Witold Lutoslawski

Biography

Born: January 25, 1913; Warsaw, Poland   Died: February 7, 1994; Warsaw, Poland  
Lutoslawski was the leading progressive figure in Polish music of the second half of the twentieth century. Born in Warsaw, he showed an exceptional musical talent at an early age, with his first compositions dating from 1922. He studied piano, violin, and composition (with Witold Maliszewski, a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov), graduating from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1937. Two years, at the beginning of World War II, Poland was occupied by the Nazi Read more Germany; and Nazi repression included censorship on artistic expression. Lutoslawski survived the difficult war years as well as the subsequent Stalinist period by writing for radio, film, and theatre. In addition, he arranged folk-songs and composed music for children.

Considered too formalist, his concert music was rarely performed. His first substantial orchestral work, The Symphonic Variations was premiered in 1939. It is a work firmly rooted in tonality with a folk-like theme that is varied in a kaleidoscopic way. His first stylistic period culminated in the folk-influenced, three-movement Concerto for Orchestra (1954).

With the cultural thaw which started in the late '50s, his reputation began to grow, at home and abroad, as did his compositional style, with twelve-tone techniques appearing in Funeral Music (1958). In this work, Lutoslawski continually resolves ascending scales with semi-tone intervals that tend to anchor tonal centers within keyless regions. In Jeux Vénitiens (1961), Lutoslawski took his first step into a "limited aleatory music" -- after hearing a performance of John Cage's Concerto for Piano in 1960. Lutoslawski's elegant String Quartet (1964) utilizes four rhythmically independent strands simultaneously, yielding wonderfully dense and elastic textures. In the Live pour orchestra (1968) the work's four main sections are connected by controlled aleatory passages. Most of his subsequent works were orchestral, fully chromatic, orchestrated in a manner suggesting Debussy and Ravel, and consistently develop an opposition between aleatory and metrical textures. Lutoslawski went on to compose nearly twenty major orchestral works, including Symphony No. 3 (1982), for which he was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award, and his final Symphony No. 4 (1992), commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He also composed works for distinguished soloists, such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, (&Les espaces du sommeil), Heinz and Ursula Holliger (Concerto for Oboe and Harp), Anne-Sophie Mutter, Chain II, Mstislav Rostropovich (cello concerto), and Krystian Zimmerman (Piano Concerto). Lutoslawski's extensive experience conducting his own works helped him to refine his musical language, his later works becoming more lyrical and harmonically transparent. Read less

Biography

Born: January 25, 1913; Warsaw, Poland   Died: February 7, 1994; Warsaw, Poland  
Lutoslawski was the leading progressive figure in Polish music of the second half of the twentieth century. Born in Warsaw, he showed an exceptional musical talent at an early age, with his first compositions dating from 1922. He studied piano, violin, and composition (with Witold Maliszewski, a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov), graduating from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1937. Two years, at the beginning of World War II, Poland was occupied by the Nazi Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
1. Vivo-Lento-Vivo-Lento-Vivo-Stesso movimiento-Lento-
2. Vivo-Stesso movimiento-Lento-
3. Vivo-Stesso movimiento-Adagio-Piu mosso-Lento-
4. Vivo-Poco meno mosso-Meno mosso-
5. Tempo I -
6. Meno mosso-Tempo I-Meno mosso-Tempo I-Meno mosso-Ancora meno mosso-Piu largo-Tempo I-Lento-Vivo-Lento-Vivo-
7. A tempo-Poco meno mosso-Presto-Stresso movimiento-Poco lento-Allegro
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro guisto
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): II. Poco adagio
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro misterioso
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro vivace
Symphony No. 2 (1994 Digital Remaster): I. Hésitant
Symphony No. 2 (1994 Digital Remaster): II. Direct
Concerto for Orchestra (1994 Digital Remaster): I Intrada (Allegro maestoso)
Concerto for Orchestra (1994 Digital Remaster): II Capriccio, Notturna e Arioso (Vivace)
Concerto for Orchestra (1994 Digital Remaster): III Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale (Andante con moto - Allegro giusto)
I. Allegro giusto
II. Ad libitum
III. Largo
IV. Ad libitum
V. Presto
I. Ad libitum
II. A battuta
III. Ad libitum
IV. A battuta
No. 1. La belle-de-nuit
No. 2. La sauterelle
No. 3. La veronique
No. 4. L'eglantine, l'aubepine et la glycine
No. 5. La tortue
No. 6. La rose
No. 7. L'alligator
No. 8. L'angelique
No. 9. Le papillon
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro guisto
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): II. Poco adagio
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro misterioso
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro vivace
Symphony No. 2 (1994 Digital Remaster): I. Hésitant
Symphony No. 2 (1994 Digital Remaster): II. Direct
Concerto for Orchestra (1994 Digital Remaster): I Intrada (Allegro maestoso)
Concerto for Orchestra (1994 Digital Remaster): II Capriccio, Notturna e Arioso (Vivace)
Concerto for Orchestra (1994 Digital Remaster): III Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale (Andante con moto - Allegro giusto)
Trois Poèmes D'Henri Michaux (1996 Digital Remaster): I. Pensées
Trois Poèmes D'Henri Michaux (1996 Digital Remaster): II. Le grand combat
Trois Poèmes D'Henri Michaux (1996 Digital Remaster): III. Repos dans la malheur
1. ca. 110
2. Presto - attaca
3. ca. 85
4. ca. 84
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro guisto
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): II. Poco adagio
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro misterioso
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro vivace
Symphony No. 2 (1994 Digital Remaster): I. Hésitant
Symphony No. 2 (1994 Digital Remaster): II. Direct
Concerto for Orchestra (1994 Digital Remaster): I Intrada (Allegro maestoso)
Concerto for Orchestra (1994 Digital Remaster): II Capriccio, Notturna e Arioso (Vivace)
Concerto for Orchestra (1994 Digital Remaster): III Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale (Andante con moto - Allegro giusto)
1. Rapsodico
2. Dolente
3. Marciale e grotesco
1. ca. 110
2. Presto - attaca
3. ca. 85
4. ca. 84
1. Announcement
2. First Event
3. Second Event
4. Third Event
5. Conclusion


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