Zamek na Czorsztynie Karola Kurpińskiego – romantyczność in statu nascendi?
Annales de Lettres et Sciences Humaines
Karol Kurpiński's operatic works played a unique role in the process of shaping new trends in Polish opera theatre and in theatrico-musical criticism at the border of Enlightenment and Romanticism. The article presents press discussions devoted to the operas of the author of Zamek na Czorsztynie [The Czorsztyn Castle] in the 1920s, i.e. at the time of their first stagings in the National Theatre in Warsaw. Numerous controversies and contradictions that appear in the 19th-century reviews of
... ński's operas testify to how difficult it was for his contemporary critics to explicitly classify and evaluate these works. A thorough review of the press at that time also shows that the dramatic and musical works by the author of Pałac Lucypera [Lucyper's Palace], as great examples of the genological complexity of opera forms at that time and an important element of the process of formation of the so-called national opera programme, constituted an excellent starting point for discussions between the two opposition socio-cultural camps formed in Warsaw in the last years of the 1920s, which represented different aesthetic ideals and understood the tasks and functions of theatre criticism in two different ways. However, as it turns out, the statements of the representatives of the antagonistic camps about Kurpiński's works did not follow a single, simple scheme – on the contrary, the controversies between the Classicist critics and their opponents were arranged in a very complicated and heterogeneous pattern. This multi-faceted reflection of the 19th-century critics on his works perfectly illustrates the fluidity and fuzziness of tendencies regarded in the research tradition as contradictory, i.e. the "Classical" and "Romantic" tendencies, which leads to the verification of some judgments about the composer and the reception of his output formulated in the contemporary works of music, theatre and literary historians.