World premiere of version
Notre Dame de France, London
Douglas Whittaker, flute / English Chamber Orchestra / Andrzej Panufnik
Hommage a Chopin, in the soprano and piano version, was originally commissioned by UNESCO for a concert in 1949 commemorating the 100th anniversary of Chopin’s death. Rather than making use of Chopin’s own themes or his style of piano writing, I decided to attempt to go deep into his roots, drawing on his love of the rustic melodies and rhythms which inspired him throughout his life. Thus I used as a basis the folk music from Mazowia, the central part of Poland where he was born, and I wrote five vocalises, interweaving the melodies between the two performers. The work is designed symmetrically, both in metre and tempo.
I decided to adapt this work for flute and strings when preparing for a concert in London commemorating the 1966 Miillennium of Polish Christianity and statehood.
Note: the composer arranged Hommage a Chopin for solo flute and strings in 1966. The vocal version has been performed with orchestra, and the flute version with piano.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer