Allegro ma non troppo
Tomasz Aleksander wrote this piece in the style of a waltz to be played allegro ma non troppo (fast, but not too much), just as the poem's title suggests. The poem was written by Wisława Szymborska, a Polish poet and translator, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. Readers in various countries have come to admire the blend of simplicity, wit, and wisdom in her writing.
In this composition, Tomasz Aleksander joined his music with a poem by Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska. She is recognized as one of the great Polish poets of her time, particularly noted for articulating feelings between men and women in ways unique to poetry before and since. Daleka podróż (Faraway Journey) is an example of her extraordinary imagination.
Tomasz Aleksander's musical arrangement of this poem is based on a theme by Johann Sebastian Bach. The poem was written in 1947 by Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński, a distinguished Polish poet with exuberant imagination. He became especially known for the grotesque and mockery in his works. Małe kina (Small Movie Theatres) is still relevant to the tiny movie theaters with classic interiors that remain a vital part of the cultural infrastructure in Poland.
Cyprian Kamil Norwid, the author of this poem, is considered to be the most original and innovative Polish poet of the 19th century. He was also a novelist, playwright, sculptor, painter, and draughtsman. While living in Italy, Norwid received a letter from his fiancé, breaking their engagement and informing him of her new marriage plans. The news, along with the challenges of his life in exile, drove the poet into deep depression. His inner struggle is expressed in Moja piosnka (My Song). Tomasz Aleksander's music for this work is based on a theme by Polish composer Stanisław Moniuszko.
This is Tomasz Aleksander's longest composition for piano and voice in the style of sung poetry. The music is set to a poem by Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, one of the most eminent Polish poets of the 20th century. He was killed by a German sniper in the Warsaw Uprising at the age of 23. Wesele poety (Wedding of a Poet) was dedicated to Baczyński's adored wife Barbara, who survived him by only a few weeks. The work shows a contrast between the poet's pastoral picture of his childhood – an arcady of peace and beauty – and the world catastrophe. There are many utterances of hope throughout the poem. Notable is Baczyński's portrayal of the bride, who is detached from reality and becomes one with the nature. Tomasz Aleksander organized this long, multi-sectional work into four movements, forming a musical suite. The suite is designed harmonically in such a way that it may be performed without breaks between movements. Each movement may also be performed separately as an independent piece.