Slides for 11 soloists

Recording not available.

Opis materiału
  • Composer:Witold Lutosławski
  • Original title: Slides for 11 soloists
  • year of completion: 1988
  • instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trombone, piano, celesta, percussion, violin, viola, cello, double bass
  • Dedication: Tribute to Elliott Carter on his 80th birthday
  • Premiere: New York, 01.12.1988, Speculum Musicae, Robert Black – conductor
The 80th birthday of the eminent U.S. composer Elliott Carter (1908-2013) was on 11 December 1988. There was mutual sympathy between him and Lutosławski as well as some affinity of a purely musical nature, close enough for them to be termed  a “Lutosławski from the USA” and a “Polish Carter”. Carter’s birthday became the reason for writing Slides for an ensemble of 11 performers (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trombone, piano with celesta, percussion and string trio with double bass).

The composer used a model tested in the finale of the Venetian Games (1961) and in the last of the Postludes (1960): The work consists of several episodes separated by a sharp signal. All episodes from Slides use the ad libitum technique – noted without bar lines and shaped in an aleatory manner, with the application of “controlled chance”. Percussion interventions are a signal for other soloists to stop playing and begin a new section; thus the percussionist functions as a conductor. After six such sections and seven interventions comes the climactic episode – the signal is repeated again and again, provoking short, sonorous replies from the entire ensemble. One intervention, however, is left without a reply. The percussionist repeats the signal increasingly quietly then finally, as if getting impatient, he performs it for the last time – very loudly (fortissimo) again, and accompanied by the final “cry” of the other instruments.

On Lutosławski’s  80th birthday, in 1993, he received a gift from Carter – a virtuoso piece for solo clarinet, bearing the Polish title Gra, or Play.