Palester, Roman, Polish composer; b. Śniatyň, Dec. 28, 1907; d. Paris, Aug. 25, 1989. After training in piano from Soltysowa at the Lwów Cons., he entered the Warsaw Cons, in 1925 and studied composition with Sikorski. He subsequently pursued the study of art history at the Univ. of Warsaw. In 1931 he obtained diplomas in composition and theory. After dividing his time between Poland and France, he taught at the Warsaw Cons, from the end of World War II until 1948, when he settled in Paris. In 1981 he was reinstated as a member of the Polish Composers Union. In his music, he was particularly influenced by French music but sought to preserve elements of Polish folk melos in the thematic structure of his scores. Harmonically he did not choose to transcend the limit of enhanced tonality.
dramatic: Opera: Zywe kamienie (The Living Stones; 1944; unfinished); La Mort de Don Juan (1959–60). ballet:Piesn o ziemi (Song of the Earth; 1937). orch.:Muzyka symfoniczna (1930; London, July 27, 1931; not extant); Piano Concerto (1935; not extant); Danse polonaise (1935; Barcelona, April 22, 1936); 5 syms.: No. 1 (1935; not extant), No. 2 (1942), No. 3 for Chamber Orch. (1949), No. 4 (1940–51; rev. 1972), and No. 5 (1977–81; Warsaw, Sept. 23, 1988); Saxophone Concertino (1937); Suita symfoniczna (1938); Violin Concerto (1941; London, July 14,1946); Piano Concertino (1942); Notturno for Strings (1947); Serenade for 2 Flutes and Strings (Kraków, Nov. 9, 1947); Passacaglia (1950); Variations (1955); Concertino for Harpsichord and Instrumental Ensemble (1955); Adagio for Strings (1956); Music for 2 Pianos and Orch. (1957); Study 58 for Chamber Orch. (1958); Sonata for Strings (1959); Piccolo Concerto for Chamber Orch. (1959); Metamorphosen (1965–66); Viola Concerto (1977–78). chamber: Sonatina for Violin and Cello (1930; not extant); 3 string quartets (1932, not extant; 1935; 1943); Sonata for 2 Violins and Piano (1939); 2 string trios (1945, 1958); Divertimento for 9 Instruments (1949); Trio for Flute, Viola, and Harp (1969); Duo for 2 Violins (1972); Suite à quatre for Oboe and String Trio (1973); Trio for Flute, Viola, and Harp (1985). Piano: 2 sonatas (1970,1980); Passacaille et Variations (1974). vocal:Psalm V for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1931); Requiem for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1945); Wisla, cantata for Chorus (1945–48); Missa brevis for Chorus (1948); Sonnets for Orpheus for Voice and Chamber Ensemble (1952); Songs for Soprano and Chamber Orch. (1976); Te Deum for 3 Choruses and Instruments (1978–79).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire