I first began to restore early Polish music in 1950 while still living in Warsaw, inspired by the superb reconstruction of beautiful 16th and I7th century houses in the old part of Warsaw which had been flattened during the Uprising at the end of the Second World War. To see this almost miraculous regrowth of seemingly lost architectural treasures so lovingly brought about by my compatriots produced in me a strong desire to undertake a similar task with the fragments of Polish vocal and instrumental music of the same epoch which had also suffered near-oblivion because of Poland's long and tragic history of numerous foreign invasions. Little of this music survived in a performable state and I wanted to fill the gap, endeavouring to recreate as near as possible the true period style like those ancient houses of Warsaw. Taking care not to superimpose my own musical fingerprints, my intention was to bring alive the spirit of Poland in that golden age, and to make use of precious musical fragments which otherwise would have remained lifeless on the bookshelves of libraries.
Jagiellonian Triptych I composed at a later date, in London, to be performed during a concert celebrating the Polish Millennium of Christianity and Statehood in 1966.
This work is constructed symmetrically in its tempi, and it is intended to bring to mind in an abstract way a religious triptych from the Jagiellonian period.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer