Pittsburgh Overture

Recording not available.

Opis materiału
  • Composer:Krzysztof Penderecki
  • Original title: Uwertura pittsburska na orkiestrę dętą, fisharmonię, fortepian i perkusję
  • year of completion: 1967
  • instrumentation: wind orchestra, harmonium, piano, percussion
  • commission: Robert Austin Boudreau for Het Radio in Amsterdam
  • Premiere: Pittsburgh, 30.06.1967, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Robert Austin Boudreau – conductor
  • Discography: "New Brass Symphony: Pflüger, Mayuzumi, Penderecki, Badings", American Wind Symphony Orchestra, Robert Austin Bourdeau – conductor, Bayer Records, 1988; "Krzysztof Penderecki: Pittsburgh Overture / Toshiro Mayuzumi: Music With Sculpture / John T. Williams: Sinfonietta for Wind Ensemble", Eastman Wind Ensemble, Donald Hunsberger – conductor, Deutsche Grammophon, 1970
The Polish premiere of Pittsburgh Overture  opened the Warsaw Autumn festival in 2012, 45 years after the work was composed. As performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, confined to the concert stage, the music made the impression of loudly “calling” for the space that had been guaranteed by special circumstances for its performance in the U.S. Penderecki had written the piece for the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble that, in agreement with its usual practice, played the Overture in the open air, along the Ohio River, which runs through Pittsburgh. With this commission, then, the composer contributed to a tradition of outdoor performance that includes Handel’s Water Music.

The Overture bears some similarity to Tomasz Sikorski’s Concerto breve for piano, 24 wind instruments and percussion, which was also revived in Warsaw in 2012 and was a sonoristic composition, like Penderecki’s work.. Penderecki, however, put his even more numerous instruments on a par. The piano was for him one of the percussion instruments, while the harmonium joined the wind section.

Penderecki used the huge performing forces to test several textural and sonoristic ideas. The composition, experimental in the best sense of the word, is a survey of techniques of sound production in a mass of wind instruments, which in this composer’s music would soon get to speak with their full voice. The various configurations of instruments play dense quarter-tone clusters, while the intervals are ordered in accordance with a loose dodecaphonic technique. The relations between instrumental configurations manifest themselves in the form of a collage of contrasted sections.