Sacher Variation

orchestration: cello
dedicated to: Paul Sacher
year composed: 1975
about premiere
location: Zurych
date: 2 V 1976
soloists: Mścisław Rostropowicz
edition: PWM, Chester Music
The Sacher Variation was written in 1975 and dedicated to Paul Sacher on the seventieth birthday anniversary of this Swiss conductor and acclaimed patron of twentieth-century music. Mstislav Rostropovich gave its world premiere in Zurich on May 2, 1976, at a gala concert organized in honour of the celebrant.

Rostropovich was himself the originator of the idea for the composition, and in the course of the evening also performed works-dedications written for the occasion by Conrad Beck, Lucian Berio, Pierre Boulez, Benjamin Britten, Henri Dutilleux, Wolfgang Fortner, Alberto Ginastera, Christobaldo Halfter, Hans Werner Henze, Heinz Holliger, and Klaus Huber.

In Lutosławski's miniature governed by the principle of an interchange of refrains and episodes, the refrains rest upon the ‘sonification' of the name eS-A-C-H-E-Re (according to Northern European note names - Translator's note), while the episodes avail themselves only of those notes which do not participate in this ‘refrain' structure.

ach / trans. mk