Krzysztof Penderecki - Concerto Nº 1 for Cello & Orchestra
Krzysztof Penderecki is one a polish composer. He was born on 1933 in Debica. He's one of the most important composers of the XX century, mainly because of his compositon "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (and Nagazaki)" which was quite revolutionary. After this piece several others came, as the one that is presented here today. But after, Penderecki, started leaving behind this revolutionary style and changed towards a post-romantic style, remembering composers like Rachmaninoff or Shostakovich (in some of his pieces). In the words of the composer himself, in an interview by Pacho O'Donnel for Canal á, he said this style change is due to that the music that he's now composing has the only objective to be likeable for him, while the music that he composed back in those revolutionary years was music meant only for that... to be revolutionary.
The first cello concerto is composed in a single movement, and its based on a concerto that Penderecki wrote for "Violino Grande" and orchestra, in 1967 by commission of the polish violinist Bronislaw Eichenholz, who had that instrument built. The isntrument is a sort of viola, but with 5 strings, which allows it to have both the extension of the violin and the viola. This version was premiered on the 1st of July of 1967. Penderecki said he actually thought of the cello since the first moment he started composing the concert, in December of 1966, but it wasnt until 1971 when he started adapting the concert for a cello, thinking on the technic and expresiveness of his friend Siegfried Palm. Who had premiered some of his cello pieces before: Sonata for Cello and Orchestra (1964) and also Capriccio (1968).
The orchestration is kind of atypical, which contributes to its beautiful sonority, on one hand the orchestra has no violas, which was made to emphasize the violino grande, and then it was left like this on the cello version. Some years after the premiere (1972), Penderecki adeed some instruments to the orchestra, sax, accordion and electric guitar. It's also noticeable that there are other atypical instruments on the orchestra, like electric bass, and a saw (played with bow), among others.
The text about the concert was published on the booklet of Arto Noras recording, published by elatos, and written by Jaakko Haapaniemi.