Winnetou’s Adventures in German
The composer’s favourite childhood books were novels: Maria Rodziewiczówna’s Summer of the Forest People and Ferenc Molnár’s The Paul Street Boys. Most anecdotal, though, is his interest in Karl May’s Winnetou cycle. Following the war, the Pendereckis were accommodated in a tenement in Dębica market square. The flat had belonged to a German, who left an entire library behind, including May’s collected works in nearly 70 volumes. Robert Berger, Krzysztof’s grandpa, read them aloud to the composer, teaching him the language at the same time. Knowledge of German proved useful to him later, when he attended the Donaueschingen festivals and lectured in Essen’s Folkwang-Hochschule.