• Witold Lutosławski
  • Grave (Metamorphoses for cello and piano) (1981)

  • Chester Music Ltd (Worldwide except Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, China, countries of former Czechoslovakia, Croatia, former territories of Yugoslavia, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Romania, Hungary and countries of former USSR)

Chester Music is the publisher of this work in all territories except Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, China, countries of the former Czechoslovakia, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Romania, Hungary and the whole territory of the former USSR, where the copyright is held by Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (PWM).

  • cello/pf
  • 7 min

Programme Note

Witold Lutoslawski

For Cello and Piano

This brief, single-movement work takes the form of a composed accelerando, rising in pitch from bass to soprano register as it gathers rhythmic momentum; mostly quite subdued, occasional outbursts of a more overt intensity increase in frequency towards its eventual climax. The close musical interplay between cello and piano (much of the material could be transferred from cello to piano and vice versa without damage to the overall effect) is based on the perceptibly logical development of a number of 2- and 3-note motifs, often attached to sustained chords or repeated notes which locate the harmony of the piece in quasi tonal sense. This is very articulate music, makings its often passionate points without recourse to bombast; without melodic themes, it is always melodic in expression and always clearly related to the overall theme of its expanding motifs.

Subtitled Metamorphoses, Grave was written in 1981 and first performed in Warsaw in April of that year by Roman Jablonski and Krystyna Borucinska; it is dedicated to the memory of Stefan Jarocinski, the Polish musicologist.

© Susan Bradshaw