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
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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Witold Lutoslawski


MOST POPULAR WORKS
1. Intrada: Allegro Maestoso
2. Capriccio notturno e Arioso: Vivace - Stesso movi- mento
3. Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale: Andante con moto - Allegro giusto - Molto allegro - Presto
I. Allegro molto
II. Andantino
III. Allegro giocoso
IV. Andante
V. Allegro molto
WORKS
I. Allegro vivace
II. Allegretto sostenuto
III. Allegro molto
IV. Andantino
V. Allegro marciale
Introduction -
4 Episodes -
Cantilena -
Finale
Ad libitum
A battuta
Ad libitum
A battuta - Ad libitum - A battuta
I La belle-de-nuit (The Marvel of Peru)
II La sauterelle (The Grasshopper)
III La veronique (The Speedwell)
IV L' eglantine, l' aubepine et la glycine (The Wild Rose, the Hawthorn and the Wisteria)
V La tortue ( The Tortoise)
VI La rose (The Rose)
VII L' alligator (The Alligator)
VIII L' angelique (The Angelica)
IX Le papillon (The Butterfly)
1. Intrada: Allegro Maestoso
2. Capriccio notturno e Arioso: Vivace - Stesso movi- mento
3. Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale: Andante con moto - Allegro giusto - Molto allegro - Presto
1. ca. 110
2. Presto - attaca
3. ca. 85
4. ca. 84
I. Allegro molto
II. Andantino
III. Allegro giocoso
IV. Andante
V. Allegro molto - Presto
No. 1. Allegro molto
No. 2. Andantino
No. 3. Allegro giocoso
No. 4. Andante
No. 5. Allegro molto
I. Allegro molto
II. Andantino
III. Allegro giocoso
IV. Andante
V. Allegro molto
1. Rapsodico
2. Dolente
3. Marciale e grotesco
No. 1. Ach moj Jasienko (O, My Johhny)
No. 2. Hej, od Krakowa (Hey, I come from Cracow)
No. 3. Jest drozyna (There Is a Path)
No. 4. Pastereczka (The Shepherd Girl)
No. 5. Na jabloni jablka (An Apple Hangs on the Apple-tree)
No. 6. Od Sieradza (A River flows from Sieradz)
No. 7. Panie Michale (Master Michael)
No. 8. W polu lipenka (The Lime-tree in the Field)
No. 9. Zalotny (Flirting)
No. 10. Gaik (The Grove)
No. 11. Gaisor (The Gander)
No. 12. Rektor (The Schoolmaster)
Fujarka (Piccolo)
Hurra Polka
Piosenka (Song)
Tanice (Dance)
1. Announcement
2. First Event
3. Second Event
4. Third Event
5. Conclusion
Allegro giusto
Ad libitum
Largo
Ad libitum
Presto
Pensees
Repos dans le malheur
Le Grand Combat
Angels to the shepherds came
Hey! We rejoice now
When the Christ to us is born
Just after midnight
God is born
Our Lovely Lady
Hurrying to Bethlehem
In a manger
Jesus there is lying
We are shepherds
Lullaby, Jesus
Hey, on this day
Jesus lovely flower
Hey la, Hey la, shepherds there you are
What to do with this child?
Hey, hey lovely Lady Mary
This is our Lord's birthday
Shepherds, can you tell?
Infant so tiny
Holy Lady Mary
Postlude No. 1
Postlude No. 2
Postlude No. 3
Prelude 1
Prelude 2
Prelude 3
Prelude 4
Prelude 5
Prelude 6
Prelude 7
Fugue
I. Introductory movement
II. Main movement -
II. Appassionato -
II. Funebre
Oj, mi sie owiesek
Ich, w tej studni
Kukuleczka kuka
I. Allegro
II. Adagio non troppo
III. Andante - Allegretto - Andantino
The Sea
The Wind
Winter
Knights
Church Bells
The Sea
The Wind
Winter
Knights
Church Bells
No. 1. Allegro
No. 2. Non troppo allegro
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro guisto
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): II. Poco adagio
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro misterioso
Symphony No.1 (1994 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro vivace
Symphony No. 2 (1994 Digital Remaster): I. Hésitant
Symphony No. 2 (1994 Digital Remaster): II. Direct