KILAR, OUR COMPOSER OF JASNA GÓRA
Thanks to hours, days, weeks of reflections here, living in the Jasna Góra monastery, being near the Miraculous Image, religious works, like ‘Angelus’, ‘Missa pro pace’ were created – said Wojciech Kilar
A very important place in the life of Wojciech Kilar was Jasna Góra, which he called his another home, and he spoke of himself that he was a servant of Jasna Góra servants. The great composer believed that his stay in the monastery had completely changed his spiritual and artistic life, inspiring him for religious artistic work. Whereas the Pauline Fathers’ Order accepted him in its Confraternity, in recognition of his person as a great and talented composer.
It was a faithful friendship. The date of 17 July has been called ‘Killar’s Day’ in the monastery for many recent years. And it may remain till now….It is the date of the composer’s birthday, which the musician celebrate in the Chapel of the Miraculous Image during the Holy Mass celebrated in his intention, during the breviary and rosary prayer in nooks and crannies of the monastery and during his friendly talks with Pauline Fathers and Brothers.
An inhabitant of the monastery
Now, after Wojciech Kilar died, we appreciate an important document showing his relationships with Jasna Góra. It is an album kept in black-white convention entitled: ‘At Jasna Góra I found free Poland….and myself’. It includes a register of a talk with Wojciech Kilar, which was conducted by Fr. Robert Mirosław Łukaszuk, a Pauline Father, on 17 July 2002, on the 70th anniversary of the composer’s birthday. The text is enriched with photos of the authorship of Zdzisław Sowiński, a friend of Wojciech Kilar.
As Fr. Robert M. Łukaszuk noticed, the composer – enchanting everybody with his erudition and talent, impressing with his modesty and silence – he shared his experience of faith and holiness, with his typical simplicity, only during his birthday talk. He showed God’s road signs which had led him to Jasna Góra.
We learn that it was just Jasna Góra during the period of martial law where the important chapter of his artistic career started, comprising music of religious themes. Till then he had used sacrum only once, creating a short cantata ‘Bogurodzica’ (‘God’s Mother’). Then something new appeared in his career. At Jasna Góra the famous ‘Angelus’ was composed, starting vary clearly - with reciting ‘Hail Mary’ words and being an apotheosis of the rosary prayer. Wojciech Kilar confessed that he would not probably have dared to use sacral texts, if it had not been for Jasna Góra.
‘Jasna Góra paths’ – as Fr. Łukaszuk writes – had led Wojciech Kilar to Vatican. ‘He returned to Mother’s home thrilled with his meeting with the Holy Father’ – wrote the Pauline Father. For, on 7 December 2001, in the presence of John Paul II, the great work of Wojciech Kilar ‘Missa pro pace’ was created. The pope was impressed by this music work and he even sent his personal congratulation letter to the artist.
Our Lady touched him
During the ‘Kilar’s Day’ on 17 July 2011, the composer made one of his important confessions about the importance of the Częstochowa sanctuary in his life: ‘It is always the same impression, when I am entering this monastery, that is, literally, as if Our Lady laid her hand on me, this is the miracle of Jasna Góra which has been the same, unchanged for ages, which is my and Poles’ support. I thank God for it and I thank those who helped me become an inhabitant of Jasna Góra for nearly 30 years. Whether I am here or in my home, Jasna Góra is with me and the image of Our Lady, which I received from the Father prior, is in the same place at my home, that I go past it hundred times a day and nearly at every time I make a sign of cross and I often pray in front of this image, so Jasna Góra is with me everywhere and I thank God for it’.
In the Jasna Góra basilica one can hear compositions of Wojciech Kilar on various occasions. Among his sacral music works one can mention: ‘Bogurodzica’ (‘God’s Mother’), ‘Exodus’, ‘’, ‘Angelus’, ‘Magnificat’, ‘Te Deum’, ‘Victory’ or the great music work ‘Missa pro pace’. In Częstochowa, among the others, ‘Te Deum’ was performed, which he composed while deeply experiencing the mourn after death of his wife Barbara, to whose memory he had dedicated this music work.
After death of his wife in 2007, Wojciech Kilar was making his pilgrimages to Jasna Góra alone. The press office of Jasna Góra registered his statement in 2008: ‘It is a special prayer for me this year because I lost my dearest companion of my life – my wife with whom I used to be here. I am happy that I can pray for her here in front of the image of Our Lady of Jasna Góra’.
And in 2011 Wojciech Kilar said: ‘I hope that my sins will be forgiven. And here, at the feet of Our Lady, I want to ask for grace to be where – I believe – my wife is now – at Lord’s Home; so that good God would unite us’.
A national and Jasna Góra composer
‘Kilar our national composer’ –this is the title of a text published in ‘Niedziela’ in 2012 on the 80th birthday of Wojciech Kilar, presenting the person of this prominent composer. Now, when time of other summaries connected with his death came, we can say: ‘Kilar our Jasna Góra composer’.
On the next page of ‘Niedziela’ we present a fragment of the interview of Fr. Robert M. Łukaszuk with Wojciech Kilar. The interview concerns the monumental music work ‘Missa pro pace’.