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 Music Vol 7 / Wit, Et Al
Release Date: 11/20/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555270   Number of Discs: 1
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Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 3 / Wit, Polish Rso
Release Date: 04/22/1997   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553423   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 233 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Chopin, Lutoslawski, Moniuszko
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3463 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stanislaw Moniuszko,  Frédéric Chopin,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Martin Labazevitch
    Conductor:  Ewa Strusinska
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beethoven Academy Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Lutoslawski: Piano Concerto, Symphony No 2 / Zimerman, Rattle
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002329502 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 28.
    Carte Blanche  / Martha Argerich
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002357602 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Gabriela Montero,  Martha Argerich,  Renaud Capuçon,  Julian Rachlin  ... 
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  • 29.
    Pavel Haas In Memoriam
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1426 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Pavel Haas,  Bruno Giner,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Fabrice Ferez,  Marc Pantillon
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 30.
    Polish Music For Cello And Piano
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1155 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Szalonek,  Bartosz Smoragiewicz,  Jerzy Bauer,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Izabela Buchowska,  Jakub Tchorzewski
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  • 31.
    Mariss Jansons Live: The Radio Recordings, 1990-2014 [13-CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 15002 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Louis Andriessen,  Hector Berlioz,  Anton Bruckner,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky,  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Ferruccio Furlanetto,  Leo van Doeselaar  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $158.99
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  • 32.
    Dream Lake  / Zubel, Ahonen
    Label: Cd Accord   Catalog: 216 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Andre Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Agata Zubel,  Joonas Ahonen
    CD: $18.99
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  • 33.
    Lutoslawski: Carols / Kusiewicz, Malicki
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 383 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Waldemar Malicki,  Piotr Kusiewicz
    CD: $19.99
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  • 34.
    Seiji Ozawa: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564613951 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Béla Bartók,  Zoltán Kodály  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Michel Béroff,  Masuko Ushioda  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Orchestra,  Japan Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    Sad Steps
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1557 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Pavel Haas,  Eric Moe,  Dietrich Erdmann  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Hill,  Audrey Andrist,  Katherine Murdock,  Xak Bjerken
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Electronic Media
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  • 36.
    Dark Hours: Mystic Moments Of Classical Music
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300613 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gustav Mahler,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Siegfried Lorenz,  Elka Mitzewa,  Cécile Ousset,  Peter-Jürgen Schmidt  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch,  Otmar Suitner,  Norman Shetler,  Witold Rowicki  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 37.
    Lutoslawski, Szymanowski / Podles, Liebreich, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 30332 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Karol Szymanowski
    Performer:  Ewa Podles
    Conductor:  Alexander Liebreich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 38.
    Alexander Tansman, Witold Lutoslawski, Gyorgy Orban, Gyorgy Selmeczi
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 980 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexandre Tansman,  Witold Lutoslawski,  György Selmeczi,  György Orbán
    Conductor:  Marc Nalecz-Niesiolowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Erdody Chamber Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Dialogue / Cavell Trio
    Label: Blue Griffin   Catalog: 347 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rudolf Maros,  Alexandre Tansman,  Amir Zaheri,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cavell Trio
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 40.
    Lutoslawski,   Mykietyn: String Quartets / Lutosławki Quartet
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 950 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Pawel Mykietyn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lutoslawski Quartet
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  • 41.
    Lutoslawski: Songs; Carols / Radziejewska, Rutkowski
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 961962 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Anna Radziejewska,  Mariusz Rutkowski
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  • 42.
    Polish Lyrical Songs For Christmas
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 979 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Zygmunt Noskowski,  Stanislaw Niewiadomski,  Traditional,  Jakuba Wrzeciono  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Zarnowiecka,  Szymon Kowalczyk
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  • 43.
    Lutoslawski: Chamber Works / Bywalec, New Music Orchestra
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 949 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Szymon Bywalec
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  • 44.
    Lutoslawski: Little Suite; Funeral Music; Chains 1 & 2  / Wolosiuk, Garnetz
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 983 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Ilian Garnetz
    Conductor:  Jerzy Wolosiuk
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  • 45.
    Guher & Suher Pekinel In Concert
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101792 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Lorenzo D'Attoma,  Fausto Cesare Bombardier,  Süher Pekinel,  Güher Pekinel
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    CD: $18.99
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  • 46.
    Music For Clarinet And Orchestra / Dean, Mills, Queensland Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764465 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Brett Dean,  Walter Piston,  John Veale,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Dean
    Conductor:  Richard Mills
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Queensland Symphony Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Panufnik, Lutoslawski: String Quartets / Tippett Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 573164 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrzej Panufnik,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tippett String Quartet
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  • 48.
    Polska Muzyka Wiolonczelowa (Polish Cello Music)
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 925 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Zbigniew Bujarski,  Henryk Jablonski,  Alexandre Tansman  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Kalinowski,  Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska,  Annamaria Borrelli,  Karolina Jaroszewska  ... 
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  • 49.
    Witold Lutoslawski: Vocal-instrumental Works
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 806 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Lucja [Soprano Vocal] Szablewski-Borzykowska,  Rafal Bartminski,  Stanislaw Kierner
    Conductor:  Daniel Raiskin
    CD: $19.99
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  • 50.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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