The present article analyses the Concertino for piano and orchestra (1964) by Wojciech ukaszewski, a composer whose entire career was associated with the town of Czstochowa. Apart from the fragments of my M.A. dissertation and brief sections of my monograph on the composer, the work has not been the subject of any deep musicological analysis.
Neo-Classical in style, the Concertino for piano and orchestra was written in 1964, during ukaszewski’s fourth year of studies at the State Higher School of Music, in the class of Professor Tadeusz Paciorkiewicz. It was ukaszewski’s first large-scale composition and also his first orchestral score (his output until then comprised solely songs, chamber works and piano pieces). The 15 minute- long Concertino took ukaszewski almost a year to complete.
The composition falls into three contrasting movements: I Allegro giocoso, II Andante cantabile, III Allegro scherzando. The piano is accompanied by sym- phony orchestra consisting of double woodwind (2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons), two horns and two trumpets, percussion (triangle, ket- tledrum, cymbals, big drum, timpani, xylophone) and strings.
The first movement (116 bars) is of a lively character, with a sense of mobil- ity, a permanent quaver-based pulse and a prominent role assigned to rhythm. The piano is the dominant instrument, its virtuoso part conducting a dialogue with various instrumental groups, as a result of which the role of the orchestra is not confined to accompaniment but co-creates the lively development of the musical material. The colouristic effects of the orchestral writing is an important feature of this movement. Allegro giocoso follows the pattern: ABA1 + Coda.
The central movement of the Concertino (91 bars) stands in contrast to the work’s outer movements, in terms of expression, texture and stylistic features. A song-like melodic line and a multi-layered, slightly polyphonic texture are assigned priority. The dynamics are generally piano, with slight inclinations towards mezzoforte and several times towards forte and fortissimo (at the two climaxes). Andante cantabile is a homogenous movement, in which the conti- nuum of form proceeds in a linear way, smoothly flowing from the opening three-part motif to the last note.
The third movement (132 bars) has an ABA1 structure. In view of the fre- quent returns of the light and somewhat teasing theme, introduced by the piano, this Allegro scherzando can also be treated as a rondo. The shape of the music
(similarly to the other movements) is based on the dialogue between solo piano and orchestra, proceeding in several bar-long sections.
The neo-Classical inspirations in Wojciech ukaszewski’s Concertino can also seen in its grotesque and sarcastic flavour, which sometimes takes the form of pastiche, (an allusion to the style of Prokofiev), with its constant pulse and motoric drive, the treatment of rhythm as the supreme form-building and expres- sive factor, and the structure of individual movements (the first reminiscent of sonata allegro and the third of rondo). The work’s significant features also in- clude an important role for percussion, colourful instrumentation, the use of polyphony, the dialogue of the piano and various instrumental groups, the use of fugato in the finale and distinct, ear-catching themes.
In 1973 Wojciech ukaszewski made another version of the Concertino, de- signed for teaching purposes, where the original material was simplified to a large extent, including its instrumentation.