There are days when a book can replace the sun. The sky covers the earth like a tin bowl. It’s grey and damp out there, so who would like to go out. You’d better turn on your friendly lamp with a colourful shade, seat in an armchair and reach for a book. Choose the one which was written when the weather was fine and the author in a good mood.
Jerzy Waldorff-Preyss, The Secrets of Polyhymnia
(1910-1999) – Polish writer, music critic, publicist, social activist and media persona. Born in Warsaw in 1910, he spent his childhood in a landed property in Rękawczyn in Wielkopolska. Before the Second World War Waldorff worked as a music reviewer for ”Kurier Poranny” and ”Prosto z Mostu”. After 1945 he collaborated with Krakow-based ”Przekrój” weekly. He also wrote for ”Polityka” and ”Świat”. He authored twenty books devoted to music, including the most popular compendium of popular classical music entitled Sekrety Polihymnii. He launched the idea to create the museum of Karol Szymanowski at Villa Atma in Zakopane, and the Theatre Museum in Warsaw. On Jerzy Waldorff’s initiative the Prince Radziwiłł palace in Antonin was renovated and the Chopin in Autumn Colours International Music Festival initiated. In 1974 he set up the Committee for the Preservation of the Old Powązki Cemetery which every year on the 1st of November holds a public collection for the renovation of historic monuments. The initiative soon spread onto other historic cemeteries throughout Poland. Jerzy Waldorff was of the most characteristic figures in his time. As he stressed more than once, he wanted to be ”the last Baron of the Polish People’s Republic”. Throughout his entire life and activity he spared no effort to maintain the traditions of pre-war polish culture of landowners and intelligentsia, disregarding official propaganda.