MUSIC AND MUSICIANS IN POLAND BEFORE AND IN CHOPIN’S TIME.
The golden age of Polish music, which coincides with that of Polish literature, is the sixteenth century, the century of the Sigismonds. The most remarkable musician of that time, and probably the greatest that Poland produced previous to the present century, was Nicolas Gomolka, who studied music in Italy, perhaps under Palestrina, in whose style he wrote. Born in or about the beginning of the second half of the sixteenth century, he died on March 5, 1609. During the reigns of the kings of the house of Saxony (1697-1763) instrumental music is said to have made much progress. Be this as it may, there was no lack of opportunities to study good examples. Augustus the Strong (I. of Saxony and ii of Poland) established a special Polish band, called, in contradistinction to the Grosse Kammermusik (Great Chamber-band) in Dresden, Kleine Kammermusik (Little Chamber-band), whose business it was to be in attendance when his majesty went to Poland. These visits took place usually once a year, and lasted from, August to December, but sometimes were more frequent, and shorter or longer, just as occasion might call for. Among the members of the Polish band—which consisted of a leader (Premier), four violins, one oboe, two French horns, three bassoons, and one double bass—we meet with such well-known men as Johann Joachim Quanz and Franz Benda. Their conductor was Alberto