Genesis I: Elementi per archi - Henryk Mikołaj Górecki International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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Genesis I: Elementi per archi - Henryk Mikołaj Górecki

Elementi per tre archi opens a cycle of three works entitled Genesis, which was a turning-point in Górecki’s career, since in those works he departed from the pointillistic technique and turned towards continuous melodic lines and so-called complexes, i.e. progressions of complex groups. Elementi constitute the first stage of the composer’s timbral exploration. The composition is based on a twelve-note series, which has been, however, cunningly concealed by the composer in a complex, mobile texture. The form of the work is likewise marked by complication as it consists of six sequences made up of smaller unit groups (22), further subdivided into “events,” or substructures. Elementi is an unconventional work in every respect, including the arrangement of the performers on the stage, who (according to the composer’s directions) should be situated within the distance of at least six metres from each other, because, as the composer emphasised himself, Elementi is a work for three instruments and not for trio. 

Based on Adrian Thomas, Górecki, Cracow: PWM, 1998