Franciszek Bździuch "Twardowski"
31.07.1906 - 26.02.1979
The son of Józef and Magdalena Luchowska from Smólsko. His father was a passionate singer and encouraged little Franciszek’s musical interest from the beginning – he carved out Franiciszek’s first violin from one piece of wood and it was almost like a manufactured set. The first melodies Franciszek played, were those he heard at the local inn. Since he was 17 years old, he had been invited to play with bands that perform at weddings,dance parties, spinner events, tobacco pressing events, peeling events and other folk ceremonies. That was also when he got his first manufactured violin set from his father. After serving in the military for two years he returned to performing in 1928, three years later he married Ewa Łokaj. In the 1940s, he created his own band with Bielak “Czarny” (Black) on the drum, Jan Nizio on the clarinet and Jan Kotwis on the trumpet. He also persuaded the tenor Tadeusz Tracz to play with them and lent him money for his instrument. Tadeusz later became one of the initiators of reactivating the Aleksandrów brass band in 1953, in which both Franciszek’s son – Jan (tenor, tube, saxophone) and his godson – Grzegorz (clarinet) took part in. The brass band was quick to eliminate the old existing ones. Franciszek on the other hand never joined the brass band and remained loyal to the sound of a violin composition, although in the beginning of the 1960s he allowed Jan Bździuch to join on the drum. Even though the band was rather minimal in its composition, it found a place for itself on the emerging folklore scene in the 1970s, at the regional and national level and became one of the classics of folk music due to its sound and old style of making music as well as their repertoire.
Jan Bździuch „Zarosiak”
violinist, later drummer
He was the only child of Antoni and Ewa nee Legieć. Already as a little boy he was very interested in music, he would herd the cattle and play on his handmade violin. He attended a Russian school and later on, a Polish one in Lipowiec. Along with his step brother Adam (from his mother’s first marriage) he worked in a blacksmith’s forge, which he then lead after his brother’s death. He also learned the carpentry craft as his father was a carpenter.
In 1911, he married Marianna Ostasz from Lipowiec Mały. After several years, he built a big house, for his rather large family (he had 7 children). The house still stands to this day. He supervised the construction of the wooden church in Aleksandrów III (1932-1934), in which he personally made the chandelier and one of the side alters. Due to his diligence, he expanded his land by 20 morga, he also found time to sculpt in wood (in 1970 he won an award for his pear table wear set at the folk art exhibition in Zamość), and he also played on the violin at dance parties and weddings. All until he had an accident at work. Even though he became disabled, he did not give up playing, he started making drums and became a drummer in Franciszek’s band. In 1969, he recreated the Biłograj wedding ceremony along with the residents of Aleksandrów.
The Bździuchów band, including the famous singers Anna Malec or Wojciech Sołtys became one of the more original hallmarks of the festival in Kazimierz Dolny. As for their village, they became a cultural icon. Since 2002, there is the Association for Promoting Folk Culture in their name in Aleksandrów. Due to the Association, the artists tombstones have memorial plagues, funded by the local community in Aleksandrów.
Nowadays, the violinist Sławomir Niemiec from Lublin, the grandson of one of them, creatively relates to their music in his performances. The songs from the Bździuchów repertoire are played by the in crudo movement in cities.
1976 - Nagroda im. Oskara Kolberga
1968-74 OFKIŚL w Kazimierzu
Płocki Festiwal Folkloru i Sztuki Ludowej
2014 - Portrety: Anna Malec i Kapela Braci Bździuchów (w serii Muzyka Źródeł vol. 28) Polskie Radio
2011- Lubelskie. Polska pieśń i muzyka Ludowa. Źródła i materiały. cz. VI. Muzyka instrumentalna, red. Agata Kusto, CD dołączone do tomu: "Przepióreczka", "Owczarek"
1997 - Muzyka Źródeł. Lubelskie, Polskie Radio RCKL (Podróżniak starodawny, Polka Kasia)
Polskie Radio RCKL, Archiwum Uniwersytetu im. F. Chopina w Warszawie, Muzeum Wsi Lubelskiej (1972)
2014 – Remigiusz Mazur-Hanaj, Muzyka źródeł, „Ruch Muzyczny” nr 03/2014
2012 – Kapela Braci Bździuchów, leksykon MuzykaRoztocza
2011 - Lubelskie. Polska pieśń i muzyka Ludowa. Źródła i materiały. cz. VI. Muzyka instrumentalna, red. Agata Kusto, zapisy: polki (m.in. „Drygana”), oberki, suwaki, powiślaki, „Przepióreczka”; nota biograficzna, s. 106.
2007 - Andrzej Bieńkowski, Sprzedana muzyka, Czarne, s. 146
2006 - Urszula Brodziak, Joanna Margol, Kapela braci Bździuchów z Aleksandrowa – monografia, Aleksandrów-Lublin
1997 - Anna Szotkowska, Kapela Braci Bździuchów Franciszka i Jana, [w:] Oskary Kolberga. Praca zbiorowa pod red. Mariana Pokropka. Warszawa: Mazowieckie Towarzystwo Kultury, s 137.
Author of the note: Remek Mazur-Hanaj
Translated by: Zuzanna Wiśniewska