Paweł Podejko - an author and his thematic catalogue

Paweł Podejko’s name is most closely associated with his thematic catalogue of the historic music collection of the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa (RISM library siglum: PL-CZ). Published in Kraków in 1992, Katalog tematyczny rękopisów i druków muzycznych kapeli wokalno-instrumentalnej na Jasnej Górze lists manuscript and printed music that is still located in the monastery today. The catalogue has been widely disseminated in Poland and elsewhere.

All of the bibliographic records of manuscirpt sources from Podejko’s catalogue now appear in the RISM online catalogue (cited in the catalogue as PodejkoK 1992). There are 2,413 records in total. The printed music in Podejko’s catalogue, however, is not currently accounted for in the RISM database. The inclusion of these printed works represents another challenge for the future.

Podejko’s catalogue reflects the state of musicological research in the 1980s.In the meantime many RISM colleagues in Poland and in other locations have been able to identify anonymous sources and correct false attributions in the catalogue. Especially helpful in this regard is the incipit search tool in the RISM database, which uses identical incipits in order to identify parallel sources for individual works. RISM colleagues have also made their own research available, even when it was not yet published. Nevertheless, 485 records—almost 20% of the catalogue—remain unidentified; thus, there is still much left to do in terms of identifying anonymous sources. Concordances of the manuscript collection in the Jasna Góra Monastery are located not only in Poland but also in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, and Southern Germany.

The manuscript collection contains an international repertoire which includes works by Joseph Haydn, W. A. Mozart, Anton Diabelli, Giaccomo Rossini, and Ignaz Pleyel, as well as works of Polish, Czech, Austrian, and southern German provenance. This latter group of works features composers such as Brixi, Elsner, Schiedermayr, Vanhal and Żebrowski. The collection also includes works by lesser-known composers of the region. Podejko’s catalogue, moreover, offers a good overview of the musicians and singers of the monastery, the copyists of the collection, and the provenance of many of the sources.

The manuscript performance materials consist primarily of sets of parts rather than scores. In many cases these materials are incomplete; almost 800 records are missing at least one part. Interestingly, a series of musical fragments can be found on the back of many of the individual parts. Podejko took account of these fragments by giving them their own catalogue numbers.

Most of the works located at Jasna Góra are sacred pieces that were written for use in church services or for devotional purposes outside of the Church. Masses make up about 20% of the collection, which also includes litanies, vespers, and short sacred vocal works. Secular works such as opera overtures, sonatas, symphonies, and Harmoniemusik play a smaller but not insignificant role within the collection.


About Paweł Podejko (1914-1996)
Paweł Podejko, who was born on 23 December 1914 Daugavpils (Dyneburg in Polish, today in Latvia) and died on 15 June 1996 in Danzig, was a musicologist and organist. For many decades, he was an instructor at the
Stanisław Moniuszko Music Academy in Danzig. From 1923 to 1945 he lived in Vilnius and studied at the conservatory there from 1940 to 1941 and from 1944 to 1945. Podejko took private music lessons in addition to studying at the Jagiellonen University in Kraków at the same time. After the Second World War, he moved to Bydgoszcz, where he became the organist and director of the "Vincentinum" church choir at the parish church of St. Vincent DePaul from 1946 to 1948. He taught at the music high school in Bydgoszcz beginning in 1950.

Podejko continued his studies at the Państwowej Wyższej Szkole Muzycznej School of Music in Łódż and earned his organ diploma in 1951. In 1957 he was awarded a diploma in musicology from the University of Poznań. He earned his doctorate in 1971 from the University of Warsaw with a thesis about the history of music in the Pauline monastery Jasna Góra in Częstochowa (Kapela wokalno-instrumentalna zakonu paulinów na Jasnej Górze w Częstochowie; advisor: Zofia Lissa).

From 1953, he was affiliated with the Music Academy in Danzig, and served in many posts there, including dean of music pedagogy (1969–1971), dean of composition and theory (1971–1975), and prorector (1975–1982). In 1995, when he was already advanced in years, he was named music professor.

Podejko spent his life engaged with the history of music at the Jasna Góra Monastery. In addition to the music history of Poland, he also turned his attention to the musical landscapes of Pommerania, Kujawy, and the Wielkopolska region.

More about Podejko can be read in Gedanopedia.

Image: Photo credit: Jasna Góra, photo by Damian27 via Wikimedia Commons

With thanks to Vivian Tompkins for her assistance with the English translation.

Category: Library collections

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