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 176-200 of 224 Available Recordings
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  • 176.
    Nocturnal  / Julian Bream
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 54901 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Martin,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Leo Brouwer,  Toru Takemitsu  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream
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  • 177.
    Mozart, Fauré, Prokofiev, Lutoslawski / Thorsen, Grimse
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1210 Release Date: 08/31/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Gabriel Fauré,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Marianne Thorsen,  Hĺvard Gimse
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  • 178.
    Label: Cd Accord   Catalog: 15 Release Date: 07/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Ewa Poblocka
    Conductor:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
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  • 179.
    Matrix 13 - Lutoslawski: Concerto For Orchestra, Venetian Games / Lutoslawski, Polish Radio So
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 65305 Release Date: 07/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 180.
    Capriccio - Mid-century Music For Clarinet / Howard, Carno
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2201 Release Date: 04/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Paul Hindemith,  Heinrich Sutermeister,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Zita Carno,  David Howard
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  • 181.
    Lutoslawski At The Guildhall Vol 1
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 219 Release Date: 11/30/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Louise Hopkins
    Conductor:  Wojciech Michniewski,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guildhall Symphony Orchestra
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  • 182.
    Solo Cello - Hindemith, Krenek, Ligeti, Etc / Boettcher
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5616 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Ibert,  Ernst Krenek,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Hans Werner Henze  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Boettcher
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  • 183.
    Kagan Edition Vol 20 - Romantic Music And Miniatures
    Label: Live Classics   Catalog: 192 Release Date: 05/01/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Skanavi,  Oleg Kagan
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  • 184.
    Lutoslawski, Penderecki: Cello Concertos / Thedéen, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 937 Release Date: 04/01/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Krzysztof Penderecki,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Torleif Thedéen
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 185.
    Elgar, Lutoslawski: Cello Concertos / Wispelwey, Van Steen
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 12998 Release Date: 03/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Pieter Wispelwey
    Conductor:  Jac Van Steen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 186.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 6 / Wit, Polish Rso
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554283 Release Date: 03/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Olga Pasichnyk
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 187.
    Four For Tango - Piazzolla, Turina, Et Al /Guitars A Quattro
    Label: Intim Musik   Catalog: 51 Release Date: 12/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Joaquin Turina
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guitars a Quattro
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  • 188.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 5 / Wit, Polish Rso
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553779 Release Date: 12/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Camerata Silesia Singers
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  • 189.
    Messiaen: Turangalila, Un Sourire; Lutoslawski / Marek Janowski
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61520 Release Date: 08/30/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Roger Muraro,  Valerie Hartmann-Claverie
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 190.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 4 / Wit, Polish Rso
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553625 Release Date: 07/28/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Andrzej Bauer
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
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  • 191.
    Lutoslawski, Böhme, Et Al / Herseth, Asbury Brass Quintet
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 273 Release Date: 07/21/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Eugčne Bozza,  Ivan Jevtic,  Percy Aldridge Grainger  ... 
    Performer:  Adolph Herseth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Asbury Brass Quintet
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  • 192.
    Frank Martin, Witold Lutoslawski, Jacques Ibert: Concertante
    Label: Campanella Records   Catalog: 30045 Release Date: 01/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Frank Martin,  Jacques Ibert
    Performer:  HansJörg Schellenberger,  Margit-Anna Suss
    Conductor:  Zoltán Peskó
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  • 193.
    Szymanowski: Symphonies 2 & 3 Etc;  Lutoslawski / Dorati
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 448258 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Karol Szymanowski
    Performer:  Peter Jablonski,  Peter Pears,  Chantal Juillet,  Ryszard Karczykowski
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Paul Kletzki  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta  ... 
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  • 194.
    Schumann, Hindemith, Lutoslawski / Leister, Bognár
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 20044 Release Date: 05/13/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Paul Hindemith,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Ferenc Bognár
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  • 195.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 3 / Wit, Polish Rso
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553423 Release Date: 04/22/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Adam Kruszewski,  Piotr Kusiewicz,  Bernd Glemser
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
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  • 196.
    Alban Berg Quartett - Lutoslawski, Urbanner, Berio
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 56363 Release Date: 04/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Luciano Berio,  Erich Urbanner,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Thomas Kakuska,  Gerhard Schulz,  Valentin Erben,  Günter Pichler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet
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  • 197.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 2 / Wit, Polish Rso
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553169 Release Date: 11/19/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Peter Paleczny
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
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  • 198.
    Schoenberg, Lutoslawski / Herbig, Berliner Sinfonie Orchester
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 9166 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Conductor:  Günther Herbig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 199.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 1 / Wit, Polish Rso
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553202 Release Date: 09/17/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Krysztof Bakowski
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
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  • 200.
    Brass Ring - Henze: Fragments From A Show;  Gregson, Et Al
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 551 Release Date: 08/24/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Paul Hindemith,  Edward Gregson,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  David Kayser,  Karl Kramer,  Kirsten Bendixen,  Claire Newbold  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brass Ring
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