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). For many years Piano Sketches remained my last work for piano solo.
By 1964, at the age of seventeen, I was already preoccupied with chamber and orchestral compositions. A year earlier, in 1963, came the orchestral In Memoriam Karol Szymanowski. By 1967 I already had my String Quartet, String Trio, and several other works for various instrumental combinations.
1964 was a transitional year. I was experimenting with different colours, harmonies, rhythms and textures. Following the completion of the Piano Sketches, I also commenced my first composition lessons. The work is a collection of school exercises written within the context of a course in contemporary techniques. It is in three parts.The first one, played attacca, consists of Intrada, Arietta, and Imitations. The second, Chorale, stands alone. The third part is a Prelude and Fugue.