The author discusses the question of instrumental colouring in the orchestral works of Tadeusz Baird. In the first section he analyses configurations of parts and their potential influence on the timbre of the composition, while in the second he considers the ways in which the composer makes use of the tone palette offered by a symphony orchestra. Baird's youthful symphonic compositions, influenced by the neostylistic trend understood in a wider sense, is based on the idea of a universal tone and that is why it is difficult to distinguish, at that early stage, any characteristic repeating configurations of colour, or to define clear preferences in the selection of instruments chosen to realise the main thematic concepts. Here the composer does not venture beyond the classical standards of using orchestral colour. Only in some fragments of 'Sinfonietta' and 'Symfonia II' do we find more sophisticated solutions, where the selection of instruments and special articulatory effects provide evidence of attempts to create a more definite colour aura. In the nineteen-sixties this state of affairs underwent a change. The palette was enriched by a number of additional pigments (although still within the framework of the traditional instrumentarium), and the selective use of the orchestral apparatus in search of original juxtapositions of timbres, made colour one of the main elements of Baird's world of sound. It was so important that it had a significant influence on emphasising the components of form. This can be seen most clearly in 'Eseje' (Essays) - a cycle of four colouristically separate miniatures, and also in 'Wariacje bez tematu' (Variations without a theme), in which contrasting the colours over the space of short segments, numbering a few measures, constitutes one of the equivalents of the traditional variation techniques, operating mainly in the area of sound structure. Thus, it would not be controversial to describe the timbre layer of 'Wariacje' as one of the methods of adapting the Mahler-Schönberg idea of Klangfarbenmelodie.
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