Portrait of Peter Paul Koprowski thumbtack

Triscenza - Propositions for organ

Duration: 7 minutes

Written: 1968

Premiered: 1968


Written in 1968 specifically for a concert in a hall which housed an organ, the piece uses clusters of various sorts to feature the colouristic possibilities of the instrument. It is a typical work of the period in which it was written, and the score was lost at one time. A pencil sketch was found and restored many years later.

The most memorable thing about the piece seems to be an anecdote about its premiere. Having played an organ over some years I decided to premiere it in person. The piece was programmed at the end of the first half of the concert. I checked all the aspects of registration the day of the concert and I sat to perform the piece with full confidence. In its overall design, the work amounts to one big crescendo, leading to the final cluster encompassing much of the manual with all of the stops activated.

What I did not account for in rehearsal was the fact that during the performance many lights were on in the hall and along the corridors. An unexpected result surprised even me: with the final chord the lights went off and the organ gave a big glissando on a decrescendo, like a last breath of a colossal dinosaur.

The applause was in the darkness and most people I talked to afterwards thought that it was done on purpose. It was an excellent effect, how did you plan it - they asked...
Such were the times we lived in. In some ways, I remember the 1960s with a degree of nostalgia. We did all kinds of unusual things.

Some half a century later, I muse about them when I see some of the same effects on display again and again...