Relief II - Andrzej Krzanowski

The cycle of nine Reliefs, written in 1984–89, towards the end of Andrzej Krzanowski’s life, is an example of the use of fine arts in his oeuvre. The sculptural technique used to create reliefs with varying degrees of elevation, in which the material is so important, finds a strong parallel in Relief II. The possibilities provided by the accordion to shape the sound, dynamics, colour, and articulation are such that with the principle of expansion and narrowing of bands and consistent processing of the material (semitone–full-tone scale) what emerges as a result is a “musical relief.” 

The piece is neither dramatic nor virtuosic. Time passes slowly at low, subtly changing dynamic levels, tracks of notes making up bands of varying density are notated only by means of horizontal lines stretched over time-measuring regular bar lines, enriching the static passage only by vibrations. Notes successively overlap and disappear, sometimes appearing in imitations, while autonomous chords emerge incidentally. Contemplation of time, multilevel nature, subtlety and... dedication to the outstanding Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa explain the subtitle of the piece: “Japanese.” 

Relief II for accordion was written in 1985. The premiere (in a chamber version) took place on 28 September 1994 during the 4th Alkagran Musical Youth Encounters at the Bielsko Culture Centre. 

Grażyna Krzanowska