Prelude for winds, percussion and double-basses

Recording not available.

Opis materiału
  • Composer:Krzysztof Penderecki
  • Original title: Preludium na orkiestrę dętą, perkusję i kontrabasy
  • year of completion: 1971
  • instrumentation: wind orchestra, percussion, double basses
  • commission: Het Radio, Amsterdam
  • Dedication: To Jo Elsendoorn
  • Premiere: Amsterdam, Holland Festival, 04.07.1971, Het Radio Blazerensemble, Hans Vonk – conductor
Composed four years after the similarly scored Pittsburgh Overture and also with a specific ensemble, theHet Radio Blazerensemble, in mind, the Prelude was most likely one of the last strictly sonoristic works in Penderecki’s oeuvre. Only “most likely”, however – for lack of a published score or a recording, all knowledge about the piece relies on secondary sources.

Though the composer has never formally withdrawn the piece, he was not satisfied with it: In an interview with Mieczysław Tomaszewski, he even pointed to it as the work he wished he had not written. He said, “I wrote it just as it came. I just wanted to try out some ideas…” Yet a similar approach produced the excellent Pittsburgh Overture, so perhaps the Prelude was not so bad after all?

In the journal Ruch Muzyczny, Tadeusz A. Zieliński praised it for its vigour and “tart and spicy acoustic taste”. Wolfram Schwinger noted the “simple interplay of extremes”, the juxtaposition of a piccolo flute and a double bass, of “quiet and loud, static and lively, distinctly bright and distinctly dark music”. Ernst Vermeulen described it as a “coloristic piece” typical of this composer.

All these epithets sound promising and possibly, even against the composer’s will, the work may be revived on the wave of some future “vogue” for sonoristic works coming from the so-called “Polish school of composition”.