Silesian Triptych for soprano and orchestra
When composing the Triptych, the
author drew on Silesian folk songs, using three pieces about love. Their
intricate sound setting shows that accessibility does not have to be in
conflict with great artistry.
The lively outer parts, Oj, mi się owiesek wysypywa and Kukułeczka kuka, delight with their lightness and humour. The best ideas include the witty ending of the first song and responses of the brass in the third song, which parody Stravinsky’s Petrushka.
The second part is a lament of a girl who has been abandoned (“A source springs from this well. / Ah! My lover drinks with another”). The song begins with shimmering playing by flute, celesta and harp, bringing to mind associations with light reflections on the surface of water or the murmur of a stream.
The soprano’s monologue is joined by successive instruments in an elaborate counterpoint. Her lament culminates with the words: “O! Did not my heart know this”. The arrival of the climax is emphasised by measured strikes of the timpani, strongly associated with the content of the last verse. This middle song of the Triptych is characterised by an interweaving of art and compassion.