Krzysztof Penderecki

Prelude for clarinet solo in B flat major

    Description by "Blue" Gene Tyranny

    Penderecki's "Prelude for Solo Clarinet in B-flat", of slightly more than 3 minutes duration, was composed in 1987 as a birthday gift for the English composer Paul Patterson. Like his other previous solo pieces, such as the "Cadenza for viola solo" (1984), and "Per Slava" for cello solo (1985-86) for example, this work is notated sans bar lines leaving the performer greater room for expression and visually supporting the feeling of a quasi-improvisatory unfolding of the music. The piece as a whole exhibits a symmetrical arcing structure in its increasing range of pitches, in its slow-fast-slow elastic tempi, and also in its quiet-loudly projected-quiet dynamic articulation. A very quiet slow pulsing G note, in a lento sostenuto tempo, gradually develops its lamenting, sighing character in higher registers by adding more notes. The high notes create an arcing gesture at first by slow ascent and then by having notes fall quickly away from the peak tones. Fast, spinning small triplets accelerate around the top and begin to replace specific landing points. An atmosphere of abandon and flight takes over. Then the music begins to create its own larger arcing structure by gradually receding from the peaks and returning to the quiet, self-examining, G note.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Soundset SR 1087
    2014 Dux Records DUX 0780
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2009 Centaur Records 2965
    2008 Teldec 4696734
    2003 Naxos 8 557052
    2001 CPO CPO999730-2
    1999 MDG 3040917
    1998 Camerata Records 491
    1994 Wergo 6258
    1994 BIS 652