Two Lyric Pieces for young players, 1963, 8'
Panufnik’s Two Lyric Pieces are two short pieces for young players. The composer sketched them out in 1959 in London and completed in early 1963, responding to a commission from the director of the Farnham Festival, Sir John Verney.
Two Lyric Pieces, dedicated to the memory of the composer’s mother, are, in fact, a reconstruction of melodies improvised by Panufnik in childhood. He added to them richer harmonies and scored them for wind instruments in the first piece, and for strings in the second piece. In the surviving manuscript of the first version of the work (from 1959) the parts have titles – Ballad and Romance – but in the final version the composer left only numbers and tempo markings: Molto andante, cantabile and Andante, molto sostenuto. As befits works for young players, Two Lyric Pieces have a simple, transparent texture, expressive melody and tonal harmony with just small, slightly dissonant deviations.
The composition was premiered on 13 May 1963 in Farnham by an orchestra made up of students from schools in Farnham and Kingston-upon-Thames conducted by Alan Fluck.