Maciej Kamienski

Kamienski, Maciej


Born Oct. 13, 1734, in Sopron, Hungary; died Jan. 25, 1821, in Warsaw. Polish composer. Slovak by birth.

Kamienski served in court chapels in Sopron and Vienna. From 1760 he lived in Warsaw, where he taught voice. He became famous as the composer of Misery Contented (staged 1778), the first Polish opera based on the the life of the people (libretto in Polish and utilizing Polish musical folklore). He wrote eight operas in all, of which six were staged, including Zoska and Virtuous Simplicity (both written in 1779). Among his other compositions are two vaudevilles (1780, 1788), a dramatic cantata, masses and other religious works, and polonaises. Despite the influence of French vaudevilles, the Singspiel, and the Italian opera seria on Kamienski’s operas, they have a distinct Slavic character, especially in the lyrical episodes.