From the YouTube Music Video Archives: Sacher Variations

Written by Witold Lutoslawski, performed here by Heinrich Schiff

“In 1975 the cellist Mstislav Rostropowitsch had approached a number of established composers to write a composition to honor Paul Sacher’s 70th birthday. One of the composers who followed this artistic invitation was Witold Lutoslawski. He created the Sacher Variations for Cello solo for this special celebration of one of the most sophisticated arts sponsors, (amateur) conductors and commissioners of new works in the 20th century. In this work Lutoslawski translated the single consonants and vowels of Sacher’s name (eS-A-C-H-E-Re) into a cantus firmus like tone row; this layer of successively repeated “Sacher” tone rows undergoes constant change in rhythm, register and lengths throughout the piece.”


  1. Henri Young says

    Excellent showcase for that most wonderful and versatile instrument.


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