Witold Szalonek’s Chaconne-fantaisie for solo violin, composed in 1997, was inspired by a Baroque masterpiece: the Ciaccona from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita no. 2 in D minor for solo violin (BWV 1004). We also hear in this composition echoes of Karol Szymanowski and of tunes from the Tatra Mountains.
This work is dedicated to the outstanding Polish violinist Wanda Wiłkomirska. It is addressed primarily to performing musicians, whom Szalonek called ‘co-composers’. He believed that such artists, by selecting the optimum means of performance, revealed sound qualities that could only arise when his works were being interpreted. Produced here from the violin – a traditional instrument – are new sonorities characteristic of the whole of Szalonek’s oeuvre. The Chaconne-fantaisie displays an impressive wealth of colouristic means. Very much to the fore here is the characteristic colour as ‘an immanent element of that which is heard’ – colour that is so crucial to a sonoristic composer.
This work reveals the remarkable world of Szalonek’s imagination. Making use of the traditional form of the chaconne, he leaves the soloist ample possibilities for interpretation – avec fantaisie – particularly in terms of agogic shifts, and also in the way the narrative is led. This recompenses performers for the potential difficulties with reading the complicated score. In Chaconne-fantaisie, the soloist displays the whole spectrum of the violin’s sonoristic capacities, especially part playing, producing contrasts of sound through characteristic figurations with ‘hidden polyphony’, juxtaposing playing in different registers, playing arco and pizzicato in alternation, double stops and chords.
translated by John Comber
- ISMN 979-0-2740-3530-3
- Number of pages: 20
- Cover: softcover
- No. of edition: 1
- Published: 2021