Author Topic: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)  (Read 48000 times)

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Offline MishaK

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2007, 01:48:32 PM »
Is that Chain I you're asking about or Chain III?

Sorry, it was actually Chain 2. Didn't realize there were several.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2007, 01:49:36 PM »
Anne-Sophie Mutter's version must be available in some incarnation, which I like very much.  But I've only heard hers.

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Offline edward

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2007, 01:58:36 PM »
Is that Chain I you're asking about or Chain III?
Chain II, I think, since he mentions the concertmaster (who would presumably have been the soloist).

In which case Mutter is a pretty safe recommendation (coupled with Mutter in Partita and Zimerman in the piano concerto).

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Offline Maciek

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #43 on: June 27, 2007, 01:59:58 PM »
I have 3 or 4 recordings, all very good. I don't really like Mutter more than the others. I'll need to take another listen. Will get back to you.

Offline Guido

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2007, 04:02:03 PM »
Oh my goodness - I must hear the Naxos version of the Cello Concerto. The Rostropovich disc with the coupling of the Dutilleux is one of Rostropovich's finest achievements IMO and thats really saying something. The Dutilleux at least has never been equaled by later cellists in my opinion, although there have been some marvellous other versions of course. I would be very curious to hear another version of the Lutoslawski ( I have only heard Rostropovich and Bruno Weinmeister the latter being very good, but really not quite in the same class as the former).

Which recordings of the Third and Fourth Symphonies do people recommend?
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Offline edward

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2007, 05:25:27 PM »
Definitely get the Naxos version. This is probably my favourite cello concerto, and I'd say 90% of my listening time goes to the Naxos or Rostropovich--if anything the Naxos is even more ferocious. (FWIW, my other recordings are Jablonski, Schiff and Weinmeister (haven't heard Wispelwey).

For the 3rd I like the composer on Philips as much as anyone; for the 4th Salonen is still hard to beat (though Kofman on cpo has a very idiosyncratic performance alongside an--IMHO--best-ever reading of the 2nd).
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2007, 01:32:10 AM »

For the 3rd I like the composer on Philips as much as anyone; for the 4th Salonen is still hard to beat

Agreed, but I've never heard a bad recording of the 3rd. Salonen, Barenboim and Wit are also good.
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #47 on: June 30, 2007, 09:47:58 AM »
Guido, you would probably like the Roman Jablonski version of the Cello Concerto - he's the same cellist whose version of Perkowski's Cello Concerto you liked so much.

The Kofman 4th I find a bit lifeless. Still the disc is worth more than its price for that splendid 2nd - the only one I've heard that really works.

BTW, sorry for not posting re the Chain 2 recordings. All I've done so far is piled them up next to the player but still haven't had time to listen. The violinists I have are: Mutter (DG), Kulka (Polskie Nagrania), Bąkowski (Naxos), and Jakowicz (Polish Radio). The one I listened to most often recently was Jakowicz, and he was excellent - but I think I should really do some back-to-back listening before I pronounce any final verdict.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2007, 09:11:39 AM by Maciek »

Offline BachQ

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2008, 07:45:14 PM »
I recently bought all the Naxos discs, but I haven't made my way through them all yet.  But last night I find myself listening to his Symphony No. 4 (on CPO), and I was completely blown away.  It was much better music that I had remembered.  It will be fun getting to know it.

Does anyone know of his 3d symphony with sufficient particularity so as to formulate an opinion thereof?

Offline edward

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2008, 07:49:09 PM »
Does anyone know of his 3d symphony with sufficient particularity so as to formulate an opinion thereof?
I think it's a masterpiece in his favourite form: a first movement that explores ideas but doesn't really gain momentum (about 10 minutes), followed by a main movement (about 20 minutes) that assembles them gradually into a coherent whole which gains more and more power as it builds to the final, dramatic coda.

I've heard several recordings and they all make the piece work, but the composer conducting the BPO on the Philips 'Essential Lutoslawski' disc remains my touchstone--superlative playing under a more-than-competent conductor who obviously knows the piece rather well. ;)
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
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Offline BachQ

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2008, 07:53:53 PM »
I think it's a masterpiece in his favourite form: a first movement that explores ideas but doesn't really gain momentum (about 10 minutes), followed by a main movement (about 20 minutes) that assembles them gradually into a coherent whole which gains more and more power as it builds to the final, dramatic coda.

I've heard several recordings and they all make the piece work, but the composer conducting the BPO on the Philips 'Essential Lutoslawski' disc remains my touchstone--superlative playing under a more-than-competent conductor who obviously knows the piece rather well. ;)

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2008, 08:28:22 PM »
Lutoslawski is definitely one of my favorite composers I have recently discovered. I just finally heard the whole Cello Concerto for the first time, what a piece!!! The recording with Lutoslawski/Polish RSO and Jablonski. The last third of that piece where the orchestra comes in with full force is incredible. I had only ever heard the very end (tantalizing!) with Yo-Yo Ma at WDCH, I would have loved to have heard the rest of that performance. Very intense. Now I am listening to the Wit/Kwiatkowski recording, paired with the Concerto for Orchestra, it is also excellent.

There are so many recordings of the Concerto for Orchestra, which are some of your favorites? I just adore the piece. I don't have many of it, just the Dohnanyi/Cleveland which is great, the aforementioned Naxos Wit recording, and a fine performance with Salonen/LAP  from their Shadow of Stalin festival (broadcast), it's a shame they have never recorded the Concerto considering all the other Lutoslawski they have done.

I have a lot of gaps to fill in my collection considering how much I like Lutoslawski - it just struck me I have never heard his 1st Symphony, despite very much liking the others. Mi parti and Livre I have never heard either...

Has anyone mentioned the Dance Preludes before, for clarinet and orchestra? They are just delightful. :)  And the fascinating piano Paganini Variations, I think the first Lutoslawski I ever heard.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2008, 03:15:55 AM »
Greta, if you like the Concerto for Orchestra, you are going to love the 1st Symphony! I guarantee!

I think Mi-parti is among Lutoslawski's masterpieces, along with Symphonies 3 and 4 etc. etc. (I've said all this in my first post, don't want to repeat myself).

Offline BachQ

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2008, 04:40:07 AM »
I think Mi-parti is among Lutoslawski's masterpieces,

I always love a good parti ..........

Offline Guido

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2008, 06:16:15 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iudtvUpu3f4

Here's a video of the last two minutes of the cello concerto with Yo-Yo Ma at the helm. I sorely wish that they would release the whole recording, but fear that they never will. Absolutely electric performance, utterly different from Rostropovich's but equally valid I feel. Superb stuff.

He has never commercially recorded the Lutoslawski, Dutilleux, Hindemith or Penderecki concerti despite performing them all more than once.
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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2008, 06:34:35 AM »
I uploaded that clip.  :D

And it just occurred to me there is a full recording of that Ma performance, somewhere. All those opening gala concerts were broadcast live on the radio, in fact I have the radio recording of Adams' Dharma at Big Sur from that very concert. 

So it definitely does exist...

Offline Guido

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2008, 08:14:45 AM »
I had wanted to watch it for ages! (my comment is celloguy). Thanks again.

It would be great to find that recording one day. What would be even better, would be that he reord it commercially, or even better release a DVD of it!
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2008, 08:18:14 AM »
Of all the concerts and works that opened Disney Hall, that Lutoslawski excerpt was my favorite.  I agree that they should consider releasing the whole performance. 

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2008, 09:42:18 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iudtvUpu3f4

Here's a video of the last two minutes of the cello concerto with Yo-Yo Ma at the helm. I sorely wish that they would release the whole recording, but fear that they never will. Absolutely electric performance, utterly different from Rostropovich's but equally valid I feel. Superb stuff.

Mr Ma never fails to amaze. I think it is very impressive how he manages to play such a vast repertoire not just technically on a very high level, he also usually has a lot to say musically about what he plays. The passage in that clip in which he plays on the C string (the lowest string) all the way up to the end of the fingerboard is very impressive. I don't think most cellists have even ever visited that area of the instrument.

BTW, there is a great 2fer from Philips called "Essential Lutoslawski" which contains the composer's own recordings of the 3rd symphony and Les Espaces du Sommeil with the BP and Fischer-Dieskau and the cello concerto with Heinrich Schiff and the SOBR. The concerto for orchestra in this collection is played by the Warsaw Philharmonic and Rowicki. Very nice performance, too.

Offline Guido

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Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2008, 09:55:09 AM »
Quote
Mr Ma never fails to amaze. I think it is very impressive how he manages to play such a vast repertoire not just technically on a very high level, he also usually has a lot to say musically about what he plays. The passage in that clip in which he plays on the C string (the lowest string) all the way up to the end of the fingerboard is very impressive. I don't think most cellists have even ever visited that area of the instrument.

Very true. Ma has long been one of my favourite cellists, who is really not afraid to sound like himself (most cellists of his generation were just too much under the shadow of Rostropovich, andto a lesser extent Starker in the USA). Occasionally he lapses into 'safety playing' where he uses very safe (but a little unmusical) shifting and fingerings, that do not always serve the music perfectly, but on the whole I respect him as one of the great artists of our times, and some (many) of his recordings are second to none. Here we see him on fire - even the small lapse in intonation doesn't break his concentrtion as he transforms it into another expressive glide. The intensity at the end is almost unbearable. I just wish he'd spend a tiny bit less time on the cross-over projects - nice as they are, I feel that they are never quite as good as his playing of the concerto repertoire.
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