NOTE: The above slideshow includes photographs portraying the exuberant nightlife of pre-war Warsaw. One of the best places for tangos was the "Adria" on Moniuszki Street, a nightclub that become a legendary for its social life. In August/September 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising, a German bomb ripped open Adria's building from its roof to the basement, putting an end to its existence forever.
Artur Gold (born March 17, 1897, Warsaw, died 1943 in Treblinka) was a Polish Jewish violinist and dance-music composer. He was the second son of Michał Gold, a musician in the Warsaw Opera; when Michał died an uncle took him to England, where he received
his musical education. He later returned to Warsaw and played there in various nightclubs. His closest collaborators were his brother Henryk and Jerzy Petersburski, with whom he arranged for his famous ensembles; they were among the most popular composers in interwar Poland and their many hits were sung through the whole country. Gold ran an orchestra in the Qui Pro Quo theater (1922) and in the Warsaw cabaret Adria (1931–1939).
Some of his noted compositions were the foxtrot Gdy Petersburski razem z Goldem gra ("When Petersburski and Gold play together") (1926), the tango Gdy w ogrodzie botanicznym ("In the botanical garden"), Jesienne róże ("Autumn roses"), Nie odchodź ode mnie (Don't walk away from me), Nie wierzę ci, Jaśminy (Jasmine), Kwiaciarka z Barcelony (Flower girl from Barcelona), Oczy czarne (Black Eyes), Ostatni jeszcze, and others. Most of the texts were by Andrzej Włast.
He also performed with English orchestras in the 1920s and recorded for Columbia records. In the 1930's he also recorded several albums for the "Odeon" phonograph company.
During World War II, Artur played with an orchestra in the Warsaw Ghetto. He was deported by the Germans from the Umschlagplatz to Treblinka extermination camp where he played for the Nazis in their casino and where he was murdered in 1943. According to recollections of some of the Treblinka survivors Gold might have been killed during the uprising at Treblinka which occurred on August 2, 1943.
The melody of his song Chodź na Pragę (Come to Praga) (1930) is currently played as a Hejnał of the Warsaw borough of Praga, each day at noon.
Polish folk music was collected in the 19th century by Oskar Kolberg, as part of a wave of Polish national revival. With the coming of the world wars and then the Communist state, folk traditions were oppressed or subsumed into state-approved folk ensembles. The most famous of the state ensembles are Mazowsze and Śląsk, both of which still perform. Though these bands had a regional touch to their output, the overall sound was a homogenized mixture of Polish styles. There were more authentic state-supported groups, such as Słowianki, but the Communist sanitized image of folk music made the whole field seem unhip to young audiences, and many traditions dwindled rapidly.
Polish dance music, especially the mazurka and polonaise, were popularized by Frederick Chopin, and they soon spread across Europe and elsewhere. These are triple time dances, while five-beat forms are more common in the northeast and duple-time dances like the krakowiak come from the south. The polonaise comes from the French word for Polish to identify its origin among the Polish aristocracy, who had adapted the dance from a slower walking dance called chodzony. The polonaise then re-entered the scene and became an integral part of Polish music.
Poland's five national dances
(Mazur, Polonez, Kujawiak, Krakowiak, Waltz), as well as modern dance, contemporary dance and ballet are all widely performed today throughout the Polonia community.