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: Symphony No 3, Etc / Otaka, Bbc No Of Wales
Release Date: 02/20/1996   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 743   Number of Discs: 1
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Lutoslawski, Penderecki: Cello Concertos / Thedéen, Et Al
Release Date: 04/01/1999   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 937   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphony No. 5; Lutoslawski: Concerto For Orchestra / Saraste, London Philharmonic
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 57   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 216 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
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  • 2.
    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
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  • 3.
    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  ... 
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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
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  • 9.
    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
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  • 10.
    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
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Yarlung Records: The First Seven Years
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 96821 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaspar Sanz,  Jason Barabba,  Gustav Mahler,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Sasha Cooke,  David Fung,  Elinor Frey,  Badal Roy  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehuda Gilad
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ciaramella,  Janaki String Trio,  Smoke & Mirrors
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  • 18.
    Aurora
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 9848402 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karol Szymanowski,  Maurice Ravel,  Eugčne Ysa˙e,  Witold Lutoslawski
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  • 19.
    The Magic Mountain - Verbier Festival 20th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3079078 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Renaud Capuçon,  Martha Argerich,  Martin Helmchen,  Malcolm Martineau  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Gábor Takács-Nagy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verbier Festival Orchestra,  UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra,  Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
    DVD: $78.99
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  • 20.
    My Polish Diary / Kiryl Keduk
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3432 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Juliusz Zarebski,  Karol Szymanowski,  Ignace Jan Paderewski  ... 
    Performer:  Kiryl Keduk
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  • 21.
    Stanislaw Moryto, Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, Romuald Twardowski, Witold Lutoslawski, Wojciech Kilar
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 939 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henryk Mikolaj Górecki,  Romuald Twardowski,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Wojciech Kilar  ... 
    Conductor:  Leszek Sokolowski
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  • 22.
    The King Of Clarinet
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 99071/72 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Saverio Mercadante,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Ferenc Bognár,  Anthony Spiri
    Conductor:  Koji Toyoda
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  • 23.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol. 4 / Gardner, Bbc Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5108 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  Elizabeth Burley,  Michael Collins
    Conductor:  Edward Gardner
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  • 24.
    Janacek: Violin Sonata; Lutoslawski: Partita; Szymanowski: Mythes
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1951793 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Karol Szymanowski
    Performer:  Isabelle Faust,  Ewa Kupiec
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  • 25.
    Lutoslawski: The Symphonies /  Salonen, Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 544083 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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