Three Dances op. 34
Three Dances for orchestra was commissioned from Górecki by the Rybnik Philharmonic. The composer took up this commission largely for sentimental reasons: It was in Rybnik’s Secondary Music School that he began his formal musical education. Among the important figures for musical life in the town, and for Górecki’s own development, there were the Szafranek brothers, Karol and Antoni. As a student in the local music school, the future composer played violin in the Rybnik Philharmonic Orchestra. He gladly accepted the request to compose a piece for the Philharmonic as an opportunity for a kind of “sentimental journey back in time”. The resulting music – the striking Three Dances for orchestra – clearly look back to the past. They are maintained in a lively, rhythmically fervent neoclassical style. Energetic opening and closing dances are contrasted with the lyrical, highly expressive central piece, played by the strings.