Music of the masters

How come Henryk Mikołaj Górecki wrote his first pieces of music in a bathroom? Which of her husband’s works does Elżbieta Penderecka like most? What did Witold Lutosławski do for a living during WWII occupation? Find out on a website that focuses on the lives and achievements of three composers: Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki.

Launched by the National Audiovisual Institute, the websitethreecomposers.pl features nearly all works created by Poland’s three eminent composers: Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki. “This is the world’s only web platform that offers such a comprehensive collection of music. The oldest piece dates back to 1924, while the youngest one was written as recently as in 2012,” National Audiovisual Institute press spokeswoman Agnieszka Wolak told Polska.pl. The innovative project created in late 2013 marks Witold Lutosławski Year and the 80th anniversary of Krzysztof Penderecki’s and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s birthdays.


The website contains over 300 works that you can listen to free of charge. All recordings are full-length, chronologically arranged, and accompanied with commentary by musical critics and journalists. If that doesn’t quench your thirst for knowledge, you can browse 950 explanatory articles in two language versions. Some descriptions of performances are supplemented with short comments by the composers themselves, a feature that provides the listener with background information about the history and origins of works.


The website also features the composers’ biographies with a wealth of interesting facts about their lives, a time line depicting major social and political events they witnessed, and an alphabet with entries on their private lives and likings. Moreover, the service gives you the intriguing possibility to create your own playlist and to filter your search results. This way you can look up pieces according to their date of completion, musical genre, duration and much more.

You can also listen to existing compilations made by musical connoisseurs and friends of the composers. “It took us a year to create the platform, and the greatest challenge we faced was to find the works and get copyright permissions,” says Agnieszka Wolak. “As an open platform, threecomposers.pl will systematically grow and post new content.”