orchestration: chamber orchestra
  1111, 1000, batt, pf(cel), vn, vl, vc, cb
dedicated to: "for the 80th birthday of Elliot Carter"
year composed: 1988
about premiere
location: Nowy Jork
date: 1 XII 1988
orchestra: Speculum Musicae
conductor: Robert Black
edition: PWM, Chester Music

Slides came into being in 1988 as a gift to the American avant-garde’s luminary, Elliott Carter, who was celebrating his 80th birthday (he died on December 5, 2012 at the age of 104). Written for 11 soloists, the score carries all the earmarks of Lutosławski’s late masterly style: a legible dramaturgy (unfolding here in six concise phases), a high command of instrumentation, and a well thought-out harmonic language. Although the work constitutes a Webernian aphorism (its duration is four minutes!) and is situated on the border between chamber music and symphonic writing, it was based on Lutosławski’s consistently developed concept of controlled aleatoricism. (Here, the particular signals for beginning or ending quasi-improvised fragments are given by the percussionist, who functions as a conductor throughout, but not for a moment does he conduct in a traditional manner.)

mg / trans. mk