Repertoire Search

Witold Lutosławski

Publisher: Chester Music

Chain 1 [Lancuch 1] (1983)
Work Notes
Chester Music is the publisher of this work in all territories except Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, China, countries of the former Czechoslovakia, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Romania, Hungary and the whole territory of the former USSR, where the copyright is held by Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (PWM).
Chester Music Ltd (Polish Works)
Large Ensemble (7+ players)
Year Composed
9 Minutes
Buy this work
Worldwide Sales   North American Sales

Programme Note
Witold Lutosławski Chain 1 [Lancuch 1] (1983)
Written for and dedicated to Michael Vyner and the London Sinfonietta.

The title Chain 1 suggests both the form used in this work and the intention of composing more ‘chains’ in the future.

In a work composed in ‘chain’ form the music is divided into two strands. Particular sections do not begin at the same moment in each strand, nor do they end together. In other words, in the middle of a section in one strand a new section begins in the other.

This principle has already been used in my previous compositions as a base for particular stages of the form or in whole movements, as in the Passacaglia of my Concerto for Orchestra. In Chain 1 the principle of chain-form serves to construct the greater part of the piece. Towards the end the texture becomes more complex and consists of several individual parts played ‘ad libitum’, which form a network of melodies to be played ‘cantabile’.

I have composed Chain 1 for the fourteen principal players of the London Sinfonietta as a souvenir of our common music-making.

© Witold Lutoslawski

Preview the score

  • Ensemble
    Norwegian Chamber Orchestra
    S. Kringelborn, soprano
    Daniel Harding
    Virgin Classics:
  • Ensemble
    Junge Deutsche Philharmonie
    Witold Lutoslawski
    Berlin Classics:
For his Chain I (1983), Witold Lutoslawski devised a form where ideas are chain-linked in separate strands and cohere with exuberant wit and variety. Much of its character is governed by the separate instruments and their players, exploited in a way that demonstrated the breath of individual skill.
Noel Goodwin, The Times,11/12/1992
Close X

Newsletter Signup

Enter your email address to keep up to date with the latest news and special offers from Music Sales Classical.
Your data is secure and you can unsubscribe at any time. Read our Privacy Policy

Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2020 Music Sales Classical. Part of the Music Sales Group.