Three Miniatures for Clarinet and Piano

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Three Miniatures for Clarinet and Piano is an early work by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. It was finished in 1956, [1] but was premiered four years later.


Composition and premiere

The Three Miniatures were composed when Penderecki was only 23 and still a music student. They were dedicated to Władysław Kosieradzki, who was the clarinet professor at the Academy of Music in Kraków, [2] and were premiered by the dedicatée at the clarinet and Zbigniew Jeżewski at the piano in the 1958 Polish Composers' Union concert, which took place in November 17. [3] The score was published afterwards by the Polish Music Publishing House and Belwin-Mills.


This composition consists of three short miniatures which take 1 to 1:30 minutes each to perform. The general mood and style of the work differs from the following works and shows no signs of Penderecki's later radicalism, [4] in the sense that these miniatures are not focused on the sonority of the instruments to generate atmospheres, probably influenced by Béla Bartók. [5] The miniatures were titled as follows: [6]

  1. Allegro
  2. Andante cantabile
  3. Allegro ma non troppo

The two outer movements of this composition are active and fast, while the middle one is slower and more meditative.


The Miniatures were negatively received by critics. [3] Vincent McDermott, from The Musical Quarterly, described the whole set of miniatures as "dull". [7] However, the miniatures were some of the few early compositions accepted for publication. [4]

Notable recordings

Following are some of the most well-known recordings of this piece:

ClarinetPianoRecord CompanyYear of RecordingFormat
Lev Mikhailov Alexei Lubimov Melodiya 1970 LP [3]
Kjell-Inge Stevensson Eva Knardahl BIS Records 1976 CD [3] [8]
Brian Schweickhart John Cobb Coronet Records 1981LP [3]
Claude Faucomprez Alain Raës Solstice Records 1983LP [3]
Walter Boeykens Robert Groslot Terpsichore Records 1983LP [3]
Melvin Warner Sylvia Reynolds Crystal Records 1985LP and CD [3] [9]
Joaquín Valdepeñas Patricia Parr CBC Records 1987CD [3]
Sabine Meyer Alfons Kontarsky EMI 1989LP [3] [10]
Aleksander Romański Szábolcs Esztényi WERGO 1993CD [3] [11]
Michel Lethiec Juhani Lagerspetz Naxos 2001CD [3] [12]

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  2. "Blue" Gene Tyranny. "Krzysztof Penderecki Miniatures (3) for clarinet & piano". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Bylander, Cindy (2004). Krzysztof Penderecki : a bio-bibliography. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. ISBN   0-313-25658-6.
  4. 1 2 "Three Miniatures for clarinet and piano". Nadorowy Instytut Audiowizualny. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  5. Whitehouse, Richard. "About this Recording 8.557052 – PENDERECKI: Sextet / Clarinet Quartet / Cello Divertimento". Naxos Digital Services. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  6. "Three Miniatures composer: Krzysztof Penderecki". Schott Music. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  7. McDermott, Vincent (1968). "Milwaukee". Musical Quarterly. 54 (4): 524. doi:10.1093/mq/LIV.4.524.
  8. "The Virtuoso Clarinet". BIS Records AB. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  9. "CD332: Clarinet Candescence. Melvin Warner, Clarinet". Crystal Records. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  10. "MEYER, SABINE 20th Century Classics: Penderecki". Warner Classics. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  11. "Musica da camera". WERGO. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  12. "PENDERECKI: Sextet / Clarinet Quartet / Cello Divertimento". Naxos Digital Services. Retrieved 23 February 2014.