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A Major Discovery? Marian Sawa


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Every so often, in my continuing research into central european organ-music, organs and performers, I come across something which takes me totally by surprise.


In the past half-hour, I have come across something of a triple whammy, which unearthed a superb organ, a superb organist and a major composer previously unknown to me, who died last year. It also unearthed one of the biggest acoustics I have ever heard!


I've never heard of Marian Sawa, but on the links below it is possible to hear some of his music and look at a list of his fairly considerable musical output as a composer.


It seems that Sawa was a conservative composer, by and large, who possibly spent most of life working under the communist regime in Poland; therefore being expected to appeal to a mass audience and to restrict his style to that which would be acceptable.


However, in his organ-works, it seems that he was altogether more adventurous; embracing contemporary dissonance to a large extent, but also sticking to the classic RC plainsong themes very often.


For those who like "French impressionism" the organ-work "Sekwens" (Sequence) contains the Polish equivalent; and beautiful it is too. Here is the link to the entire work in mp3 format:-




Recorded at St. Apostoles Peter and Paul Cathedral in Warsaw

on an organ by Janusz Kamiński



A few samples of Sawa's other works are available as follows, but not of high audio resolution:-


http://www.merlin.com.pl/frontend/towar/411081 (other mp3 bits)




In the following link is a photograph and specification of the organ used in the "Sekwens" recording:-


St Peter & St Paul, Warsaw




Finally, a list of the entire output of the composer:-






I must admit, that the more I dig, the more I am impressed by what has been happening in central europe. It may sometimes not be great music, but an awful lot of it is certainly extremely worthy and deserves to be better-known.


As for the organs and organists, the quality is self evident in many cases.


Enjoy! Above all, marvel at the acoustic of the Warsaw "Apostles Cathedral".



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