Festivo, Opus 74
Commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music for the re-opening of the Duke's Hall in 1993 and subsequently performed by the Cracow Philharmonic in a concert to mark the 60th birthday of Krzystof Penderecki, to whom the piece is dedicated.Rhythm is the dominant characteristic of FESTIVO, a work of one continuous movement written in the form of a rondo. Marked ‘prestissimo’, it opens with a flourish, using boisterous rhythms, particularly in the percussion and brass, to contrast the frenzied writing for the string and woodwind sections. The principal theme is repeated in two-part canon towards the centre of the piece, producing a new melody that resembles Sto Lat, a traditional Polish song of celebration. Gradually the momentum increases, leading to a climactic finale.