Four Songs About Not Being There
for mixed choir

Norbert Palej
Norbert Palej
Composition Date: 2016
Duration: 00:14:00
Genre: Choral (9 + Voices), A Capella


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Mixed chorus
Click here to download full work (8.28 Mb - Not printable)

Programme Note:
Four Songs About Not Being There set texts by four tragic twentieth-century Polish poets: Władysław Broniewski (imprisoned and repressed by the NKVD), Andrzej Bursa (a rebel writer who died at age 25), Miron Białoszewski (survivor of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, later ostracized for his homosexuality), and Tadeusz Borowski (prisoner of several Nazi labor camps including Auschwitz). I selected poems that address the ideas of loss or lack. And so Broniewski’s “Cisza” (Silence) is a dialogue with the ominous absence of sound, Bursa’s “Śmierć Mamusi” (Mommy’s death) a shocking confrontation with utter aloneness, Białoszewski’s “Ach, gdyby, gdyby nawet piec zabrali...” (Oh, even, even if they took the stove) a darkly humorous contemplation on the gap left behind by the disappearance of something deeply familiar, and Broniewski’s “Wołanie Marii” (Calling for Mary) a scream of longing for a missing beloved person whose fate is unknown.

Premiere Information:
Crescent Fort Rouge United Church
18 May 2016
John Wiens


  • Call Number:
  • MV 6000 P156fou
  • Genre:
  • Choral (9 + Voices), A Capella
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • May 14, 2018
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • Score
    20 Pages
    Height: 11 inches
    Width: 8.5 inches
  • Language Information
  • Main language: Polish
  • Additional Information:
  • Commissioned by Polycoro

    I. Silence
    II. Mommy's Death
    III. My Inexhaustible Ode to Joy
    IV. Calling Mary
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Four Songs About Not Being There for mixed choir: Score
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Four Songs About Not Being There for mixed choir by Norbert Palej (Score)
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Four Songs About Not Being There for mixed choir
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