I composed Partita for violin and piano in the autumn of 1984 at the request of St Paul Chamber Orchestra for Pinchas Zukerman and Marc Neikrug.
The work consists for five movements. Of these the main movements are the first (allegro guisto), the third (largo) and the fifth (presto). The second and fourth are but short interludes to be played ad libitum. A short ad libitum section also appears before the end of the last movement.
The three major movements follow, rhythmically at least, the tradition of pre-classical (18th century) keyboard music. This, however, is no more than an allusion. Harmonically and melodically, Partita clearly belongs to the same group of recent compositions as Symphony No.3 and Chain 1.
Pinchas Zukerman and Marc Neikrug gave the first performance on 18 January 1985 at the Ordway Music Theatre, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
(The orchestral version (1988) was written for and dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter. She gave the first performance on 10 January 1990 in Munich with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Lutoslawksi.)
© Witold Lutoslawski
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