthetics of organ music concerned mainly the perspective of the musician, who – when being fluent in his field of art – can be called an artist. In this article I will focus on the second but no less important subject of the aesthetic situation, i.e. the recipient. It is the recipient who is the addressee of a work of art created during the creative process and received in the perception process. It is in the process of perception – i.e. receiving, learning about the work, experiencing its value, understanding it, accepting or rejecting it – that the aesthetic object and the personality of the recipient are shaped.

Organ music and its recipients constitute a unique category of music. If we mean an organ recital, then this uniqueness will be slightly smaller; however, if we mean liturgical organ music, then the issue of perception of this music takes on new contexts, becoming unique and requiring special, separate analysis. Using a certain metaphor, there are three “universities” of music performance where a musician will learn how to play well: a church, a pub and a circus. Why? Because – in addition to the formal elements of the musical work – the creator-performer in these three circumstances must specifically take into account the context of the music being performed and the issue of the recipient’s perception. Let us remember that the flourishing of independent music concerts (instrumental recitals in particular) is the domain of the 19th century; previously, music mainly played a functional (liturgical, entertaining) role.

At the beginning one should ask why man (as a recipient) wants to commune with art? Undoubtedly, the answers will be different, often impossible to clearly define, because it is not always possible to reach the real motives and assessments of the recipient; the barrier may be the inability of the recipient to describe the phenomenon of his perception, the inability to isolate the phenomenon in his own consciousness, or simply the transience of the matter of art and music in particular.

"Emanuel Štěpán Petr, a Czech Cavaillé-Coll", "The Organ”, No 394, Nov.2020-Jan.2021

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"Emanuel Štěpán Petr, a Czech Cavaillé-Coll", in: "The Organ”, No 394, Nov.2020-Jan.2021, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 26-41.

 

Abstract

Sometimes, life is unpredictable. Restrictions, which reduce our big plans, can open new perspectives and allow us to focus on the areas which could be hidden for us in regular circumstances. This happens to me this year. Due to the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic I needed to cancel my North America concert tour and I started to look for another performance possibilities in closer distance with lover risk of cancellation. Using this strategy, I found some interesting romantic organs in Prague, Czech Republic. Step by step I discovered the unique works of Emanuel Štěpán Petr, a genial organ builder who had been developed Czech organ industry in many dimensions. I had the privilege to play this August two recitals on Petr organs in Prague: at the church of St. Ludmila and at the church of St. Ignatius de Loyola. Referring to Petr’s achievements and his role in Czech organ world, it is no exaggeration if we call him a “Czech Cavaillé-Coll”.

Romantic tendencies in organ building in Western Europe are very well described in the literature. The situation regarding the subject of our interest in Eastern Europe was slightly different, and the main factor determining this state was far-reaching social and economic changes on the basis of national conflicts, great wars and political changes. Despite these turbulences, the culture of the Eastern European nations evolved in line with the trends present in Western Europe, albeit with a delay of dozen(s) years, and with adaptations to local historical circumstances and cultural factors.

"Jan Śliwiński: A Polish apprentice to Cavaillé-Coll", "The Organ”, No 395, Feb.-April 2021

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"Jan Śliwiński: A Polish apprentice to Cavaillé-Coll", in: "The Organ", No 395, February-April 2021, Musical Opinion Ltd, London, ISSN 0030-4883, pp. 10-27.

 

Abstract

The importance of the person and work of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899) for the organ world is well known and undeniable. His Parisian company hosted large number of apprentices from all over Europe who wanted to learn the secrets of the profession from the best here[1]. In the last issue, I described one person who had been working at Cavaillé-Coll company and then started his own professional activity in Prague – Emanuel Štěpán Petr (1853-1930). In this article, I will follow the same path of Cavaillé-Coll’s pupils but focusing on the Polish lands. This time, it will be a story of Jan Śliwiński (1844-1903), one of the finest Polish organ builders of the 19th century being active in lands of Galicia.

On the base of – very well described in the literature – Romantic tendencies in organ building in Western Europe, I described lately the different situation regarding the subject of our interest in Eastern Europe. All crucial factors referring to the Czech lands are similar to the Polish lands. Perhaps, we can even find the Polish situation more complicated due to the fact that many nationalities (Polish, Ukrainian, Jewish) were combined there creating a vibrant mix of cultures.

The political history of the described geographical area was complicated and that’s why we cannot use the name Poland here. We consider the lands of Galicia which up to the end of the 18th century were incorporated into the Polish Kingdom, for the next 123 years were divided between Russia and Austria-Hungary, after World War 2 were incorporated – as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic – into the Soviet Union, and after 1991 has been finally located in borders of independent Ukraine.

It should also be noted that in the 19th century no organs significant in comparison to the achievements of Western Europe were built in Galicia. The reasons for this situation were following: 1) Political issues in the form of frequent changes of state borders, which resulted in administrative and ownership consequences; 2) Property issues in the form of limited resources of the population, which were exploited by the partitioning powers as capture areas and from which all resources were used before the lands would fall into the hands of enemies; 3) Cultural and religious issues in the form of treating the organs as strictly liturgical instruments without concert inclinations.

All these elements contributed to the limited size, the lowest possible price and high reliability to reduce maintenance costs – implies Galician instruments were mainly small organs (1- or 2-manual), devoid of expensive reed stops. Everything indicates that the local organ builders had the technical capacity to build larger instruments but the political, social and economic situation inhibited the implementation of such undertakings effectively. This argument is supported by the fact that there was a short distance and easy accessibility to large organ factories, such as the Rieger Brothers from Krnov, and yet the lack of large instruments of this company in Galicia in the discussed period.

We should mention some Polish organ builders being active in Galicia on the romantic wave (in alphabetical order): Wacław Biernacki, Roman Ducheński, Tomasz Fall, Franciszek Gajda, Jan Grocholski, Rudolf Haase, Mieczysław Janiszewski, Antoni Klement, Jakub Kramkowski, Bronisław Markiewicz, Andrzej Sitnicki, Mikołaj Sojkowski, Bartłomiej Ziemiański, Franciszek Zuch, Ignacy Żebrowski, Aleksander Żebrowski, Kazimierz Żebrowski and also Jan Śliwiński who is the main person of this article.

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Copyrights (all texts, pictures and videos) Michał Szostak (R)