Three songs to words by Dmitri Davydov op. 32 (1915)

Kak tol’ko vostok
Nebo bez zwiozd
Osenneye solnce

The Three Songs for voice and piano op. 32 (1915) are much less significant in Szymanowski’s development as composer. He did not attach much significance to them, did not recommend their publication, and did not offer them to performers. It was only during the Second World War, at a secret concert in Warsaw, that the songs to poems by Davydov were publicly performed for the first time. They were translated by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, who at that point identified the author of the text. They are distinguished by a significant feature – the influence of the “melopoeia of Russian style”, with a characteristic melodic-rhythmic phrase resulting from the Russian stress structure. It is constituted by an interval of descending fourth, where the upper note is accentuated and usually emphasised by , while the lower note, repeated, constitutes the non-accentuated area. This phrase, originating from speech intonation, appears frequently in the vocal lyrical works of Russian composers. Szymanowski diminished the interval of the fourth by a semitone three times, but used the described figure in each of the songs to Davydov’s words, in the first (bars 30-31, 32-33), second (bars 9, 17, 26, 37) and third (bars 1, 11-13).