String Quartet no. 3, 1942-44; version II - 1974.

String Quartet no. 3

String Quartet no. 3, version from 1974, Allegro ma non troppo. Varsovia Quartet: Bogusław Bruczkowski - I violin, Krzysztof Bruczkowski - II violin, Artur Paciorkiewicz - viola, Wojciech Walasek - cello, 1988.

String Quartet no. 3String Quartet no. 3

The Third String Quartet written during Palester’s stay in Żerosławice in wartime is the second preserved work of this genre (his First Quartet is lost) and one of Palester’s most outstanding compositions. Premiered by the Cracow Quartet on 3 November 1946, it was published three years later by the PWM.

The piece comprises fourmovements, arranged in a traditional sonata type. First movement, Allegro non troppo, is in sonata-allegro form, with two distinctly contrasting themes.The second movement, Presto, is a lively scherzo that draws on the most important achievements of neoclassicism. Most original of all is the third movement, Lento, molto espressivo e teneramente, where the sound aura is reminiscent of Alban Berg’s compositions, though it does not employ the twelve-tone technique. A short viola motif, displaying mostly minor and major seconds runs throughout this section. Itis played con sordino and the subtle pizzicati add variety to its gentle atmosphere. The finale, Allegro assai moderato, is a double fugue in which the polyphonic technique is combined with motivic transformation, while motifs from the first movement reappear. The Third Quartet was revised in 1974. The new version was performed by the Varsovia Quartet in October 1987 and published in 1992 by the PWM. In this version markings of particular movements were slightly changed to: Allegro non troppo, Molto vivace, Molto lento and Allegro giusto. In 1954 Palester reworked the third movement of the String Quartet, creating a separate Adagio (first performed during the 1993 Warsaw Autumn Festival).