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Witold Lutoslawski: Trois Poemes D'henri Michaux: Orchestra

Instrumental Work | Sheet Music and Books

COMPOSER: Witold Lutoslawski
PUBLISHER: Chester Music
PRODUCT FORMAT: Instrumental Work
Trois poèmes d’Henri Michaux was written for the Zagreb Biennale and first performed there by the orchestra and choir of Radio Zagreb, conducted by the composer and Slavko Zlatic on 9 May 1963. It is composed for 20-part choirandan orchestra similar to that of the Symphony of Psalms, though without
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Specifications
Composer Witold Lutoslawski
Publisher Chester Music
Product Format Instrumental Work
Genre Classical
Year of Publication 2002
StylePeriodView Description Post 1901
ISBN 9780711935204
EAN 5020679217481
Instrumentation Orchestra
No. MUSCH60923
Number of pages 49
Description
Trois poèmes d’Henri Michaux was written for the Zagreb Biennale and first performed there by the orchestra and choir of Radio Zagreb, conducted by the composer and Slavko Zlatic on 9 May 1963. It is composed for 20-part choirandan orchestra similar to that of the Symphony of Psalms, though without the lower strings of the latter.

Lutoslaswski has said that the general outline of the work came to him first, and only then did he choose the threepoems. These reflect his Francophile taste: Henri Michaux was born in Belgium in 1899 and later became a painter: the trenchant Le Grand Combat, with its onomatopoeic invented words, dates form the 1920s; the other two texts,which aremore philosophic than pictorial, form the 1930s. Choir and orchestra need separate conductors even though throughout they alternate more often than they combine.

A description of the course of the music itself will bemoreuseful than any discussion of its technical processes or of its notation. A quiet section of orchestral polyphony, which brass sforzandi punctuate with increasing frequency, frames the beginning and end of Pensées. Afterthechoir’s first unaccompanied passage, the woodwind have a staccato section over which the female voices, singing downward glissandi, are superimposed (‘Ombre de mondes infimes…’). Then the woodwind and both pianos join in alappingostinato which illustrates the text of the next forte choir entry ‘Pensées la nage merveilleuse…’ The climax of the movement comes as these characteristic woodwind figures alternate with the tintinnabulation of agamelan-likeensemble of vibraphone, céleste, harp and pianos.

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