Arrangements

Arrangements  for 1–4 recorders (1975–76)

Günther Höller, Michael Schneider, Christian Seher, Czesław Pałkowski - recorders, „Warsaw Autumn” 1978

 

Günther Höller, Michael Schneider, Christian Seher, Czesław Pałkowski - recorders, „Warsaw Autumn” 1978

Arrangements for recorders
Arrangements for recorders
Arrangements for recorders
 
The work was premiered during a chamber music festival in Witten on 25 April 1976 in a performance featuring Czesław Pałkowski. The Polish audience heard it two years later, during the 22nd “Warsaw Autumn”.
 
The sound material for the composition came from the huge repertoire of “effects” developed by Serocki during the work on Concerto alla cadenza  and during numerous consultations with Pałkowski. However, in this case it is used in a completely different structural and expressive context. The latter is dominated by elegance and wit.
 
The work consists of 17 segments (with each of them notated in the score on a separate sheet), which may be performed in any order and at the same time in 15 line-up variants: 4 solo variants called “solo cadenzas”, 6 duets, 4 trios and 1 full quartet. In addition, remarks on the score include a table listing the segments performed for each line-up variant. However, the choice of their order is left to the performers, who may not omit or repeat any of the segments. Thus, the solo versions comprise 10 segments, duet versions – 9 segments, trio versions – again 10 segments and the quartet version – 13 segments. Interestingly, the composer allows two or more versions of the work to be performed during one concert and even agrees to – as we can read in the commentary – “simultaneous performance of various versions of the work with various line-ups in various rooms of the same building, with the audience being able to move from one room to another”. The venue for performing the piece is thus not limited by the conditions of a concert hall; it may just as well be an art gallery or a palace.
 
The performers have at their disposal many extraordinary effects, e.g. murmuring the vowel “U” into the mouthpiece while blowing, closing and opening of the end of the mouthpiece, various types of overblown sounds, multiphonics, trills and frullato as well as 19 “special ways of playing”, indicated in the score by means of special graphic marks
 
The subtlety and daintiness of the sound effects used by Serocki on the one hand confirm the existence of not yet overused sonorist capabilities of recorders, and on the other – creates a unique auditory aura that brings to mind Olivier Messiaen’s “bird” works or amateur-youth music. As Andrzej Chłopecki said shortly after the premiere: "Arrangements  is a delectable titbit – and I suspect that was the point”.

 

  • Tadeusz A. Zieliński, O twórczości Kazimierza Serockiego [On Kazimierz Serocki’s Oeuvre], Kraków 1985.
  • Andrzej Chłopecki, comment on Arrangements after it was performed at the “Warsaw Autumn”, Ruch Muzyczny 1978 no. 24.

 

Sheet music available from: PWMRICORDI