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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
Lutoslawski: Twenty Polish Christmas Carols, Etc
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555994   Number of Discs: 1
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Panufnik, Lutoslawski: String Quartets / Tippett Quartet
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 573164   Number of Discs: 1
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Lutoslawski: Symphonies, Concertos, Choral & Vocal Works
Release Date: 08/27/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8501066   Number of Discs: 10
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Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 5 / Wit, Polish Rso
Release Date: 12/01/1998   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553779   Number of Discs: 1
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Janacek: Violin Sonata; Lutoslawski: Partita; Szymanowski: Mythes
Release Date: 03/12/2013   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 1951793   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 213 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Alexander Tansman, Witold Lutoslawski, Gyorgy Orban, Gyorgy Selmeczi
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 980 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexandre Tansman,  Witold Lutoslawski,  György Selmeczi,  György Orbán
    Conductor:  Marc Nalecz-Niesiolowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Erdody Chamber Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Lutoslawski,   Mykietyn: String Quartets / Lutosławki Quartet
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 950 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Pawel Mykietyn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lutoslawski Quartet
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  • 3.
    Lutoslawski: Songs; Carols / Radziejewska, Rutkowski
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 961962 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Anna Radziejewska,  Mariusz Rutkowski
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  • 4.
    Polish Lyrical Songs For Christmas
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 979 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Zygmunt Noskowski,  Stanislaw Niewiadomski,  Traditional,  Jakuba Wrzeciono  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Zarnowiecka,  Szymon Kowalczyk
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  • 5.
    Guher & Suher Pekinel In Concert
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101792 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Lorenzo D'Attoma,  Fausto Cesare Bombardier,  Süher Pekinel,  Güher Pekinel
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    CD: $18.99
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  • 6.
    Music For Clarinet And Orchestra / Dean, Mills, Queensland Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764465 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Brett Dean,  Walter Piston,  John Veale,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Dean
    Conductor:  Richard Mills
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Queensland Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $10.99
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  • 7.
    Panufnik, Lutoslawski: String Quartets / Tippett Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 573164 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrzej Panufnik,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tippett String Quartet
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  • 8.
    Brave New World
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 84 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Paul Hindemith,  Nino Rota,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Johnson,  John Lenehan
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    Polonium / Motion Trio
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 34361 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henryk Mikolaj Górecki,  Jacek Holubowski,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Krzysztof Penderecki  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Motion Trio
    CD: $17.99
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  • 10.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
    On sale! $259.98
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  • 11.
    Prayer
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 779 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marian Borkowski,  Frank Martin,  Henryk Mikolaj Górecki,  Eriks Esenvalds  ... 
    Performer:  Piano] Lukasz [Organ Farcinkiewicz,  Joanna [Soprano Vocal] Lukaszewska,  Anna [Soprano Vocal] Krawczykiewicz
    Conductor:  Pawel Lukaszewski,  Jan Krutul
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  • 12.
    Quartet Recital 1978: Beethoven, Lutoslawski
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93722 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Witold Lutoslawski
    CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    Witold Lutoslawski: Opera Omnia, Vol. 5
    Label: Cd Accord   Catalog: 197 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Agata Zubel
    Conductor:  Jacek Kaspszyk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nfm Wroclaw Philharmonic
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  • 14.
    Witold Lutoslawski: Opera Omnia, Vol. 6
    Label: Cd Accord   Catalog: 198 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Emilia Sitarz,  Bartlomiej Wasik,  Garrick Ohlsson,  Tomasz Daroch
    Conductor:  Jacek Kaspszyk,  Jean Deroyer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lutoslawski Piano Duo,  Nfm Wroclaw Philharmonic,  Court-Circuit Ensemble
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  • 15.
    Witodl Lutoslawski: Opera Omina, Vol. 4
    Label: Cd Accord   Catalog: 196 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    12 Hommages Á Paul Sacher Pour Violoncelle / Demenga
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 9445234 Release Date: 03/04/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Heinz Holliger,  Benjamin Britten,  Cristobal Halffter,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Demenga,  Patrick Demenga,  Pierpaolo Toso,  Françoise Schiltknecht  ... 
    Conductor:  Jürg Wyttenbach
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  • 17.
    Liszt: Paganini Variations; Rachmaninov: Paganini Rhapsody / Tzimon Barto
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1230 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Tzimon Barto
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Masques: Theatrical Reminiscences
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 14295 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pianoduo Chipak-Kushnir
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Witold Lutoslawski: Works for Piano Solo / Veronique Briel
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 967 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Veronique Briel
    CD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    Dialogo
    Label: Cobra Records   Catalog: 39 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Martijn Willers,  Joris Van Der Berg
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  • 21.
    Ebony And Ivory - Works For Clarinet And Piano  / Andrew Simon, Warren Lee
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573022 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Serban Nichifor,  Joseph Horovitz,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Arnold Cooke  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Simon,  Warren Lee
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  • 22.
    Artefacts: Piano Music From The 50th
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 6131821 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christian Wolff,  Luigi Dallapiccola,  Chou Wen-Chung,  Josef Matthias Hauer  ... 
    Performer:  Steffen Schleiermacher
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    Modern Times
    Label: Cd Accord   Catalog: 193 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karol Szymanowski,  Claude Debussy,  Fritz Kreisler,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Oldak,  James Baillieu
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  • 24.
    El Derwid: Lutoslawski's Hit Songs
    Label: Cd Accord   Catalog: 192 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Agata Zubel,  Andrzej Bauer,  Cezary Duchnowski
    CD: $18.99
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  • 25.
    Lutoslawski: Symphonies, Concertos, Choral & Vocal Works
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501066 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Olga Pasichnyk,  Peter Paleczny,  Bernd Glemser,  Piotr Kusiewicz  ... 
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice,  Camerata Silesia Singers  ... 
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