Stanislaw Moniuszko (1819-1872) was a Polish composer, conductor and teacher. He wrote many popular art songs and operas, and his music is filled with patriotic folk themes.
'Halka' is an opera to a libretto by Wlodzimierz Wolski, a young Warsaw poet with radical social views. It is part of the canon of Polish national operas. The staged premiere took place in Vilnius on 28 February 1854. 'Halka' is considered one of Moniuszko's greatest operas. The music in is highly melodic, deeply lyrical and Polish in character. It includes moving poetic arias as well as spectacular dance sequences. The story is that of the tragic love of the title character, the highlander girl Halka.
The 'Mazurka' from the 1st act became popular on its own and is now transcribed for Symphonic Band by Dutch arranger Andreas van Zoelen.