Liquid Air - Elżbieta Sikora

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Uncertainty, passing away, interpenetration... The air transforms from liquid to gaseous state. Captured in this form, it assumes a new one. Mystery...


A low sound, to begin with. A dense sound texture accumulates around it, penetrated, as by a gust of air, by brief woodwind interventions in a high register. This interplay of opposites takes up the first section of the piece, slow and pensive. 

Section two, different in character, starts with a fast passage in the strings, which functions as a form-building element, undergoing various transformations, and is contrasted to the sharp accents in the brass. Then a delicate and quiet sequence emerges, drawing on sounds that already appeared in the first section, until fast rhythmic passages return, and the section ends with an ascending progression owing through the various orchestral groups.


Section three opens with a quiet third motif which constitutes its leitmotif. Then transformed elements from the previous sections recur as a kind of recollection of what happened; these are not fully stated and take on ever new forms. 

The work was commissioned by the Warsaw Autumn Festival for its 2021 edition. 

Elżbieta Sikora 

Appears courtesy of PWM Edition – the publisher of Liquid Air by Elżbieta Sikora.