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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: Orchestral Works Vol 1 / Wit, Polish Rso
Release Date: 09/17/1996   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553202   Number of Discs: 1
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Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 2 / Wit, Polish Rso
Release Date: 11/19/1996   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553169   Number of Discs: 1
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Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 4 / Wit, Polish Rso
Release Date: 07/28/1998   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553625   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 6 / Wit, Polish Rso
Release Date: 03/09/1999   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554283   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 232 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Decca Sound: The Piano Edition
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4832243 Release Date: 11/17/2017   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Julius Katchen,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Bernard Haitink,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $165.99
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  • 2.
    Explosive Classics / Various
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10989 Release Date: 07/21/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Dmitri Kitayenko,  Richard Hickox,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Argot / Mathieu, Arakawa
    Label: Navona   Catalog: 6105 Release Date: 07/14/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franco Donatoni,  Pierre Boulez,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Veronique Mathieu,  Jasmin Arakawa
    CD: $14.99
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  • 4.
    Interactions: Valen - Stravinsky - Lutoslawski / Monsen, Flagstad
    Label: Two-l   Catalog: 2L-137-SABD Release Date: 07/07/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fartein Valen,  Igor Stravinsky,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Bard Monsen,  Gunnar Flagstad
    SuperAudio CD: $34.99
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  • 5.
    Subito / Matthew, Hwang
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 486 Release Date: 06/02/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Henri Wieniawski
    Performer:  Julia Hwang,  Charles Matthews
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    Bach & Friends / Revax
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 257 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Heinz Holliger,  Xavier Dayer,  Pascal Dusapin  ... 
    Performer:  Estelle Revaz
    CD: $18.99
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  • 7.
    Mstislav Rostropovich: Cellist of the Century
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 559857 Release Date: 03/24/2017   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Nikolay Myaskovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Alexander Dedyukhin,  Alexander Dedyuhkin,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Adrian Boult,  George Szell,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $159.98
    CD: $129.99
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  • 8.
    Piano Forte: The Next Generation
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99126 Release Date: 01/27/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Barnabás Dukay,  Juraj Hatrík  ... 
    Performer:  LukᚠKlánský,  Peter Nágel,  Fülöp Ránki,  Tim Jančar  ... 
    CD: $27.49
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  • 9.
    Szymanowski: Overture, Op. 12; Lutoslawski: Cello Concerto; Symphony No. 4
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 30388 Release Date: 01/13/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karol Szymanowski,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Gautier Capuçon
    Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 10.
    My First Christmas Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578340 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry John Gauntlett,  John Carmichael,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Stringer,  Raymond Johnston,  Mats Norrefalk,  Mats-Erik Björklund  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Hunt,  Barry Wordsworth,  Antony Pitts,  Andrew Sackett  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Worcester Cathedral Choir,  BBC Concert Orchestra,  Tonus Peregrinus  ... 
    On sale! $9.99
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  • 11.
    Lutoslawski: Complete Piano Works / Simon
    Label: Cavi-music   Catalog: 8553341 Release Date: 10/28/2016  
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Corinna Simon
    CD: $16.99
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  • 12.
    Virtuosic Dance / Ehlen-Tai Piano Duo
    Label: Azica   Catalog: 71312 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Maurice Ravel,  Manuel Infante,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ehlen-Tai Piano Duo
    CD: $17.99
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  • 13.
    Thrace [sunday Morning Sessions]
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 902242 Release Date: 09/23/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Arabic Traditional,  Traditional,  Frank Leriche  ... 
    Performer:  Socratis Sinopoulos,  Jean-Guihen Queyras,  Keyvan Chemirani,  Bijan Chemirani
    CD: $19.99
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  • 14.
    Music for Clarinet by 20th Century Polish Composers / Barszcz, Saciuk, Michalak
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1258 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kazimierz Serocki,  Stefan Kisielewski,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Krzysztof Penderecki  ... 
    Performer:  Mariusz Barszcz,  Piotr Saciuk,  Jacek Michalak
    CD: $19.99
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  • 15.
    Octophonia: Lidholm, Lutoslawski, Sallinen & Nordheim / Styffe
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1342 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ingvar Lidholm,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Aulis Sallinen,  Arne Nordheim
    Performer:  Dan Styffe,  Ingrid Andsnes,  Eskild [Double Bass] Abelseth,  Karol [Double Bass] Ciesluk  ... 
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  • 16.
    Bartok, Schnittke & Lutoslawski / Cuckson, McMillen
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 002484702 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alfred Schnittke,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Miranda Cuckson,  Blair McMillen
    CD: $22.99
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  • 17.
    Shostakovich & Weinberg: Cello Concertos / Alstaedt
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 38116 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Mieczyslaw Weinberg
    Performer:  Nicolas Alstaedt
    Conductor:  Michal Nesterowicz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    CD: $20.99
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  • 18.
    Paganini & Beyond: Critic's Choice
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250338 Release Date: 04/15/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Karol Szymanowski  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin,  Géza Anda,  Silke Avenhaus,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Piano Duo
    CD: $23.99
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  • 19.
    Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra - Brahms: Piano Quartet, Op. 25 / Harth-Bedoya, Fort Worth
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 807668 Release Date: 04/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth Bedoya,  John Giordano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    Lutoslawski
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 232 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Krzysztof Urbanski
    CD: $18.99
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  • 21.
    Jarzebski, Vivaldi, Bach, Pachelbel, Haydn, Lutoslawski
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 993 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Adam Jarzebski,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Pachelbel  ... 
    Performer:  Krzysztof Jakowicz
    Conductor:  Jan Milosz Zarzycki
    CD: $19.99
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  • 22.
    Luca Buratto: Live At Honens 2015
    Label: Honens   Catalog: 201601 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  György Ligeti,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Luca Buratto,  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  James Campbell,  Hsin-Yun Huang
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    Szymanowski: Symphony No. 2; Lutoslawski: Livre & Musique Funebre
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 30349 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karol Szymanowski,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 24.
    Dialoghi / Frey, Fung [Vinyl]
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: YAR09262-876V Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Steven Edward Stucky,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  David Fung,  Elinor Frey
    LP: $29.99
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  • 25.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002364402 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Guy Touvron,  Gidon Kremer,  Alexandre Gurning  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Jörg Faerber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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