Jagiellonian Triptych for string orchestra
The character of Jagiellonian Triptych draws on Panufnik’s earlier works based on early Polish music. This short, 7-minute piece is written for string orchestra and consists of three movements: Preambulum, Cantio and Chorea polonica. As in other works he based on early Polish themes (Old Polish Suite, Concerto in modo antico, Quintetto academico), the quotations introduced here are combined with material of the composer’s invention, making for a finished piece in the spirit and atmosphere of earlier periods.
At the same time, the Jagiellonian Triptych is the last example of an archaizing strand in Panufnik’s oeuvre. In any case, the composer may have used early Polish music here because of the special occasion: a concert organized to celebrate Poland’s millennium at Notre Dame de France in London. The concert took place on 24 September 1966. Its programme was filled entirely with Panufnik’s music, and the event was accompanied by an exhibition of works by Andrzej Dzierżyński, a Polish painter living in London and a friend of the composer.Through his Jagiellonian Triptych, written especially for the millenium commemorations, the composer undoubtedly wanted to remind people of the role played in Poland’s history by the Jagiellonian dynasty – hence the title of the work. In addition to the Jagiellonian Triptych, the concert programme featured Hommage à Chopin, Old Polish Suite, Divertimento and Landscape. All works were performed by the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by the composer.