Three Miniatures for clarinet and piano
Composed in 1956, when Penderecki was still a student at Cracow’s State Higher School of Music, the miniatures make use of contrasted tempi (fast-slow-fast) and moods, but present a similar type of musical progression. Each consists of three sections: preliminary exposition of musical ideas, their development and a kind of recapitulation. The musical language of this cycle shows none of Penderecki’s later radicalism. The composer demonstrates here his close familiarity with the music of such early 20th-century masters as Béla Bartók and Igor Stravinsky, at the same time offering us a spectacular display of clarinet playing. It was most likely owing to its unquestionable attraction for performers that the Three Miniatures was one of this composer’s earliest scores to be accepted for publication.