Commissioned by Paul Sacher
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).
I had already composed Chain 1 for an ensemble of soloists but this does not mean that the Chains form parts of a cycle. They are completely independent compositions.
Chain 2 for violin and orchestra (commissioned by and dedicated to Paul Sacher) is in four movements:
1. Ad libitum
2. A battuta
3. Ad libitum
4. A battuta – Ad libitum – A battuta
In the Ad libitum movements and in the Ad libitum section of the fourth movement the element of chance plays a part within the fixed parameters. This has been a feature of my compositional style since 1960 and always offers new possibilities. However, in the last few years I have been particularly preoccupied by the shaping of the pitch (i.e. Melody, harmony and polyphony) as the organisation of time. In my opinion, the traditional scale with its twelve notes has not yet been fully exploited in terms of harmony. I believe that there are till many possibilities to be discovered, even independently from Shönberg’s twelve-tone technique.
Chain 2 was commissioned by Paul Sacher who conducted Collegium Musicum, Zurich with Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin) in the first performance on 31 January 1986 at the Grosser Tonhallesaal, Zurich.
© Witold Lutoslawski