instrumentation: Soprano Saxophone or Flute or Clarinet or Violin and Harpsichord
cover design: Anna Sędziwy
editors: Jadwiga Kubieniec, Marcin Kowalczyk
number of pages: 20+6+6+6
Nymphs is a series of three miniatures for soprano saxophone (flute, clarinet or violin) and harpsichord, with a clearly defined extramusical content. The piece, inspired by mythology, is intended, the composer notes, to be a kind of psychological portrait of the Greek goddesses. Although long-lived and ever young, they remained mortal, sharing the concerns of the people and often bringing them help. The lyrical first part is maintained in a rocking triple meter. It is dedicated to the Nereids, famed for their great beauty; singing inhabitants of the seas’ depths, guardians of sailors. The second musical illustration – the Oreads (mountain nymphs) – is formed of two contrasting parts: a kind of static recitative and a motoric quasi-toccata with free figurations in the solo instrument parts. The last element is a study of the Dryads, defenders of the forest and devotees of the cult of Mother Nature. There are ostinato modules used here – though not without lightness and a poetic aura – differentiated in texture, following one another in turn. The composition was written at the request of the Polish Composers’ Union as part of the project “60 commissions for the 60th Anniversary of the Polish Composers’ Union” and had its premiere on 18th February 2006 at the 25th Festival of Contemporary Polish Music “Musica Polonica Nova” in Wrocław. In 2007, the piece was recorded for the album Weronika Ratusińska – Chamber Music (DUX Recording Producers), performed by Paweł Gusnar (saxophone) and Alina Ratkowska (harpsichord).