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Lutoslawski: Symphony No 2, Etc / Salonen, Los Angeles Po


Release Date: 03/19/1996 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 67189   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Paul CrossleyDawn Upshaw
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It is Lutoslawski’s last completed work, the Fourth Symphony (1993), which most fully embodies his highly personal reinterpretation of Polish music’s romantic past. But another late piece, Chantefleurs et Chantefables (1990), offers clear evidence of how satisfying that reinterpretation could be. These ‘songflowers and songfables’ represent a refinement rather than a dilution of Lutoslawski’s hard-won modernity, and they are all the more effective for their brevity – the longest lasts less than three minutes.

That ‘hard-won modernity’ did not imply a total rejection of such traditional genres as symphony and concerto – though some would say it should have done. Certainly Lutoslawski’s Symphony No. 2 (1966-7) remains a
Read more problem-piece, mainly because the material of its first movement seems designed precisely not to generate a traditional kind of symphonic argument. The second movement has far greater breadth, but it can hardly serve to ‘explain’ the first movement in retrospect; it would be better on its own.

Twenty years later, in his Piano Concerto, Lutoslawski was more alert to the possibilities of creating a viable symphonic style out of the interaction rather than separation of lyric and dramatic materials, and although the concerto’s range of stylistic allusions can be disconcerting, a good performance can turn such ambiguities to positive ends.

This is certainly a good performance. If the recording by Krystian Zimerman, the work’s dedicatee, summons up shades of Rachmaninov, Paul Crossley’s less forceful but no less well-characterized reading seems closer to Ravel. Esa-Pekka Salonen is a sensitive accompanist, and the Sony sound is consistent with what I described, reviewing Salonen’s earlier Lutoslawski recordings (11/94), as “spacious clarity as well as spatial depth”, even if it “may not bring the orchestra far enough forward for some tastes”.

This recording of Symphony No. 2 must rank as superior to either of the composer’s, and although Dawn Upshaw is occasionally rather shrill in Chantefleurs et Chantefables the performance as a whole is well judged. As for the brief Fanfare, it has a splendidly brassy exuberance.'

-- Arnold Whittall, Gramophone [6/1996]
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Works on This Recording

1. Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic by Witold Lutoslawski
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; Poland 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  TODD-AO Scoring Studio, Los Angeles 
Length: 0 Minutes 53 Secs. 
2. Concerto for Piano "For Krystian Zimerman" by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Paul Crossley (Piano)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; Poland 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  TODD-AO Scoring Studio, Los Angeles 
Length: 25 Minutes 49 Secs. 
3. Chantefleurs et chantefables by Witold Lutoslawski
Performer:  Dawn Upshaw (Soprano)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990/1992; Poland 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  TODD-AO Scoring Studio, Los Angeles 
Length: 18 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: French 
4. Symphony no 2 by Witold Lutoslawski
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966-1967; Poland 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  TODD-AO Scoring Studio, Los Angeles 
Length: 24 Minutes 52 Secs. 

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