Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio, Modzelewskiego 59 in Warsaw
In the works of contemporary composers, one can often see inspirations from early music. Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Three Pieces in Old Style from 1963 are part of this trend. They are a response to Tadeusz Ochlewski’s playful accusation that Górecki’s music lacked melodic invention. It may seem that a short series of Renaissance-inspired miniatures does not match the avant-garde stance represented by the composer in the 1960s. However, we still hear the strongly emphasized tonal quality – so characteristic of Górecki’s individual style – shine through the lyrical passages and references to lively dance forms.
Roman Palester also alluded to early musical tradition. In search of inspiration, he reached for the most important Polish artifact of Renaissance instrumental music – the Tablature of Jan of Lublin. He gave old melodies a new tonal, harmonic, and rhythmic context, arranging them into a Concertino full of internal contrasts. The discreet sound of the harpsichord combined with the solo instruments goes a long way in evoking the atmosphere of old times. Entirely different were Palester’s inspirations when composing his dodecaphonic Variations for Orchestra. However, the very idea of successively reworking the main theme in a series of variations dates back to the Middle Ages, so also here tradition meets modernity.
The practice of juxtaposing rhythmically contrasting dances also has a long tradition, leading to the emergence of the suite form developed in the Baroque period. The genre was used in a remarkable way by Witold Lutosławski in his Little Suite referring to Polish folklore. Folk wisdom is enchanted in the simple yet highly sophisticated sound of dynamic and lyrical fragments. No wonder such an impressive stylization invariably mesmerizes the audience.
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933-2010)
Three Pieces in Old Style
Roman Palester (1907-1989)
Concertino per clavicembalo e dieci strumenti
I. Intrada / II. Aria / III. Danza / IV. Intermezzo / V. Tema con variazioni / VI. Rondo
Variations for Chamber Orchestra
Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994)
Fujarka (Fife) / Hurra Polka / Piosenka (Song) / Taniec (Dance)
KRZYSZTOF GARSTKA HARPSICHORD
DAWID RUNTZ CONDUCTOR
Duration: approx. 1h