• Witold Lutosławski
  • Overture for Strings [Uwertura smyczkowa ] (1949)

  • 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, countries of the former Yugoslavia, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Romania, Hungary and the whole territory of the former USSR, where the copyright is held by Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (PWM).

  • str
  • 5 min

Programme Note

After the first performance of my “first symphony” in 1948 I realized, that my way of composing up to then and especially my approach to the problems of pitch (harmony, melody, etc) was not leading to any satisfactory result. So I decided to start working on a sound language which could better serve my purposes. In fact I have not finished that work up to now and I think it is good to still keep the imagination in the movement in order to try and find still new procedures and methods of composing music. It has been indeed a long way, on which the first step was my little “ouverture”.

In this piece I tried to work on scales (moduses?) containing eight notes. And thus the first theme has been composed using two-equal-tetrachords-scales, the second- a chromatic scale of eight notes. Later on I abandoned that procedure and searched solutions elsewhere.

The “ouverture” has been composed in a sonata-form with two contrasting themes, the exposition, the development and the recapitulation.

The first performance was given in November 1948 by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra under Fitelberg in Czechoslovakia.

Witold Lutoslawski 16 February 1983.

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Overture for Strings

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