The Avant-Garde on the Danube
In his youth Penderecki dreamt of attending the famous Darmstadt courses for composers, but it was in a different German town that his international career was launched. Following his visit to ‘The Warsaw Autumn’, Heinrich Strobel commissioned the young Pole to write a new piece for the Donaueschinger Musiktage (New Music Days in Donaueschingen). His Anaklasis proved a success, and he was reinvited there many more times. It was in Donaueschingen that his Fluorescences, Capriccio, and Actions were first performed. The premiere of that last piece was also the composer’s first public appearance as a conductor – of a free jazz orchestra at that. It was also there, at the sources of the Danube river, that Dr Otto Tomek commissioned him to write the Passion.