When in 1969 the Polish composer and conductor Andrzej Panufnik was invited by the Redcliffe Concerts in London to conduct an orchestral concert of his choosing, his immediate response was that the concert which would give him most pleasure would be one in which his new work could be balanced with one by Francis Routh; and the new works could be framed by two early symphonies of Mozart, after whom the orchestra was named.
So Francis Routh planned a new concerto with the best soloists with whom he had worked, and whose style of playing he knew. Maria Lidka and Christopher Bunting were close colleagues ; they were also international virtuosi, of the sort which made London renowned, being pupils of Max Rostal and Pablo Casals respectively, whose tradition and teaching they passed on, by performing chamber music, and by teaching at the Royal College of Music.
Passacaglia (24 mins)
First performance 11 May 1970 London (South Bank)
by Maria Lidka, Christopher Bunting, London Mozart Players, conducted by Andrzej Panufnik
2 (=piccolo).1.2(= bass clarinet).1 – 18.104.22.168. – percussion (1) – harp, celesta – strings
Full score ISMN M 708045 07 6
Piano score ISMN M 708045 08 3
LISTEN TO A SOUND SAMPLE (10’ 47”)
Maria Lidka (violin) Christopher Bunting (cello)
London Mozart Players conducted by Andrzej Panufnik
II Cadenza, Adagio 2’30”
III Passacaglia, Allegro moderato 8’ 17”
A short cadenza for the two soloists is little more than an interlude between the two outer movements.
After the cello announces the 8-bar Passacaglia theme, the first half (Var.1-7) builds seamlessly into a quiet, somewhat atmospheric texture, Bergish in harmony. This is followed, after an orchestral link (Var. 8-9) by the second half, which is quicker, march–like (Var. 10-17). A final statement of the theme by both soloists (Var. 18) is followed by a short coda, Presto.