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  • 2014 marks the centenary of Andrzej Panufnik, one of the most important of Polish composers and a unique figure in 20th century music.

    His life and output chart some of the most important social and political events taking place in a turbulent century, while his music balances heartfelt expressivity with an Apollonian sense of beauty and structure.

    We invite you to explore a selection of Panufnik's works, with links to programme notes, audio clips and online scores.


  • Sinfonia Sacra
    for orchestra
    Panufnik's third symphony is based upon the Bogurodzica, Poland's earliest known hymn. It is an expression of religious and patriotic feelings, a highly-charged tribute to Poland's Millennium of Christianity and Statehood.
    > More info
    View score online 
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  • Violin Concerto
    for violin and string orchestra
    The Violin Concerto was composed for Yehudi Menuhin in 1971. Distinguished by its rather long, unbroken melodic lines, it explores both the lyrical capabilities of Panufnik's strict self-imposed sound-organisation, and of the instrument itself.
    > More info
    > View online score
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  • Lullaby
    for 29 stringed instruments and 2 harps
    Written in 1947, this gentle quarter-tone piece forms the part of Panufnik's output that laid ground for the the future Polish avant-garde movement.
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    > View online score
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  • Old Polish Suite
    for string orchestra
    Part of the composer's effort to reconstruct the lost music of early Poland, having observed the reconstruction of 16th- and 17th-century houses in Warsaw after the second world war. The number of players can be varied according to the size and acoustic conditions of the concert hall. 
    > More info
    > View online score
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  • Arbor Cosmica
    12 Evocations for 12 Strings
    A highly complex and melodic work, based on the idea of the 'Cosmic Tree', which 'often appears in art and literature upside-down, with its roots in heaven and its foliage running into the earth.'
    > More info
    > View online score
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  • Nocturne
    for orchestra
    Nocturne
    won first prize in the Karol Szymanowski Competition in Poland. Panufnik decribed it as a 'great arch in sound.' Read the composer's notes
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  • Heroic Overture
    for orchestra
    The patriotic and grand Heroic Overture recieved its performed at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, after winning first prize in a pre-olympic competition.
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  • Cello Concerto
    for cello and orchestra
    Written for Mstislav Rostropovich and the London Symphony Orchestra, the Cello Concerto was one of Panufnik's last works, recieving a posthumous premiere. It is inspired by Panufnik's deep admiration for Rostropovich's great interpretative powers.
    > More info
    > View online score
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New Panufnik Centenary Website

As well as details of Panufnik’s music and soundclips of his works, the website offers a gallery of photographs, many never seen before, and detailed biographical information. Social history and musical life intertwine in Panufnik’s personal story: survival in wartime Warsaw and the Nazi occupation, political pressures under the Soviet-led regime, escape to the UK, challenges in exile, and the composer’s momentous return visit to Warsaw in 1990.

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