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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: Twenty Polish Christmas Carols, Etc
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555994   Number of Discs: 1
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Panufnik, Lutoslawski: String Quartets / Tippett Quartet
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 573164   Number of Discs: 1
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Lutoslawski: Symphonies, Concertos, Choral & Vocal Works
Release Date: 08/27/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8501066   Number of Discs: 10
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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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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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Browse 26-50 of 213 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Yarlung Records: The First Seven Years
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 96821 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaspar Sanz,  Jason Barabba,  Gustav Mahler,  Witold Lutoslawski  ... 
    Performer:  Sasha Cooke,  David Fung,  Elinor Frey,  Badal Roy  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehuda Gilad
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ciaramella,  Janaki String Trio,  Smoke & Mirrors
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  • 27.
    The Magic Mountain - Verbier Festival 20th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3079078 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Renaud Capuçon,  Martha Argerich,  Martin Helmchen,  Malcolm Martineau  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Gábor Takács-Nagy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verbier Festival Orchestra,  UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra,  Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
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  • 28.
    My Polish Diary / Kiryl Keduk
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3432 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Juliusz Zarebski,  Karol Szymanowski,  Ignace Jan Paderewski  ... 
    Performer:  Kiryl Keduk
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  • 29.
    Stanislaw Moryto, Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, Romuald Twardowski, Witold Lutoslawski, Wojciech Kilar
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 939 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henryk Mikolaj Górecki,  Romuald Twardowski,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Wojciech Kilar  ... 
    Conductor:  Leszek Sokolowski
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  • 30.
    The King Of Clarinet
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 99071/72 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Saverio Mercadante,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Ferenc Bognár,  Anthony Spiri
    Conductor:  Koji Toyoda
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  • 31.
    Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol. 4 / Gardner, Bbc Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5108 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  Elizabeth Burley,  Michael Collins
    Conductor:  Edward Gardner
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  • 32.
    Janacek: Violin Sonata; Lutoslawski: Partita; Szymanowski: Mythes
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1951793 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Karol Szymanowski
    Performer:  Isabelle Faust,  Ewa Kupiec
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  • 33.
    Lutoslawski: The Symphonies /  Salonen, Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 544083 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Penderecki: String Quartets No  1-3; Lutoslawski: String Quartet / Royal String Quartet
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67943 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Krzysztof Penderecki,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal String Quartet
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  • 35.
    Anthology Of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vol 7: 2000-2010
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 12004 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Richard Strauss,  Alphons Diepenbrock,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Vesko Eschkenazy,  Godfried Hoogeveen,  Lars Vogt,  Jorgen Van Rijen  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Elder,  Lorin Maazel,  Claus Peter Flor,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Piano Duets / Christina & Michelle Naughton
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 859121 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Christina Naughton,  Michelle Naughton
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  • 37.
    Lutoslawski: Symphony No. 3; Concerto For Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001752502 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Peter Pears
    Conductor:  Witold Lutoslawski,  Witold Rowicki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 38.
    Lutoslawski: Symphony No. 2; Grave; Cello Concerto; Mala Suite / Gardner, Watkins, BBC Symphony
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5106 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  Paul Watkins
    Conductor:  Edward Gardner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    This Is The World / CanAm Piano Duo
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1363 Release Date: 08/14/2012  
    Composer:  David Maslanka,  Libby Larsen,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Performer:  David Steffens,  Lance Drege
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canam Piano Duo
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  • 40.
    Perspectives / Holthe, Tromso Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1302 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fredrik Högberg,  Anton Webern,  Arvo Pärt,  György Kurtág  ... 
    Performer:  Dan Styffe
    Conductor:  Kolbjorn Holthe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tromso Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    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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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    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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