Portrait of Peter Paul Koprowski thumbtack

Early Piano Pieces: Scherzando

written between: 1958-1964

By 1964 I had about 40 compositions, most of them for the piano. I do not call them my "school works", as I wasn't receiving any composition lessons at the time. Rather, I refer to them as my "kiddy" pieces. I was self-taught in those years - read books on harmony and counterpoint, listened to music, and studied the scores.

Yet, when I revisited some of these works recently, (many were justly destroyed over the years, some were lost), I recognized that they were more than just exercises in composition.

They had a shape and were consistent in their harmonic language. They showed basic resemblance to my favourite music at the time, compositions that I played or, more often, works that I wished I could play. I resolved to bring some of these works before the public.

This set consists of Scherzando (1958), Three Preludes (1959), Two Mazurkas (1961) and Piano Sketches (1964).

written: 1958

Scherzando is my first surviving piece for piano solo. It was written when I was 11 years old.

Approximately one minute in duration, it resembles the music that I wished I could play at the time. In fact, it took several years before I could play it in tempo!

Today, I realize that it foreshadows my tendency to use horrendous speed in many of my compositions. Examples of similar thought are present in my Flute Concerto (1982), Sinfonia da Camera (1989), or Viola Concerto (1995).