Concert recording at the 17th "Warszawskie Spotkania Muzyczne" Festival, 2003.
Sinfonietta (1956) for two string orchestras
Sinfonietta for two string orchestras was Kazimierz Serocki’s first work performed at the Warsaw Autumn. It was presented during the festival’s first edition, in October 1956, under the musical direction of Jan Krenz, to whom it was dedicated. It was also the first piece by Serocki to be recorded on LP and released by Polskie Nagrania.
Sinfonietta is usually seen as an important step in the composer’s road to creating his own sound language and – in the sphere of expression – a quintessence of neoclassical clarity, cheerfulness and moderation.
All three movements of Sinfonietta (Allegro – Adagio – Vivace) contain vivid themes as well as their intricate transformations (largely polyphonic) based on interesting constructivist ideas. The composer carefully chooses the intervals and ways of combining them into musically significant wholes. In this respect, his inspiration undoubtedly came from the music of Béla Bartók, on which Serocki drew also in another way, placing, for example, the expressive and textural culmination of the second movement at the golden ratio point (bar 25 out of the 39 bars of this movement).
In addition, in Sinfonietta the composer for the first time tackled the problem of organizing the sound space. The piece features a dialogue of two orchestras placed on the right and left side of the stage. The melodies reaching the listeners’ ears from both sides thus give a foretaste of the variety of spatial impressions generated by Serocki’s later works (e.g. Episodes, Continuum and Pianophonie).
"Generally, the whole thing is excellent. A combination of constructivism and good (aurally verifiable!) music” — wrote a Polish music critic after the premiere (Henryk Schiller, “Kazimierz Serocki – Sinfonietta for two string orchestras”, Ruch Muzyczny 1958 no. 3, p. 28.).