Wanda Sobieska

Ty pójdziesz górą

song for male voice and piano


This is a musical setting of an 18th century Polish text.

The vocal part is intended for male voice and may be sung at any octave.

A literal translation is provided. It is not suitable for singing, but included for comprehesion strictly.

In performance, the accented notes in m. 1-2 and 15-18 may be doubled by handbells or a comparable instrument ad libitum. In this event, the piano may tacet the first two bars entirely.

The Backstory :-)

I came across these lyrics in the opening chapter of the novel "Nad Niemnem" (On the Banks of the Niemen River) by the 19th-century Polish writer Eliza Orzeszkowa.

In the story, one of the characters sings it in the countryside. This is a traditional text of the Polish nobility that most likely originated in the region of Galicia in the 18th century and from there, set to a tune in triple meter resembling a polonaise, spread all over the country.

Unaware that a musical setting to the text already existed, I wrote my own. Had I but known, I most likely would not have undertaken the project. As such, we have options :-)

While the text itself played a central role in the compositional process, I feel that this setting -- its character, the atmosphere, and in particular the piano part -- was also inspired by the gradual unfolding and descriptively poetic framework of Orzeszkowa's writing.