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
Interactions: Valen - Stravinsky - Lutoslawski / Monsen, Flagstad
Release Date: 07/07/2017   Label: Two-l  
Catalog: 2L-137-SABD   Number of Discs: 2
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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 Music Vol 7 / Wit, Et Al
Release Date: 11/20/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555270   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 151-175 of 233 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    Polski Nowoczesny / Louisville Orchestra
    Label: First Edition   Catalog: 1909 Release Date: 04/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Krzysztof Penderecki,  Karol Rathaus,  Alexandre Tansman,  Andrzej Panufnik  ... 
    Conductor:  Jorge Mester,  Robert Whitney,  John Nelson,  Lawrence Leighton Smith
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Louisville Orchestra
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  • 152.
    The Virtuoso Pianolist - Stravinsky: Les Noces; Etc / Lawson
    Label: Other Minds Records   Catalog: 1001 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Rex Lawson
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  • 153.
    No Boundaries / The 5 Browns
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 78719 Release Date: 04/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Ernesto Lecuona,  Aaron Copland,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Deondra Brown,  Desirae Brown,  Melody Brown,  Ryan Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The 5 Browns
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  • 154.
    Fantasía / Maximiliano Martín, Inocencio Negrín
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 280 Release Date: 01/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Francis Poulenc,  Miguel Yuste,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Inocencio Negrín,  Maximiliano Martin
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  • 155.
    Original Works For Brass Quintet / Brass Quintet München
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 92525 Release Date: 12/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Cheetham,  Eugčne Bozza,  Leonard Bernstein,  Vincent Persichetti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Brass Ensemble
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  • 156.
    Lutoslawski: Symphonies No 3 & 4, Etc / Lasocki, Blaszczyk
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 506 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Roman Lasocki,  Antoni Brozek
    Conductor:  Miroslav Jacek Blaszczyk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silesian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 157.
    Revolutions Of The Past / Weinmeister
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 983430 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Claude Debussy,  Anton Webern
    Performer:  Bruno Weinmeister,  Stefan Veselka
    Conductor:  Heinrich Schiff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 158.
    Leaving Home - Music In The 20th Century 4 - Three Journeys Thru Dark Landscapes
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102039 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Béla Bartók
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 159.
    Lutoslawski: Twenty Polish Christmas Carols, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555994 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Olga Pasichnyk,  Jadwiga Rappé
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Chorus,  Katowice Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
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  • 160.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations; Lutoslawski: Concerto For Orchestra / Kleinert
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3259 Release Date: 10/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Rolf Kleinert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 161.
    Viola View - Piston, Harris, Etc / Paul Cortese, Et Al
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 833 Release Date: 08/30/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roy Harris,  Walter Piston,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Rebecca Clarke  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Cortese,  Artanios Roc,  Herwig Coryn
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  • 162.
    Lutoslawski: Concerto For Orchestra, Etc / Kwiatkowski, Wit
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 499 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Rafal Kwiatkowski
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 163.
    Beethoven, Schubert, Lutoslawski, Ravel / Lasalle Quartet
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 632041 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Peter Kamnitzer,  Henry Meyer,  Walter Levin,  Lee Fiser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  LaSalle String Quartet
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  • 164.
    Jeux D'enfants / Amy And Sara Hamann
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637318080 Release Date: 01/04/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Anton Arensky,  Georges Bizet,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Amy Hamann,  Sara Hamann
    CD: $16.99
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  • 165.
    Piano Duo / Irena Friedland, Jonathan Zak
    Label: Roméo Records   Catalog: 7228 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Irena Friedland,  Jonathan Zak
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  • 166.
    Piano Four Hands/Two Pianos In The Xx Century / Biondi, Etc
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 439 Release Date: 01/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  György Kurtág,  György Ligeti,  Luciano Berio,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Paola Biondi,  Debora Brunialti
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  • 167.
    Polish Piano Music - Chopin, Et Al / Stella Czajkowski
    Label: Nosag Records   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karol Szymanowski,  Frédéric Chopin,  Jan Ekier,  Artur Malawski  ... 
    Performer:  Stella Czajkowski
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  • 168.
    Lutoslawski: Double Concerto, Etc / Kaleta, Krupa, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555763 Release Date: 09/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Urszula Kryger,  Rafal Kwiatkowski,  Nicolas Tulliez,  Arkadiusz Krupa  ... 
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Polish National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 169.
    Clarinet Xx - Debussy, Berio, Et Al / Klöcker, Arnold
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47585 Release Date: 08/26/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Luciano Berio,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Dieter Klöcker,  Kayako Takae,  Sandra Arnold,  Thomas Duis
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  • 170.
    Enescu, Reger, Brahms, Lutoslawski: Works For Violin And Piano / Annette-barbara Vogel, Ulrich Hofmann
    Label: Cybele   Catalog: 350901 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Reger,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Johannes Brahms,  George Enescu
    Performer:  Annette-Barbara Vogel,  Ulrich Hofmann
    CD: $12.99
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  • 171.
    20/21 - Lutoslawski: Piano Concerto, Etc / Mutter, Zimerman
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471588 Release Date: 11/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Phillip Moll,  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $22.99
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  • 172.
    Works For Flute And Harp - Rust, Zamara, Busser, Ibert, Etc
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 347 Release Date: 09/24/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Friedrich Wilhelm Rust,  Antonio Zamara,  Paul-Henri Büsser,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Sikorzak-Olek
    CD: $19.99
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  • 173.
    Lutoslawski, Dutilleux: Cello Concertos / Rostropovich
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 67868 Release Date: 09/17/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Henri Dutilleux
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Serge Baudo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestra
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  • 174.
    Guitar Impressions - Music For Two Guitars / Hebb, Svitt
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 214 Release Date: 09/01/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stanley Myers,  Isaac Albeniz,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Jacques Ibert  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Hebb,  Finn Svit
    CD: $15.99
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  • 175.
    Pavane - Encore Selections / Hiromi Okada
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 608 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Webern,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Hiromi Okada
    On sale! $25.98
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