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
Browse 26-50 of 210 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bartok, Lutoslawski / Dennis Russell Davies, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 001695702 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Béla Bartók
    Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  Hungarian Radio/TV Children's Chorus
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  • 27.
    Polish Masterworks / Joann Falletta, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Beau Fleuve Records   Catalog: 5637966940 Release Date: 06/20/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karol Szymanowski,  Henri Wieniawski,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Mieczyslaw Karlowicz
    Conductor:  JoAnn Falletta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 28.
    Quartet Choreography / Kreutzer Quartet
    Label: Metier   Catalog: 101 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Witold Lutoslawski,  György Ligeti,  Michael Finnissy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kreutzer String Quartet
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  • 29.
    Label: Coviello Classics   Catalog: 1092510 Release Date: 05/15/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alessandro Rolla,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Volker David Kirchner,  Julian Milone  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Ostertag,  Katrin Melcher
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  • 30.
    Polish Music For Clarinet And Piano
    Label: Clarinet Classics   Catalog: 10066 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Krzysztof Penderecki,  Antoni Szalowski,  Karol Rathaus,  Piotr Perkowski  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Marc Fessard,  Jadwiga Lewczuk
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  • 31.
    Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Lutoslawski / Peter Jablonski
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436239 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Peter Jablonski
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol 2 / Gardner, Lortie, BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5098 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Louis Lortie
    Conductor:  Edward Gardner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Violoncello Solo
    Label: Aulos Records   Catalog: 6010 Release Date: 12/20/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Benjamin Britten,  Paul Hindemith,  Noam Sheriff  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Pergamenschikow
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  • 34.
    Dances To A Black Pipe / Martin Frost
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1863 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Aaron Copland,  Goran Fröst,  Anders Hillborg  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Fröst
    Conductor:  Richard Tognetti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Sibelius: Symphony No. 5; Lutoslawski: Concerto For Orchestra / Saraste, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 57 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Anne-Sophie Mutter - The Complete Musician [40-CD Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B001587372 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Mark Zeltser,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Antonio Meneses  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Paul Sacher,  Witold Lutoslawski,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 37.
    Anthology Of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Vol 6 - Live Radio Recordings 1990-2000
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 11004 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Luciano Berio,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Ildiko Komlósi,  Kolos Kovacs,  Martha Argerich,  Ann Murray  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Claus Peter Flor,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Luciano Berio  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Swingle Singers,  Netherlands Radio Women's Chorus
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  • 38.
    Strauss: Oboe Concerto, Till Eulenspiegel, Rosenkavalier Waltzes; Lutoslawski: Double Concerto
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1134 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Ursula Holliger
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen,  Thomas Schippers
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  • 39.
    Dialoghi
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 78876 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Toshiro Mayuzumi,  Christopher Rouse,  Steven Edward Stucky  ... 
    Performer:  Elinor Frey,  David Fung
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  • 40.
    Lutowslawski: Vocal Works / Crowe, Gardner, BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10688 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Lucy Crowe
    Conductor:  Edward Gardner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Martin Chalifour And The Los Angeles Philharmonic In The Walt Disney Concert Hall
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 67893 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Steven Edward Stucky,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Martin Chalifour,  Joanne Pearce- Martin
    Conductor:  Andrey Boreyko,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Anne-Sophie Mutter - The Complete Musician [Highlights]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001587502 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Max Bruch  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Antonio Meneses,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Bruno Giuranna  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Witold Lutoslawski,  André Previn,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
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  • 43.
    Organ & Piano Duets / Duo Musart Barcelona
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9213 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Langlais,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Charles-Marie Widor,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Sierra Martinez,  Raúl Prieto Ramírez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Musart-Barcelona
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  • 44.
    Lines / Caroline Stinson
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1281 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Roger Sessions,  John Harbison,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Caroline Stinson,  Molly Morkoski
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  • 45.
    Mariss Jansons Conducts Lutoslawski, Szymanowsky & Tchaikovsky
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900107 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Karol Szymanowski,  Alexander Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 46.
    The Martha Argerich Collection 4  [6-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566002 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Alan Ridout  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Mischa Maisky,  Isabelle van Keulen,  Nelson Freire  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Kiril Kondrashin,  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 501 Release Date: 05/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Shapey,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Ruth Crawford Seeger,  Otto Luening  ... 
    Performer:  James P. Ostryniec,  Wanda Maximilien,  Patricia Berlin,  Paul Hoffman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alard String Quartet
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  • 48.
    Dreams Of A Dancer / Trio Spektrum
    Label: North Pacific Music   Catalog: 11 Release Date: 04/05/2011  
    Composer:  Katherine Hoover,  Tony Aubin,  Witold Lutoslawski,  César Cui  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Spektrum
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  • 49.
    Brahms, Berg, Debussy, Lutoslawski, Yun: Works For Clarinet & Piano / Duo Riul
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 11198 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Alban Berg,  Claude Debussy,  Isang Yun  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Riul
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  • 50.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works / Lutoslawski, Polish Radio National Symphony
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 07226 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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