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Stil Polonaise
Johann Heinrich Dahlhof

Stil Polonaise

Orkiestra Czasów Zarazy

Label: Ayros
Format: CD
Barcode: 5902768283082
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Catalog number: AYCD 03
Releasedate: 03-08-18
- Polish popular dances recorded by a specialized ensemble
- The dances were recorded on paper by a Swedish folklorist in the beginning of 20th century

J.H. Dahlhoff’s collection is by far the biggest compilation of XVIIIth century popular dance music in German-speaking countries. Johann Heinrich Dahlhoff (1704-1764) was himself a village musician, most probably a fiddler, from a village of Dniker, Westphalia, where he served as a churchwarden in an Evangelical church. Among his duties there was being in charge of an entertainment for local gathering, which usually came down to dance parties, where he picked and performed a suitable repertoire. This way, in the course of few decades, a collection was born, consisting of a couple of thousands of dance melodies, written down later on by his son – Johann Dietrich. A whole set, comprised of 10 volumes (over 1400 pages) is kept in Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin.

Polonaises from Dahlhoff’s collection (and only those) were copied by Niels Dencker (1887-1963), Swedish folklorist, teacher at Åsa folkhögskola in Sköldinge. In his research, he worked mainly on traditional music. He did extensive recordings of folk musicians. Dencker, aware of Polish roots of Swedish traditional music, in 1931-32 did an extensive research of music archives on historical territory of Rzeczpospolita and her fiefdoms like Livonia, Gdansk, Prussia Duchy, Pomerania or Mecklenburg.

Dencker’s manuscript Ms 4023 is the biggest collection of Polish dances from first half of XVIII century from the lands of Rzeczpospolita.

"Music in the time of the plague": The name of the project and the ensemble refers to this tragic time. For the Polish people the beginning of the 18th century was a time of lush diversity of musical culture. On the other hand – and perhaps above all – it was the “time of the plague.” Life is a joyous procession of dance but let us not lose sight of the quirks of fate and our inevitable end.