The Warsaw journal Echo Muzyczne [Musical Echo] was published from 1877 to 1907. During its first two years the periodical appeared in the form of a sheet music magazine. From 1879 to 1882 the journal was published biweekly as a literary and artistic journal, containing articles and criticism about music. In 1879, each issue consisted of four pages and a supplement of sheet music by Polish and foreign composers. In 1880 Echo Muzyczne doubled in size to eight pages.
The journal’s founder, editor and publisher was Wincenty Kruzinski (1840-1928), a theorist, composer and pianist. At the end of 1879 Kruzinski resigned the editorship passing it on to his collaborating editor Jan Kleczynski (1837-1895), a pianist, trained at the Paris Conservatory, and an active teacher and performer in Warsaw. As editor Kleczynski maintained very ambitious goals for the journal, which included ongoing columns dealing with aesthetics, music theory, music history, and music criticism, as well as reports on musical life and reviews of new compositions and books on music.
In 1879 the journal contained four regular columns: (i) “Rzeczy biezace” [Current matters]— offering reviews of operas and concerts in Warsaw, the Warsaw Musical Society’s financial reports, programs and announcements, information about musical acitivities both in Poland and elsewhere in Europe, obituaries, curiosities and anecdotes, and information about the journal’s music supplements; (ii) “Korespondencya Echa Muzycznego” [Correspondence of the Echo Muzyczne] from Lublin, Krakov, Kalisz, Poznan, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Constance; (iii) “Ogloszenia” [Advertisements]; and (iv) “Nowe wydawnictwa” [New publications] or “Najnowsze wydawnictwa muzyczne” [Newest musical publications]—both of which contained lists and descriptions of published music.
Nineteen articles on general music topics were published in 1879 including “Pogadanki” [Talks] by Boleslaw Dembinski concerning aesthetics and music theory; “Stabat mater” by L. Lechner; “O talencie muzycznym przyrodzonym i talencie nabytym przez prace” [About musical talent, natural and acquired by work] by Michal Jelskiand. There are also unsigned articles, probably by Jan Kleczynski: “Piekno i dzwieki” [Beauty and sounds]; “Krytyka oper Wagnera” [Critics of Wagner’s operas], “Libretta i librecisci” [Librettos and librettists], “Muzyka w salonie” [Music in the salon], “Slówko o rytmice polskiej” [Words about Polish rhythm], and “Kwestya kierunków” [Problem of courses] about the characteristics of Polish national music.
Kleczynski added four regular columns containing editorial commentary and several new sections to the journal dealing with, for example, aesthetics, history, biography, and musical and theatrical events.
The column “Nasze nuty” [Our music notes] gives information about compositions in the journal’s supplements. The columns headed “Nasze najnowsze wydawnictwa” [Our newest publications] and “Nowosci” [News] or “Nowosci muzyczne” [Musical news] were prepared by Klecznski; they contain reviews of music recently published in Poland, Germany and Austria. Musical life in Poland and abroad is treated under the rubric “Correspondence” and under a number of related rubrics. Of some importance are contributions from many Polish and Eastern European centers: Cracow, Kijow, Lublin, Lvov, Prague, Kamieniec Podolski and Odessa. “Kronika” [Chronicle] also treats musical life in Polish centers.
The choice of books reviewed reveals a diversity of interests on the part of the editors. These include M. G. Conrad’s Die Musik in heutigen Italien [Music in contemporary Italy], Gilbert Duprez’s Souvenir d’un chanteur [Souvenir of a singer], Ludwig Nohl’s Beethoven nach der Schilderungen seiner Zeitgenossen [Beethoven in the accounts of his contemporaries], Juliusz Swiecianowski’s Skala muzyczna we wszech wiecie (Die musikalische Scala in der Welt) [The musical scale in the world], Ferdinand Hiller’s Wie hören wir Musik? [How do we listen to music?], St. Kosinski’s O warunkach akustycznych wymaganych w budownictwie [Acoustical conditions produced in architecture], Alsleben’s Ueber die Entwickelung des Klavierspiels [On the evolution of pianoforte playing].
Of some sixty major articles, several deal specifically with Chopin including Maurycy Karasowski’s “Fryderyk Chopin, jego zycie, listy i dziela” [Fryderyk Chopin, his life, letters and works], Marceli Antoni Szulc’s “Zbiór wiadomosci i uzupelnien dotyczacych zycia i utworów Fryderyk a Szopena” [Information and supplements concerning the life and works by Fryderyk Chopin], Marceli Antoni Szulc’s “Portret Chopina przez Winterhaltera” [Chopin’s portrait by Winterhalter], Jan Kleczynski’s “Ostatnie chwile Chopina” [Chopin’s last moments], and “Listy Chopina” [Chopin’s letters]. Articles dealing with Poland and Eastern Europe include L. Nowinski on the history of the Warsaw Musical Society, Ernest Sulimczyk-Swiezawski on ancient music in Poland, and Jan Kleczynski on the national songs of southern Slavs. Zygmunt Noskowski wrote about prosody in Moniuszko’s songs, Michal Jelski, on the musical past of Lithuania, and Kleczynski on Prince Anton Radziwill’s music for Goethe’s Faust.
Several biographical sketches of Chopin, the brothers Filip and Xaver Scharwenka, Henryk Wieniawski, Kazimierz Hoffmann, Oskar Kolberg, Henri Vieuxtemps, Ignaz Moscheles and Joachim Raff are also found in the journal. Some biographical sketches—such as those treating Wieniawski, Chopin, and Kolberg—are accompanied with portraits (wood-engravings).