Works performed by Earplay:

Clarinet Quartet

The music of Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933) has been as fascinating to the general public as it has been influential among musicians. He burst upon the scene in 1959 when, as a 26-year-old just out of the Krakow Conservatory, he entered three compositions in a Polish competition and won the three top prizes. In the works that followed Penderecki decisively abandoned traditional melody and harmony. Ignoring also the serialism then dominant in the West, he developed an immediately accessible musical language based on a dramatic and coloristic use of blocks, masses, and planes of sound. By the mid-1970s, Penderecki, to critical skepticism and continuing popular acclaim, had begun to leaven the austerity of his established style with elements of melody and harmony. His turn toward melodic expression and tonal reference brought with it an increased interest in absolute music: in recent years symphonies, concertos, and chamber music have become more prominent in his output.

[from program for February 11, 2008 concert]