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Alkagran or a Place of the Right Bank of the Vistula

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#3 Alkagran or a Place of the Right Bank of the Vistula   for accordion quintet (1980)

Grafika dla: Alkagran or a Place of the Right Bank of the Vistula (Kompozycja #3)


Place of Origin


ca 12'

Fifth Book for Solo Accordion and Accordion Quintet, PWM 1988, pp. 50-95, cat. no. PWM 3599

Andrzej Chłopecki

First Performance
4.04.1981 Kraków, Laureates Concert of the Artur Malawski Competition for Composers, Warsaw Accordion Quintet

3rd prize at the Artur Malawski Competition for Composers in Krakow, 1980


[…] The title of the piece is, on the one hand, a coded name of my closest relatives, and on the other, it points out “our place on earth,” so the town Czechowice-Dziedzice, located on the right bank of the Vistula, where most of my compositions were created. “Alkagran” is a one-movement piece of a polyphonic texture, dominated by the technique of canonical voice leading, which is the result of continuous, dense weaves of melodic lines and sound bands. While organising musical elements, I was governed by the principle of unity and coherence, and the often-used principle of axial symmetry is used to construct both harmonic series and patterns in time. The whole piece is dominated by the aleatory polyrhythm of planes with characteristic rhythmic shifts. The polyrhythmic and aleatory leading of voices and planes influences the harmonics of “Alkagran.” On the one hand, it is the result of a combination of many melodic lines or sound planes, and on the other hand, it is a planned progression of chords with a specific interval structure. Of course, the sound quality of the piece is influenced by all the elements that interact with each other, but in the case of "ALKAGRAN" the decisive factor is the appropriate selection of registers and often non-traditional ways of extracting sound. I wrote “Alkagran or a Place of the Right Bank of the Vistula” for an accordion quintet for Warsaw Accordion Quintet, which I have been cooperating with since 1975. The piece is dedicated to my friend, Andrzej Chłopecki. The premiere of “ALKAGRAN” took place on 4th April 1981 at Organ Music Days in Cracow at Artur Malawski Competition for Composers (1980), where the piece won the third prize.

Andrzej Krzanowski “Alkagran or a Place of the Right Bank of the Vistula.” Accordion quintet. Commentary to the piece. Czechowice-Dziedzice, 1981

Comments about the Works

Alkagran is a continuation of the composer’s experience in the field of sound material and form construction as well as the sound possibilities of the accordion, which he developed especially in the cycle of five Studies. On the one hand, the title is an acronym for the names of the closest relatives of the composer, and on the other, it points to a place on the right bank of the Vistula River, i.e. Andrzej Krzanowski’s hometown. The piece, however, is not a reflection on family themes. The composition is one-movement, but it is divided into six sections with internal phases. Krzanowski described Alkagran as “a purely polyphonic piece. There is no typical homophony or sonorism here, only polyrhythm.

Pencil autograph at the Main Library of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice


The title of the work is an acronym for the names of the composer’s family members: AL (daughter, Aleksandra), KA (son, Kamil), GR (wife, Grażyna), AN (Andrzej). The Alkagran Autumn Music Festival held in Czechowice-Dziedzice was named after this title. Its first edition took place in 1991, on the anniversary of the composer’s death. Andrzej Krzanowski Accordion Competition is organised within this event.



  • CD: Virtuosi of the Accordion, Włodzimierz Lech Puchnowski & his Warsaw Accordion Quintet, Acte Préalable AP0071
  • Internet: Alkagran or a Place of the Right Bank of the Vistula

#Andrzej #Alkagran #Wisła #Chłopecki #kwintet
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Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury, Dziedzictwa Narodowego i Sportu
pochodzących z Funduszu Promocji Kultury – państwowego funduszu celowego,
w ramach programu „Muzyka”, realizowanego przez Narodowy Instytut Muzyki i Tańca.