The first panel opens with a challenging instruction for the players to perform tremolo without using the bow. As their lines develop into glissandi, Penderecki begins a series of slow-burning interpenetrations of ideas as various as playing between the bridge and the tailpiece, striking the strings with the palm of the hand, hitting the strings col legno (with the wooden back of the bow) and playing the highest possible note pizzicato. The music slows perceptibly through longer note values, then pauses.
The second panel presents the ensemble in a more uniform light. Different sonoristic textures are explored in soundblocks, sequentially rather than simultaneously. Penderecki also introduces new sounds, such as bows playing on the tailpiece of the instruments. Despite a brief return to the heterogeneous textures of the first panel, the impression is one of the isolated dispersal of its elements, rather than any attempt at conventional coherence.
from notes by Adrian Thomas © 2013