instrumentation: Piano or Harpsichord
illustrations: Anna Sędziwy
editors: Jadwiga Kubieniec, Marcin Kowalczyk
number of pages: 32
Characteristic Sketches, can be treated as a cycle, but at the same time, the miniatures may also be freely re-arranged according to similarities or contrasts, traits inherent in the composed material, without losing their primary sense. Each miniature is distinguishable due to the original aural qualities possessed, which result from the composers intent to evoke certain textures and sounds. The first two sketches (III and VII ) were composed in 2009 and during a meeting with Elżbieta Chojnacka at Karłowicz Music School in Kraków, were showcased by the harpsichord class of Marta Pisarska, to whom the collection of compositions was dedicated. The remaining sketches were composed over the years 2010-2016.
Sketch I, written in the form a b a1, is characterized by a mellow, gentle sound, resulting from the use of diatonic scales and leading the melody in perfect fifths. From this movement of fifths we can witness the creation of a flowing melodic line. Sketch II, has the form of a scherzo. The unusual sonority it displays stems from the use of wide intervals (major sevenths) combined with chromatic ornamentation and varied articulation. Sketch III plays with a collision of two textures. A wide ambitus of arpeggiated chords and quick tritone embellishments. This composition is a two part piece, concluding with a dramatic coda. The form which Sketch IV takes is that of a toccata. The decision to use the interval of a fourth as a melodic and harmonic foundation of the composition has the effect of introducing both tonal and atonal elements. Sketch V is a lyrical waltz in which three melodic-textural ideas intertwine. Variation is achieved through transpositions and progressions. The coloristic qualities of Sketch VI is predetermined by the choice of melodic material – all the note choices are to be found among the black keys. The composer employed variations, and a specific technique of playing the notated score – two melodic planes are realized with the left hand while the right hand accompanies with arpeggios and glissandos. Sketch VII embodies the concept of a perpetuum mobile, its evolutionary development harkens to the baroque concept of joyous music and movement. A large part in creating this impression is due to the employment of mirrored figurations and chord clusters built on both the white and black keys. Lyrical in nature, the expressive narrative in Sketch VIII is led in turn, first by one plane and then the second. Underpinning this movement is an ostinato. The melody appears in arpeggiated chords. Sketch IX, built around the structure a b a1, is a stylized waltz, whose particular colour is determined by the harmonic use of variations around thirds and progressive repetition of melodic and harmonic elements. Sketch X, in character a march, through its use of diatonic scales references Sketch I; quasi-clustered chords play the role of the foundation that complements the main melodic line.