Jewels of the Rococo taken out of the soundtrack of a cinematic masterpiece.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Penderecki wrote quite extensively for the theatre and cinema, mostly illustrative music for short films as a source of income. Some of these commissions proved to be a genuine challenge, however. This was the case with Wojciech Jerzy Has’s visionary movie The Saragossa Manuscript. Penderecki juxtaposes unsettling electronic sound forms (in the dream sequences) with a pastiche of Rococo music (in the action scenes). The Three Pieces are two minuets from Has’s film and an aria. The latter was originally written for the artistic documentary Passacaglia for Sigismund's Chapel, and exists also in a version for choir.