GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Maciek on April 11, 2007, 01:44:42 PM

Title: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 11, 2007, 01:44:42 PM
Witold Lutosławski (Lutoslawski) was, IMO, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, so why wait with restarting his thread on the new forum?

Here are links to some of the old threads:

Lutoslawski (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,2808.0.html)

Lutoslawski's Looney Bin (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,5882.0.html)

Concerto for piano and orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,12243.0.html)

And a very helpful discography site: The Witold Lutoslawski Society (http://www.lutoslawski.org.pl/w_dysko.html) (in Polish, but you'll figure it out ;))

So, what are your favorite pieces? Recordings? Anecdotes? Memories?

I must say I adore almost everything from the 2nd Symphony on. However, I'm not particularly fond of the earlier, tonal Lutosławski. I think the feeling that this is not his natural idiom is always there.

The Partita remains my favorite piece (and I do favor the later, orchestrated version... :-[ though I own the sheet music to the vn+pf version and think the writing is absolutely brilliant; just that I find the later version even better) - played either by Krzysztof Bąkowski (my first choice, my favorite violinist for contemporary music) or Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Among my very favorites are also Paroles tisées, Interlude (I know it's just a trifle but I find it spellbinding) and Mi-parti (I have the score, it's an amazing piece!). I also love the Trois poemes d'Henri Michaux, the Cello Concerto, Jeux Venetiens, Preludes and Fugue, Les espaces du sommeil. I love Symphonies nos 2-4, especially 3 and 4. Though I've learned to appreciate no. 2 thanks to the Kofman CPO recording (thank you, Edward, for recommending it in several places on the previous forum :)). And I also think his Paganini Variations (both versions - the one for two pianos and the one for piano and orchestra) are absolutely brilliant, one of the best pieces written around that theme ever (again, I have the score, and the simplicity of the writing coupled with that amazing energy - it's just stunning!!!).

Livre pour orchestre, even though I have the score, never really convinced me entirely. Maybe I still haven't heard the right recording? I'm not completely mad about the Piano Concerto, Funeral Music, or the String Quartet either, though I do like them.

An interesting piece that doesn't get played very often (heard it for the first time a couple of months ago) is the Piano Sonata (1934) - published for the first time fairly recently by PWM (gotta get that - doesn't sound as hellishly difficult as the studies). It's quite an early piece, quite surprising - very romantic!

Of his solo piano works there's also a very short Invention (1968) that I adore (don't know any recordings but it's very easy to play)!

Please do join in! 8) There are still quite a few works in the catalogue worth mentioning. :)

Maciek
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Catison on April 11, 2007, 02:08:03 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.

My favorite piece right now, though, is his Concerto for Orchestra.  There is a section in the Theme and Variation movement which I always love hearing.  The rest is great too.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 11, 2007, 02:19:38 PM
I love the 4th! I couldn't make up my mind when writing this post whether to single it out. My heart says I prefer no. 4 but since I know no. 3 much longer and it was one of the first Lutoslawski pieces I ever appreciated, my conscience kept telling me it would be rude to shun it. ;D

Two or three years ago I heard no. 4 performed live in such an astoundingly beautiful, melodious way! It made me finally understand what Lutoslawski meant when he said he was trying to discover for contemporary music a new way of conveying melody. Unfortunately, I've lost the program and can't for the life of me remember who the performers were... :-[

Maciek
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on April 11, 2007, 05:06:01 PM
Probably my favourite of all is the Cello Concerto. I've really grown to love the Naxos recording of it, enjoying it as much as the more refined Rostropovich (which, though, can't quite match the sheer ferocity of the later version). I think I have five recordings of this piece, and it seems to merit that many.

Also very much liked: the 3rd symphony, Livre, Mi-Parti, Les Espaces de sommeil, the Concerto for Orchestra and that most neglected and underrated of Lutoslawski's great masterpieces, the Five Songs.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Earthlight on April 11, 2007, 06:02:52 PM
Probably my favourite of all is the Cello Concerto. I've really grown to love the Naxos recording of it, enjoying it as much as the more refined Rostropovich (which, though, can't quite match the sheer ferocity of the later version).

I just listened to it for the first time, via the wonders of the Naxos subscription service. I'm not sure if "like" and "dislike" are appropriate reaction categories, but I was utterly transfixed. The odd thing is that when I went back and listened to parts of it again, I still had no idea how he got from one point to another, but it all made sense nonetheless.

"Ferocity" is a good word. If I were ever to hear a more committed rendition of the Cello Concerto than what Bauer and Wit have come up with here, I'm not sure I could take it.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: bwv 1080 on April 11, 2007, 06:28:35 PM
Chain 3 is probably my favorite Luto work at the moment.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Danny on April 11, 2007, 10:22:18 PM
Like Schoenberg, it took a while to digest his works and style but now I think his whole catalogue is worth hearing. :D

Especially love Symphony No. 3 and the Concerto for Orchestra.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 11, 2007, 10:28:18 PM
Over the years, my list of Luto favorites has remained pretty consistent:

Symphonies 3 & 4
Cello & Piano Ctos.
Concerto for Orchestra
String Quartet

But really, the guy was amazingly consistent, quality-wise, almost like Brahms. There are very few duds in his output (I would count the 2nd Symphony as one), and one can really dive in almost anywhere and find gold.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 11, 2007, 11:49:48 PM
But really, the guy was amazingly consistent, quality-wise, almost like Brahms.

Love that comparison! Why didn't I think of it first?... :'( No, seriously, I really think you have something there - they would seem to be kindred souls, musically. There's something very similar in their type of sensitivity - the sort of emotions, controlled and yet raging most of the time... :o

Quote
There are very few duds in his output (I would count the 2nd Symphony as one)

Have you tried the Kofman recording on CPO?

Quote
one can really dive in almost anywhere and find gold.

Paweł Szymański said something similar after Lutosławski's death: that every note he ever wrote has the worth of gold.

Maciek
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 11, 2007, 11:53:20 PM
that most neglected and underrated of Lutoslawski's great masterpieces, the Five Songs.

Edward, do you mean the ones to the words by Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna (Illakowiczowna)? I have them but not in the Naxos recording. I'm afraid I'm not particularly fond of the poet and that spoils it for me completely - I find the words irritating. :-\ Has someone recorded a translated version? Chinese would be good... ;D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 12, 2007, 12:39:20 AM
Love that comparison! Why didn't I think of it first?... :'( No, seriously, I really think you have something there - they would seem to be kindred souls, musically. There's something very similar in their type of sensitivity - the sort of emotions, controlled and yet raging most of the time... :o

Actually, I didn't think of this - a contributor on a board I used to post on said he thought of Luto as "a Brahmsian romantic" in modern clothing. And I thought: "You know, that hadn't occurred to me, but it sounds right."

I think the particular genius of Lutoslawski was his ability to use the most advanced modernist techniques while remaining emotionally accessible - which someone else called "atonal romanticism."

Quote
Have you tried the Kofman recording on CPO?

No, I've only heard the Wit/Naxos. The 2nd does interest me as kind of a "trial run" for the great 3rd Symphony.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on April 12, 2007, 05:45:34 AM
Edward, do you mean the ones to the words by Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna (Illakowiczowna)? I have them but not in the Naxos recording. I'm afraid I'm not particularly fond of the poet and that spoils it for me completely - I find the words irritating. :-\ Has someone recorded a translated version? Chinese would be good... ;D
Yes, those ones. I've got three recordings (one of the voice/piano version, two of the orchestral version) and my favourite of those is the EMI recording with Halina Lukomska singing and the composer conducting. It's in Polish, though.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: S709 on April 12, 2007, 05:56:22 AM
that most neglected and underrated of Lutoslawski's great masterpieces, the Five Songs.

I love the Five Songs, I don't see them mentioned much though!
I have only the voice/piano version, with Jadwiga Rappé and Maja Nosowska.
The last song about Cathedral Bells is especially powerful as the piano chords become loud and threatening and the text speaks of the "fury" of the bells! Awesome. :D

Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brewski on April 12, 2007, 06:12:42 AM
During the opening concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, my biggest annoyance was seeing PBS broadcast only the final 60 seconds or so of Yo-Yo Ma playing Lutoslawski's Cello Concerto (with Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic).  It was intensely involving, and I kept hoping (in vain) they would broadcast the entire thing.  Alas.

I also like the Concerto for Orchestra, as well as Chain 3, and many other pieces by him, although I haven't "gotten to know" (i.e., listening to a piece say, at least 5 or 6 times) nearly as many as I'd like.  And strangely, not much by him shows up on concerts here.  I find that extremely odd.  I just did a "search for future events" on Carnegie Hall's site, and they don't show a single Lutoslawski work in the entire 2007-2008 season. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: springrite on April 12, 2007, 06:29:32 AM
During the opening concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, my biggest annoyance was seeing PBS broadcast only the final 60 seconds or so of Yo-Yo Ma playing Lutoslawski's Cello Concerto (with Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic).  It was intensely involving, and I kept hoping (in vain) they would broadcast the entire thing.  Alas.


Now, that is a shame! Salonen is probably the best conductor for Lutoslawski's music. I have heard him several times, including at least one premiere. In fact, when Salonen recorded the Lutoslawski 3rd symphony, only a month or so after PHILIPS released the composer's own recording (to rave reviews), Lutoslawski said publicly that Salonen's recording was much better than his own, much to PHILIPS's dismay! After that, Lutoslawski, who used to conduct his own music when in Los Angeles, left all to Salonen. You have to admire his honesty and complete lack of ego.

My favorites are the 3rd and 4th symphonies and the cello concerto.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brewski on April 12, 2007, 08:56:15 AM
Now, that is a shame! Salonen is probably the best conductor for Lutoslawski's music. I have heard him several times, including at least one premiere. In fact, when Salonen recorded the Lutoslawski 3rd symphony, only a month or so after PHILIPS released the composer's own recording (to rave reviews), Lutoslawski said publicly that Salonen's recording was much better than his own, much to PHILIPS's dismay! After that, Lutoslawski, who used to conduct his own music when in Los Angeles, left all to Salonen. You have to admire his honesty and complete lack of ego.

I recall those two Third's being released so close to each other -- a rather odd coincidence!  Actually I have not yet heard Salonen's (not for not wanting to), which does seem to have gotten more votes than the composer's version. 

PS, back to the Concerto.  Forgot to mention a version I love, which is with Dohnányi and Cleveland.  It's out of print, but I see Amazon has some used copies:

http://www.amazon.com/B%C3%A9la-Bart%C3%B3k-Orchestra-Lutoslawski-Cleveland/dp/B00000E455/ref=sr_1_1/002-7742563-4800816?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176400499&sr=8-1

--Bruce
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 12, 2007, 03:09:06 PM
Wow! I'd never expect to learn something like this today! There's going to be a world premiere of an unknown Lutosławski piece in Warsaw on April 29th. It will be his Lord Tennyson song (1982) reconstructed from a manuscript by Paweł Łukaszewski. I'm not sure I'll be attending (I only learned all this a minute ago) but I'll certainly think about it!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Catison on April 12, 2007, 03:25:09 PM
I recall those two Third's being released so close to each other -- a rather odd coincidence!  Actually I have not yet heard Salonen's (not for not wanting to), which does seem to have gotten more votes than the composer's version. 

PS, back to the Concerto.  Forgot to mention a version I love, which is with Dohnányi and Cleveland.  It's out of print, but I see Amazon has some used copies:

http://www.amazon.com/B%C3%A9la-Bart%C3%B3k-Orchestra-Lutoslawski-Cleveland/dp/B00000E455/ref=sr_1_1/002-7742563-4800816?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176400499&sr=8-1

--Bruce

Oh yes, this is definitely the recording to get.  I got it in an Apex box with 3 other cds, including Schoenberg's chamber symphonies, Messiaen's Quartet and a disc of American string music.  I was very lucky I snapped it up at BRO.  It doesn't appear there anymore.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 12, 2007, 10:09:55 PM
Oh yes, this is definitely the recording to get. 

There are plenty of good recordings of the CfO; it's been very lucky on record. I've got versions by Barenboim, Wit, & Rowicki, and they're all excellent in different ways.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Harry on April 12, 2007, 11:31:35 PM
I would like to invite some comments, or recommendations from other performers.
I bought these some time ago, and quite enjoy them.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Harry on April 12, 2007, 11:32:41 PM
And some more!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Harry on April 12, 2007, 11:34:38 PM
Last one
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 13, 2007, 12:04:52 AM
Harry, those are highly recommendable (tho' I haven't heard the one with the 4th Symphony).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 12:14:10 AM
Harry, those are highly recommendable (tho' I haven't heard the one with the 4th Symphony).


That is good to hear, thank you!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 13, 2007, 01:32:25 AM
Harry do you actually like everything on those discs, Jeux Vénetiens and all? :o I'd be a bit surprised, knowing your tastes. But, OTOH, they might be expanding (the Sonic Steamroller!)... ;D

I don't have the whole Naxos series but the ones I have are all very good. The one with the 4th Symphony is my favorite recording of the Partita.

I notice you're still missing this one:
(http://www.merlin.com.pl/images_product/12/8555994.jpg)
Get it! I'm convinced you'll love it!

I've recommended this one to you once before, and I repeat my wholehearted recommendation once more:
(http://www.merlin.com.pl/images_product/8/PNCD040.jpg)
The performances are excellent!

You might also want to try out this recording of the Piano Concerto, it's very, very good:
(http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/images/covers/046.jpg)

Here is another excellent recording of the Partita:
(http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/images/covers/029.jpg)

A great recording of the Quartet (coupled with Szymanowski's!):
(http://www.merlin.com.pl/images_product/15/0113362.jpg)

And don't forget the Philips set everyone keeps recommending:
(http://www.lutoslawski.org.pl/okladki/11.jpg)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 01:35:02 AM
Yes, strange as it may seem, this composer hits a nerve with me Maciek!

O, well vocal things from that period, are not to my taste, so I will skip the Naxos with the Christmas songs.
I wiil start with the Philips set, and ordered it already.
Thank you my friend. :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 13, 2007, 01:49:11 AM
I'm glad to hear that, Harry. He truly is one of the greatest!

And I simply forgot that thing you have with sopranos... ;) But if you ever get a chance, do try that disc, I think you might be pleasantly surprised (and if you still don't like it, you can send it to me - I only know it from the radio ;D).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 02:01:46 AM
I'm glad to hear that, Harry. He truly is one of the greatest!

And I simply forgot that thing you have with sopranos... ;) But if you ever get a chance, do try that disc, I think you might be pleasantly surprised (and if you still don't like it, you can send it to me - I only know it from the radio ;D).

Excellent idea Maciek.
Your on.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on April 13, 2007, 03:46:59 AM
The Naxos set is strong overall, IMO. I think Wit's best in the mid-period modernist works, particularly Livre, Mi-Parti and the Cello Concerto, but there are few turkeys in the series (the Piano Concerto is one: I love Paleczny's readings of the Szymanowski Symphonie Concertante, but his Lutoslawski is mediocre compared to Zimerman or Crossley).

I'll re-recommend the Phillips set (I love Rowicki's recording of the CforO in particular, though I also think the composer's 3rd symphony is excellent).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Harry on April 13, 2007, 03:54:15 AM
The Naxos set is strong overall, IMO. I think Wit's best in the mid-period modernist works, particularly Livre, Mi-Parti and the Cello Concerto, but there are few turkeys in the series (the Piano Concerto is one: I love Paleczny's readings of the Szymanowski Symphonie Concertante, but his Lutoslawski is mediocre compared to Zimerman or Crossley).

I'll re-recommend the Phillips set (I love Rowicki's recording of the CforO in particular, though I also think the composer's 3rd symphony is excellent).

Fine, I am looking forward to the Philips set! :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: johnQpublic on April 13, 2007, 03:42:18 PM
his 4th symphony is one of my faves, just so awesome.

Aww....I always go one step further and say it's a MASTERPIECE.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 13, 2007, 04:00:57 PM
That's a step in the right direction! :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Robert on April 13, 2007, 04:26:39 PM
Harry do you actually like everything on those discs, Jeux Vénetiens and all? :o I'd be a bit surprised, knowing your tastes. But, OTOH, they might be expanding (the Sonic Steamroller!)... ;D

I don't have the whole Naxos series but the ones I have are all very good. The one with the 4th Symphony is my favorite recording of the Partita.

I notice you're still missing this one:
(http://www.merlin.com.pl/images_product/12/8555994.jpg)
Get it! I'm convinced you'll love it!

I've recommended this one to you once before, and I repeat my wholehearted recommendation once more:
(http://www.merlin.com.pl/images_product/8/PNCD040.jpg)
The performances are excellent!

You might also want to try out this recording of the Piano Concerto, it's very, very good:
(http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/images/covers/046.jpg)

Here is another excellent recording of the Partita:
(http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/images/covers/029.jpg)

A great recording of the Quartet (coupled with Szymanowski's!):
(http://www.merlin.com.pl/images_product/15/0113362.jpg)

And don't forget the Philips set everyone keeps recommending:
(http://www.lutoslawski.org.pl/okladki/11.jpg)

Maciek
This particular disc you have pictured here is volume one it has symphony no. 1 and other works on it. I can't seem to locate it.  Who is the conductor?  is the disc merlin?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 13, 2007, 04:40:28 PM
Hi Robert!

Yes, they have the disc at merlin.com.pl, and it's EXTREMELY cheap (16 zlotys - that's less than $ 6!!!).

Here's a link directly to the disc:
http://www.merlin.com.pl/frontend/browse/product/4,446368.html (http://www.merlin.com.pl/frontend/browse/product/4,446368.html)

The disc contains: Lacrimosa (Stefania Woytowicz, Silesian Philharmonic Choir, NOSPR/Lutosławski), Symphony No. 1 (NOSPR/Jan Krenz), Concerto for Orchestra and Funeral Music (National Philharmonic/Witold Rowicki)

They also have volume 2:
http://www.merlin.com.pl/frontend/browse/product/4,36675.html (http://www.merlin.com.pl/frontend/browse/product/4,36675.html)

The rest is out of print, I think (there were 6 volumes in all).

Maciek
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on May 29, 2007, 11:25:42 PM
I remember posting some gibberish somewhere (can't find it...) stating that Lutoslawski was not married. I'd like to set that straight (I'd even delete the original post if I knew where it was): in 1946 he married Danuta Bogusławska. She had a son from her first marriage - Marcin Bogusławski (he is an architect). They had no children together. She copied his scores, apparently they were a very happy marriage. She survived him.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: karlhenning on June 27, 2007, 05:48:37 AM
I remember posting some gibberish somewhere (can't find it...) stating that Lutoslawski was not married. I'd like to set that straight (I'd even delete the original post if I knew where it was): in 1946 he married Danuta Bogusławska. She had a son from her first marriage - Marcin Bogusławski (he is an architect). They had no children together. She copied his scores, apparently they were a very happy marriage. She survived him.

You can never find the gibberish when you need it, eh, Maciek?  8)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: MishaK on June 27, 2007, 09:47:45 AM
Can someone recommend a recording of Chain? I heard an outstanding performance here in Chicago recently with the CSO concertmaster Robert Chen and the CSO conducted by Haitink and would love to have a good recording.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brewski on June 27, 2007, 09:59:54 AM
I'm not sure if this will compare with your memory of the live one with Haitink, but it's pretty good, and conducted by the composer so you might like having it in any case.  (I haven't listened to it in awhile.)

http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Ronnefeld-Strawinsky-Dmitri-Shostakovich/dp/B00002DFFN/ref=sr_1_3/102-5466874-5712154?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1182970339&sr=1-3

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/212EN7N01QL._AA130_.jpg)

There's one on Naxos conducted by Anton Wit that has gotten good comments but I haven't heard it.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on June 27, 2007, 01:37:11 PM
Is that Chain I you're asking about or Chain III?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on June 27, 2007, 01:38:15 PM
You can never find the gibberish when you need it, eh, Maciek?  8)

I'd put it another way: there's alawys more gibberish than you want. Because it's never the gibberish you want. ;D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: MishaK 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.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brewski 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.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward 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).

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/412MBN27KKL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek 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.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Guido 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?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward 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).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo 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.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek 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.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: BachQ 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?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward 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. ;)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: BachQ 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. ;)

Edward:  U da man!

U da man .......
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Greta 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.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek 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).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: BachQ on January 10, 2008, 04:40:07 AM
I think Mi-parti is among Lutoslawski's masterpieces,

I always love a good parti ..........
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Guido 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.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Greta 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...
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Guido 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!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brewski 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. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: M forever 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.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Guido 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.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Greta on January 24, 2008, 06:03:53 PM
Been listening more to my recordings of Concerto for Orchestra. :) I love Wit's tempos and the overall feel of his interpretation, though the sound is kind of recessed. The Dohnanyi recording has stellar sound and playing, but the tempi are so quick! I do love their 2nd mvmt though.

Been browsing Amazon....any opinions of the following recordings?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4107Y2BZKRL._AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61ZRZQEYXNL._AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JJ34THY3L._AA240_.jpg)

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/92/cf/f2ba225b9da087533378e010._AA240_.L.jpg)

I would love to hear Lutoslawski's own recording, but I can't believe how expensive it's gotten...$50-100!

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AV63AQ03L._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on January 24, 2008, 10:52:54 PM
That's a nice list (I have the Tortelier on my wishlist myself) but what you really need, Greta, is to finally turn on PM notifications in your GMG settings! ;) ;)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: ChamberNut on June 18, 2008, 05:58:08 AM
I'm going to be attending a chamber music performance this week, which includes Lutoslawski's Four Silesian Melodies for 4 violins (1945)

Does anyone have any recommendations for recordings?

Thank you in advance!  :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on June 18, 2008, 07:29:30 AM
I don't think that specific version has ever been recorded. However, the 4 Silesian Melodies are an arrangement of 4 pieces from the Folk Melodies for piano (1945 - the 4 violin version is from 1954), so you could try that as a sort of substitute.

But even then, there's a catch, as I don't think anyone has released a recording of the whole cycle (which is pretty strange - I own the score: this is very attractive music). :'( There are two recordings I am aware of, and I have heard neither of them, so can't recommend anything.

1)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4174254XC7L._SS500_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Nocturnal-Benjamin-Britten/dp/B000002RTP/)

Julian Bream - Nocturnal. This is played on the guitar ( ???). Judging by samples - at a very leisurely pace. :-\

2)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HYkzl5VsL._SS500_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000S5E6U2/)

Ann Martin-Davis - Lutoslawski The Complete Piano Music. The title of this album appears to be a complete hoax, as even the Folk Melodies are only partially represented (only 5 of the complete 12), not to mention the absence of Lutoslawski's Piano Sonata (which, at the time the CD was released, was only available in manuscript - but then, that's only half an excuse :P). I don't even see my favorite Lutoslawski piano piece - the short Invention. >:(

This, again, is rather slowish (either that, or there was something wrong with my metronome when I was playing these pieces ;D).

The complete cycle has most certainly been recorded by at least one person for the Polish Radio, but never commercially released - I've heard it a couple of times, but don't remember the pianist.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on June 18, 2008, 07:33:19 AM
Bream--whose arrangement apparently came with the composer's approval--is certainly far more recommendable than the very pedestrian Martin-Davies. I only keep the latter disc because it's the only recording I have of the Epitaph for oboe and piano that could be said to inaugurate Lutoslawski's late style (plus the only recording I have of the voice/piano version of the Five Songs that you don't like the words to).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on June 18, 2008, 07:34:08 AM
Oh, and 5 of them he transcribed for strings, but I'm not sure if they're the same pieces as in the 4 violin version. One recording I'm aware of and, again, don't know:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/116F5P5683L._SL500_AA130_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Works-String-Orchestra-David/dp/B00006GA66/)

Lutoslawski - Complete Works for String Orchestra, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie/Jean-Paul Dessy (on Forlane)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on June 18, 2008, 07:38:15 AM
(plus the only recording I have of the voice/piano version of the Five Songs that you don't like the words to).

Edward, if you're ever on the lookout for a different take, you should definitely get the Ewa Podles recording of the Five Songs (on CD Accord)! 8) (Not for the Five Songs, really, or not only for them, but for a fantastic Szymanowski, and a few other gems.)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: ChamberNut on June 18, 2008, 08:21:05 AM
I don't think that specific version has ever been recorded. However, the 4 Silesian Melodies are an arrangement of 4 pieces from the Folk Melodies for piano (1945 - the 4 violin version is from 1954), so you could try that as a sort of substitute.

But even then, there's a catch, as I don't think anyone has released a recording of the whole cycle (which is pretty strange - I own the score: this is very attractive music). :'( There are two recordings I am aware of, and I have heard neither of them, so can't recommend anything.

Interesting to hear that it hasn't been recorded yet (4 violin version).  Thanks alot for the info.  Looking forward to hearing the performance tomorrow night, as I'm really intrigued now.  :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on June 18, 2008, 09:27:37 AM
Edward, if you're ever on the lookout for a different take, you should definitely get the Ewa Podles recording of the Five Songs (on CD Accord)! 8) (Not for the Five Songs, really, or not only for them, but for a fantastic Szymanowski, and a few other gems.)
Now you've got me intrigued as I love that work, both in orchestral and voice/piano garb....do tell me more. ;)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on June 20, 2008, 10:22:43 AM
Now you've got me intrigued as I love that work, both in orchestral and voice/piano garb....do tell me more. ;)

Well, there's not all that much to say, really. It's simply a great disc, with great singing - especially if you like contraltos. The repertoire is a very basic survey of Polish song, from Chopin to the 20th century, with Lutosławski's cycle as a sort of crowning achievement. My favorites on the disc are a performance of Chopin's Leci liście z drzewa that is near to perfection, some very good Karłowicz, a shattering Three Kasprowicz Hymns (Szymanowski's) - with an absolutely breathtaking final song (Błogosławiona niech będzie ta chwila...), and an excellent Lutosławski (I sort of got used to the text by now ;D), maybe a trifle too aggressive (in the more impressionistic sections), but then being extreme is her style, and she's great at it. The Moniuszko seems a bit of a weak link to me - I know more convincing interpretations, the music seems to be calling for more restraint. Or maybe it's just a matter of getting used to a slightly different approach...

Pobłocka is absolutely peerless throughout.

Here's the last of the Kasprowicz cycle - I've never heard it done better, don't even think it's possible.

http://www.mediafire.com/?dmi3nmzn7d5 (http://www.mediafire.com/?dmi3nmzn7d5)

And here's Wind from the Five Songs - you'll agree it's at least gale force. ;D

http://www.mediafire.com/?jqivn1ymxuy (http://www.mediafire.com/?jqivn1ymxuy)

And here's the cover:
(http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/images/covers/045.jpg) (http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/album.php?acd=045&lang=en)

And here's... No, that will be all for the moment. ;D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: The new erato on June 27, 2008, 07:29:40 AM
You're all in luck; from the August release lists:

price: £9.50£8.09 ex.VAT
 
LUTOSLAWSKI Symphonies, Concerto for Orchestra etc. Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra / Witold Lutoslawski. EMI 3cds
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Dundonnell on September 26, 2008, 01:21:25 PM
I am not a huge fan of Lutoslawski's later music(boo, hiss-my loss, I am sure :() but one work which I know that I ought to buy and listen to but have not yet acquired is the Cello Concerto.

Can someone...Maciek, Guido?....recommend a version for me? The Naxos is obviously the cheap option but I could, no doubt, pick up a better version(if appropriate) cheaply elsewhere.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Novi on September 26, 2008, 01:25:47 PM
I am not a huge fan of Lutoslawski's later music(boo, hiss-my loss, I am sure :() but one work which I know that I ought to buy and listen to but have not yet acquired is the Cello Concerto.

Can someone...Maciek, Guido?....recommend a version for me? The Naxos is obviously the cheap option but I could, no doubt, pick up a better version(if appropriate) cheaply elsewhere.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SFAJ8PRQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

With a great Dutilleux to go with it as well :).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Dundonnell on September 26, 2008, 01:36:16 PM
Of course...since the concerto was (I seem to recall) written for Rostropovich that would be an obvious choice, wouldn't it :) There are lots of cheap copies around too ;D

Thanks! Will hold off in the hope of more comment though :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on September 26, 2008, 02:16:48 PM
I'm very happy with any of Rostropovich, the Naxos or Wispelwey on Channel Classics (coupled with a very fine Elgar concerto). The other half-dozen or so performances that I have operate on a somewhat lower level.

Of those three, I'd have a hunch that Wispelwey might appeal most to someone not convinced of the merits of later Lutoslawski, though if I'm honest I will say that I find it one of the most abrasive of his mature works (it's also my single favourite composition by this composer, for what it's worth).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Dundonnell on September 26, 2008, 02:19:41 PM
I'm very happy with any of Rostropovich, the Naxos or Wispelwey on Channel Classics (coupled with a very fine Elgar concerto). The other half-dozen or so performances that I have operate on a somewhat lower level.

Of those three, I'd have a hunch that Wispelwey might appeal most to someone not convinced of the merits of later Lutoslawski, though if I'm honest I will say that I find it one of the most abrasive of his mature works (it's also my single favourite composition by this composer, for what it's worth).

That's interesting! Thank you!

I should just add for those like some guy who think that I am a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, reactionary(which I probably am ;)) that I have collected almost all of the Naxos Lutoslawski series in order to try to broaden my horizons :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on September 26, 2008, 03:21:32 PM
I don't know the Wispelwey, so can't say, but the Rostropovich is a great recording. And so is the Andrzej Bauer (on Naxos). Bauer is really a wonderful cellist, it's a pity his discography (http://www.andrzejbauer.pl/discography.html) isn't larger (yet). And the entire Naxos series is excellent (OK, at least the 4 or 5 volumes that I own are), so you can feel quite safe with that investment. (Even if you don't like the music, the investment was a good one. ;D)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Catison on September 27, 2008, 07:48:27 AM
Of course...since the concerto was (I seem to recall) written for Rostropovich that would be an obvious choice, wouldn't it :) There are lots of cheap copies around too ;D

Thanks! Will hold off in the hope of more comment though :)

I haven't heard any other recording than the Naxos, but let me say that this is one of those pieces that I reserve for special occasions because of its intensity.  The beginning alone, with that menacing repeated note on the cello, makes you hold your breath, waiting for some unleashed demon.  It is out of this world.

I also recently listened to Symphony No. 3 with Wit, and I have to say this is one of my favorite pieces of music.  It is always so satisfying, never too much modernism for its own sake.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: karlhenning on September 27, 2008, 07:56:35 AM
With a great Dutilleux to go with it as well :).

I've got that one around, somewhere . . . I need to listen again!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on September 27, 2008, 09:59:10 AM

I also recently listened to Symphony No. 3 with Wit, and I have to say this is one of my favorite pieces of music.  It is always so satisfying, never too much modernism for its own sake.

That's one of the things I like best about Luto - he never made a fetish of modernist techniques, but always used them for their expressive value. This is one reason why his music is so strongly communicative.

And the 3rd Symphony rocks the house  8)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Guido on September 29, 2008, 07:57:38 AM
Dundonnell:

I bought the Naxos recording on the recommendation of the fine people on this forum, and although I like it very much, I still prefer the Rostropovich version - as I have already said on this thread, that Rostropovich CD coupled with the Dutilleux is one of the absolute high points in his recorded output - and that is realy saying something. The Dutilleux is similarly fantastic - this is one of the best recordings of anything in my collection.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Dundonnell on September 29, 2008, 08:55:43 AM
Ok, that clinches it :)

The Rostropovich version it will be!

It will give me another version of the Dutilleux(I already have the Lynn Harrell on Decca with Charles Dutoit and the Arto Noras on Warner with Jukka-Pekka Saraste) but what the hell :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on January 25, 2009, 09:59:34 AM
Bumped in memory of the composer's 96th birthday.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on February 15, 2009, 02:45:46 PM
I keep forgetting to mention that CD Accord have embarked on a Lutoslawski "Opera Omnia" project. They've released one disc of chamber music so far, and they plan to release 1 to 2 discs per year until they've gone through the entire catalogue. I can only applaud their effort but I wish they had a tighter schedule... ::) ;D

(http://merlin.pl/Lutoslawski-Muzyka-Kameralna_Witold-Lutoslawski,images_big,2,ACD1442.JPG) (http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/tracks.php?acd=144&lang=en)

(I really, really like this cover.) [EDIT I mean I really like the photo; the lettering/design is OK but it seems a bit derivative - wasn't there a series dedicated to some other composer that looked/looks almost exactly the same?? otherwise, I like it too - and maybe I'm imagining things anyway; but the photo is just great - that radiator, that suit, that little ladder, the lines, well - everything!]








(Also of note is the recent Brilliant box containing, I think, re-releases of selected tidbits from the old Polskie Nagrania Lutoslawski series.)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on December 31, 2009, 02:03:35 PM
Here (http://sandflyer-titb.blogspot.com/2009/03/witold-lutosawski-anne-sophie-mutter.html) you can find a live recording of Lutoslawski's "violin concerto" (Partita + Interlude + Chain 2). Played by Anne-Sophie Mutter! Warsaw Philharmonic/Antoni Wit, Grzegorz Gorczyca - piano.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on January 02, 2010, 12:29:14 AM
I keep forgetting to mention that CD Accord have embarked on a Lutoslawski "Opera Omnia" project. They've released one disc of chamber music so far,

What's on it?



btw- you must think you're so cool just because you've got so many Ace Composer Threads (ACTs) 8)!!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on January 02, 2010, 03:12:36 AM
 8)

String Quartet
Recitativo e arioso for violin and piano
Bucolics for viola and cello
Grave for cello and piano
Subito for violin and piano
Sacher-Variation for cello solo
Partita for violin and piano
Four Silesian Melodies for 4 violins

Total time: 73.14

Performers:
Lutosławski Quartet Wrocław
Radosław Pujanek - violin
Marcin Markowicz - violin
Artur Rozmysłowicz - viola
Maciej Młodawski - cello
Krzysztof Jakowicz - violin
Jakub Jakowicz - violin
Andrzej Bauer - cello
Bartosz Bednarczyk - piano
Elżbieta Zawadzka - piano
Jan Krzysztof Broja - piano

I hope you've been to the Bacewicz thread recently? There's a fantastic download posted there.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on August 09, 2010, 12:52:30 PM
There's a volume 2 in the CD Accord series (they're taking their time, I guess). ACD 161.

It has Symphonies 2 and 4 played by the Wroclaw PO under Kaspszyk.

Not sure if it's already out or just about to be released. (Can't find it for sale on-line.)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 10, 2010, 07:29:58 PM
I'm trying to get more into Lutoslawski, can anybody recommend a work, besides Concerto for Orchestra, that I might enjoy? Thanks for any recommendations.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on August 10, 2010, 08:00:37 PM
I'm trying to get more into Lutoslawski, can anybody recommend a work, besides Concerto for Orchestra, that I might enjoy? Thanks for any recommendations.

I'd have to go with the Salonen disc of 3-4 on Sony (the blue tint cover). Or, if it's not too expensive, just get the EMI 2-CD with the Symphonies 1-2, and a whole lot of other good stuff (don't get this confused with the "other" EMI 2-CD set, with the String Quartet).

However, if you're conservative, you will like the Funeral Music, and the Paganini piece. ;D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 10, 2010, 08:06:50 PM
I'd have to go with the Salonen disc of 3-4 on Sony (the blue tint cover). Or, if it's not too expensive, just get the EMI 2-CD with the Symphonies 1-2, and a whole lot of other good stuff (don't get this confused with the "other" EMI 2-CD set, with the String Quartet).

However, if you're conservative, you will like the Funeral Music, and the Paganini piece. ;D

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm more musically moderate. I can listen to very radical works or I can listen to something more tonal. It all depends on my own ears and, of course, my own tastes in music.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on August 10, 2010, 08:46:13 PM
I'm trying to get more into Lutoslawski, can anybody recommend a work, besides Concerto for Orchestra, that I might enjoy? Thanks for any recommendations.

This is a great disc:


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TCN2K56XL._SS500_.jpg)


Although this particular disc is OOP. But look for the reissue (still on DG) with different couplings featuring Mutter, though I haven't the Mutter performances.

Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on August 10, 2010, 08:47:37 PM
I'm trying to get more into Lutoslawski, can anybody recommend a work, besides Concerto for Orchestra, that I might enjoy? Thanks for any recommendations.

If you can find the Philips Duo "The Essential Lutoslawski," grab it.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on August 11, 2010, 12:02:50 AM
Mirror Image, given that the piece you enjoy so far is the Cto for orch, it might be prudent not to venture immediately into more "advanced" Lutoslawski, and listen to some more of his "lighter" (ie. earlier) stuff first. I would recommend the 1st Symphony (a piece in many ways very similar to the Concerto) and the Paganini Variations (the performance on Polskie Nagrania is only serviceable, I'd recommend Argerich instead, or a recording of the orchestrated version, which is even more fun).

Also Ouverture for strings, Silesian Tryptich, Little Suite, Dance Preludes, and Funeral Music (the most "advanced" piece in this set).

And you'll get your sample of more "modern" Lutoslawski inevitably - it'll come as couplings with all of these. ;D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on August 14, 2010, 07:41:20 AM
Not sure if it's already out or just about to be released. (Can't find it for sale on-line.)

Definitely out. In the last couple of days I've spotted it multiple times in regular brick-and-mortar stores.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: karlhenning on August 14, 2010, 07:43:07 AM
Mmmm.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on September 23, 2010, 03:24:10 AM
Great! That's the only recording of the Partita that I still don't have and I have been trying to hunt it down for ages!

The Interlude itself, OTOH, isn't such a rare find. I have 3 different recordings, including one in the popular Naxos series (under Wit, coupled with Chain 2 and the Partita, as well as the 4th Symphony and Funeral Music).

I agree the Interlude is an absolutely wonderful piece. Lutoslawski as minimalist (rather in the style of Tomasz Sikorski).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: karlhenning on September 23, 2010, 04:11:59 AM
Great! That's the only recording of the Partita that I still don't have and I have been trying to hunt it down for ages!

The Interlude itself, OTOH, isn't such a rare find. I have 3 different recordings, including one in the popular Naxos series (under Wit, coupled with Chain 2 and the Partita, as well as the 4th Symphony and Funeral Music).

I agree it's an absolutely wonderful piece. Lutoslawski as minimalist (rather in the style of Tomasz Sikorski).

By that last, you mean the Partita, Maciek? . . . a piece I don't know . . . .
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on September 23, 2010, 04:41:53 AM
Well, I meant the Interlude, but actually the Partita (which isn't at all minimalistic) is probably my favorite Lutoslawski piece - don't know what it is about it that I like so much. It's very emotional and "romantic" (despite the title). The amazing thing about it is that it was originally conceived as a piece for violin and piano, but the version for violin and orchestra sounds as if it was never intended to be played by anything other than an orchestra. Wonderfully colorful.

My favorite recordings are by Jakowicz and Mutter.

(I've edited my previous post to remove the ambiguity.)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: karlhenning on September 23, 2010, 04:45:38 AM
Well, only six minutes of minimalism can't be too bad ; )

Is that a dis-endorsement of the Naxos recording then, Maciek?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on September 23, 2010, 05:14:58 AM
I regret to say it is. (Because I generally like the violinist, Krzysztof Bakowski, very much. I just don't think he does well in this specific instance.)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: karlhenning on September 23, 2010, 05:35:52 AM
Thanks!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on September 23, 2010, 07:54:43 AM
I'd agree there; I don't think the Naxos recording can be regarded as competitive against Mutter. Also, why they recorded the triptych in the wrong order is entirely beyond me....

I've got the original issue of that CD; again I don't think the performances of the major works are the best I've heard, but it is nice to get the whole triptych in the right order!

FWIW, I still prefer the original violin/piano version of Partita. I think the orchestral additions slightly weaken the focus of what is one of L's best works.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: lescamil on September 23, 2010, 12:26:28 PM
FWIW, I still prefer the original violin/piano version of Partita. I think the orchestral additions slightly weaken the focus of what is one of L's best works.

Completely agree, although I think my personal reason comes from the fact that I discovered the work through a very spirited performance while at university, which incidentally was also coupled with Penderecki's 2nd violin sonata, but the Partita was much better. It really shines in live performance.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on September 23, 2010, 02:33:32 PM
But pedantic haggling is what the fun of forums like this is all about! ;D (That, and broad generalizations, of course. :P) So let me join in. ;D

There is more to minimalism than the American brand. And there are other ways of creating minimal music than repetition. The brand of minimalism I had in mind (I did mention Tomasz Sikorski, one of the first minimalists in Europe) is based on reducing means and material. And in that respect, I think one could say that the Interlude is a minimalistic work.

Anyway, I think you're right about the re-release being the only Interlude recording with the composer conducting, which makes it all the more attractive. However. ;D One of the two Wojciech Michniewski recordings is quite excellent. Though I don't remember at the moment which one (I have both). They're both good, but I remember that one of them stands out.

I'm surprised to hear people feel that the orchestrated version of the Partita is so deficient in comparison to the original. I never felt that way. I do have several recordings of both versions (have heard them performed live too), and a score of the chamber version, and have always found the orchestrated version more effective and definitely no less focused. But to each his own, I guess. It may be that I still haven't heard that performance of the chamber version. ;D I do like both of them anyway - the piece has such a fantastic urgency - but I like the orchestrated version better.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 24, 2010, 07:02:32 PM
I just purchased 7 of the Wit conducted recordings and I really look forward to hearing them.
 
I've done some research on Lutoslawski and would just like to know what is it about his music that you enjoy so much?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on September 24, 2010, 11:00:17 PM

I've done some research on Lutoslawski and would just like to know what is it about his music that you enjoy so much?

What I like about his music is basically:

1. In general, he was able to combine the most advanced modernist techniques with a strong communicative dramatic sense. This ensures that his music is never boring - there's always a sense that it's going somewhere, and the incidents along the way remain interesting.

2. His scoring often has an extraordinary "human" quality - the instruments shout, laugh, sigh, argue, etc. This creates a very vivid soundscape.

3. His use of form is highly psychological - that is, it is geared to dealing with the listener's expectations and experiences. Luto once said that, although he was an admirer of Brahms, he found B's symphonies exhausting because of the heaviness of B's ideas when expressed in 4-mvt. classical form. By contrast, Luto devised a binary form which met his expectations better.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 26, 2010, 06:09:24 PM
Velimir and Toucan thank you for your responses. They have been very informative. :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brewski on January 31, 2011, 08:56:31 AM
Last Friday, as the grand finale of Juilliard's annual Focus! Festival (Polish Modern: New Directions in Polish Music Since 1945) conductor Jeff Milarsky led the Juilliard Orchestra in a sensational all-Lutoslawski program. All four pieces were fascinating, but the clear highlight was Jay Campbell, in a brilliant performance of the Cello Concerto (1969-70). I last heard this when Yo-Yo Ma played it in the opening concerts at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, but as good as he was, Campbell made an even stronger impression--and he played it from memory.

Review here (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/arts/music/31focus.html).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on January 31, 2011, 12:27:04 PM
Looks like a great concert indeed. And probably a cellist to look out for!

{I do have a gripe about that NYT title, though: "composer who rolled the dice"? Oh, doesn't that sound fancy. But it is precisely what Lutoslawski did not do in the pieces mentioned. He may have done that in Venetian Games (don't remember, but can't rule it out, as it was Lutoslawski's only out-and-out aleatoric piece). But the fact remains that Lutoslawski rarely (if ever!) used aleatoric procedures as part of the composing process!

[OK, OK, so maybe in a figurative sense. He "rolled the dice" because he did not notate everything precisely, so he couldn't predict how certain sections of the pieces would be performed exactly. But same can be said about virtually any piece (how about basso continuo?) - it's just a matter of degree of freedom. And those ad libitum sections in Lutoslawski are actually devised in such a way that the resulting "sound" is quite consistent between various performances (even in the string quartet, which has no actual score). Plus: when the phrase "roll the dice" is used in conjunction with alleatorism, one automatically imagines the composer literally throwing dice to decide on some aspect of the composition - which was not the case in any of the pieces mentioned in the article (at least not according to my knowledge).]

End of rant.}
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brewski on January 31, 2011, 12:49:59 PM
Hi Maciek, most interesting. Here's what the program notes say (which is probably where the reviewer got the comments), in the notes for the Cello Concerto:

"The Concerto is the earliest of the four pieces heard tonight that incorporates aleatoric procedures, which Lutosławski  had first used in his Venetian Games (1960-61) for chamber orchestra. Having been inspired by a radio broadcast of [John] Cage's Concert for Piano and Orchestra, he gave Cage the manuscript of Jeux V in gratitude. Lutosławski 's version of chance procedures is, however, quite different from Cage's. Whereas Cage conceived randomization as a way to completely avoid asserting the composer's personal taste, Lutosławski used randomization with certain controls, so that he retained complete control over pitches but left some elements of rhythm or coordination up to chance...

"...Lutosławski , on the other hand
[i.e., as opposed to Cage], provides the players with fully written-out material. The only thing truly left to chance is coordination. For much of the Cello Concerto, the orchestral writing is controlled-aleatory, and creates clouds of sound that conflict with the audible drama of the cellist's part."

Perhaps something got slightly lost in translation, on the way from notes-to-review?

--Bruce
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on January 31, 2011, 01:18:10 PM
Maybe I'm just being unkind. In fact, there is nothing in the review itself to suggest that Lutoslawski actually rolled dice (or tossed a coin, or whatever) while composing. But the title is very evocative (in the context of alleatoric music)... I'm sure the author's* motives were completely innocent ("think up short and catchy title"). But it is a bit misleading (and might maybe give the wrong idea about the music?).


[* - update: the author of the review probably wasn't involved in creating the title, see Bruce's explanation below]
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brewski on January 31, 2011, 01:22:30 PM
Yes, I think you're right about the "short and catchy" part. (And PS, for what it's worth, the Times's headlines are created by another person on staff, different from the writer.) Catchy, maybe, but inaccurate.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: karlhenning on January 31, 2011, 01:24:57 PM
Well, ’tis pity, for the headline creates the initial impression.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on January 31, 2011, 04:42:14 PM
(And PS, for what it's worth, the Times's headlines are created by another person on staff, different from the writer.)

Oops, didn't know about that. How embarrassing. That was a bit unfair of me then - I shouldn't have implied that the author was to blame. Sorry.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on January 31, 2011, 11:10:35 PM
(even in the string quartet, which has no actual score).

 ??? What is this supposed to mean?

I was at a performance of the String Quartet just a few months ago. The musicians definitely had some pieces of paper in front of them. What's more, the performance sounded a lot like the recording I have. How can it "not have a score"?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on February 01, 2011, 01:56:18 AM
Each of the musicians has his part, but there is no standard score, because the parts are not "synchronized". So there would be no point in writing out a score (a score indicates which notes should be played simultaneously).

I'm guessing the beginnings of sections are coordinated somehow (at least that's how it works in the ad libitum sections of his orchestral pieces).

The fact that what you heard sounded similar to a recording proves the composer was right when he pronounced that "controlled aleatorism" doesn't limit "in the least the full ability of the composer to determine the definitive form of the work" (quote comes from Lutoslawski's comments on the quartet).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on February 01, 2011, 12:50:27 PM
Oddly (and aptly) enough, yesterday France Musique aired a program on Lutosławski, with some space devoted to his adaptation of alleatoric composition methods. It can be found here (should be available for the next 29 days):

Witold Lutosławski (premier volet), par François-Xavier Szymczak (http://sites.radiofrance.fr/francemusique/em/portrait/emission.php?e_id=80000069&d_id=420001818&arch=1)

Have just finished listening to it, and it's a very interesting program (though only 30 minutes long). It features a series of recordings of Lutosławski speaking (in French) about the pronunciation of his name ( ;D), his work (among other things, he touches on subjects such as working out a new idiom after 1948 or developing the 2-movement structure), his influences (Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Roussel - "the French Brahms" ;D, and most aptly, in view of our discussion here - John Cage, "the spark thrown into the powder keg in me"). As I mentioned, there's an informative section on his use of alleatorism. Some of the descriptions are very evocative. He mentions the "rhapsodic" character of the ad libitum sections, and quotes a conductor who explained to the musicians that these sections should played as if they were solo cadenzas.

Musicwise, it's just bits and pieces (a snippet from the Paganini Variations, a bit from the 1st Symphony, Concerto for Orchestra etc. - they only get to the 2nd Symphony, as there'll be a second episode next week).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on February 08, 2011, 11:52:05 AM
And this week, the second installment:

Witold Lutosławski (second volet), par François-Xavier Szymczak (http://sites.radiofrance.fr/francemusique/em/portrait/emission.php?e_id=80000069&d_id=420001819&arch=1)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brian on May 01, 2011, 10:50:08 AM
Cross-post from Listening thread:

Listening to my very first Lutoslawski: the Concerto for Orchestra. Holy cow, why didn't I figure out earlier that this guy is AWESOME? Great, great music - even prefer it to the Bartok Concerto I think - gotta move on and explore some more. Fantastic musical language, great development of themes, really dramatic emotional arc, all the things I love in 20th century work. Really need to do more listening to Lutoslawski.

PNRSO/Antoni Wit, by the way.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: DavidW on May 01, 2011, 11:02:19 AM
That is one of my favorite works Brian.  Check out the cello concerto and his 3rd and 4th symphonies while you're at it, I think you'll like them. :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Brian on May 01, 2011, 11:05:45 AM
That is one of my favorite works Brian.  Check out the cello concerto and his 3rd and 4th symphonies while you're at it, I think you'll like them. :)

I will! I'm on to Symphony No 1 right now - it sounds like Roussel, but if Roussel had not been French.  ;D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: DavidW on May 01, 2011, 11:09:16 AM
Yeah just as I discover Roussel, you discover Lutoslawski... there is a nice symmetry there. 0:)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: klingsor on May 01, 2011, 11:13:12 AM
 :) Lutoslawski and Szymanowski are the subjects of BBC3 Discovering Music this week:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010nrlt (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b010nrlt)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Scarpia on May 01, 2011, 11:44:12 AM
Cross-post from Listening thread:

Listening to my very first Lutoslawski: the Concerto for Orchestra. Holy cow, why didn't I figure out earlier that this guy is AWESOME? Great, great music - even prefer it to the Bartok Concerto I think - gotta move on and explore some more. Fantastic musical language, great development of themes, really dramatic emotional arc, all the things I love in 20th century work. Really need to do more listening to Lutoslawski.

PNRSO/Antoni Wit, by the way.

I have most of the Naxos Lutoslawski, but consider this one a cut above.



There's also this



Both feature the composer conducting his own works.

Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Luke on May 01, 2011, 12:02:11 PM
Lutoslawski is well-served with big cheap box sets, mostly the same recordings recycled - that EMI one (or something very close to it) is available in other incarnations, and often very cheaply.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 09, 2012, 09:38:19 AM
I figured I would drop by this thread and post a recent purchase:







And I thought I owned this Salonen recording but I didn't:

Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 09, 2012, 09:40:21 AM
I wonder how Brian is getting on with Lutoslawski's music now. I own all of the Wit Naxos series but something tells me these are only serviceable performances. Wit's Concerto for Orchestra was lackluster compared to the Dohnanyi one I own. I would like to get into more of Lutoslawski's mature music, but, again, Wit isn't the way I'm going to go, which is why I bought the Salonen and Gardner recordings.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on February 09, 2012, 10:26:03 AM
I wonder how Brian is getting on with Lutoslawski's music now. I own all of the Wit Naxos series but something tells me these are only serviceable performances. Wit's Concerto for Orchestra was lackluster compared to the Dohnanyi one I own. I would like to get into more of Lutoslawski's mature music, but, again, Wit isn't the way I'm going to go, which is why I bought the Salonen and Gardner recordings.
Some of the Wit performances are excellent; some are less spectacular (the Concerto for Orchestra and Piano Concerto being amongst the weaker ones). I'd regard the disc with the Cello Concerto--up there with Rostropovich for my favourite recording of the work--and Livre as probably the most outstanding of the Naxos discs.

Wit, of course, scores very highly for his thoroughness in including the lesser-known works too.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: CRCulver on February 09, 2012, 10:43:33 AM
The good thing about Lutoslawski's output 1960–1980 (which is the only period that really interests me) is that the works don't depend on a particular conductors approach. Because they consist mainly of ad libitum passages, these works sound more or less the same across recordings. I hear no difference really because the Salonen and Wit recordings of the Symphony No. 2, for example, so a listener who only has one has to worry that he's missing out on something on the other disc.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: DavidW on February 09, 2012, 11:37:12 AM
I really like Wit in the symphonies.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 09, 2012, 11:42:56 AM
Some of the Wit performances are excellent; some are less spectacular (the Concerto for Orchestra and Piano Concerto being amongst the weaker ones). I'd regard the disc with the Cello Concerto--up there with Rostropovich for my favourite recording of the work--and Livre as probably the most outstanding of the Naxos discs.

Wit, of course, scores very highly for his thoroughness in including the lesser-known works too.

I'll have to give some of Wit's performances a fresher listen. Thanks for your feedback.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on February 09, 2012, 10:13:53 PM
Some of the Wit performances are excellent; some are less spectacular (the Concerto for Orchestra and Piano Concerto being amongst the weaker ones).

Personally, I don't find the Wit/Paleczny PC to be inferior to the highly praised one by Zimerman. It's just a different take on the music, which I consider equally valid. In fact, I think Wit's series (the several installments I've heard) is solid throughout.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on February 10, 2012, 06:32:04 AM
The good thing about Lutoslawski's output 1960–1980 (which is the only period that really interests me) is that the works don't depend on a particular conductors approach. Because they consist mainly of ad libitum passages, these works sound more or less the same across recordings. I hear no difference really because the Salonen and Wit recordings of the Symphony No. 2, for example, so a listener who only has one has to worry that he's missing out on something on the other disc.
If you can get hold of the probably out of print Kofman recording on cpo--the one I used to recommend like a stuck record player--it's possible you might be surprised: at least for me the progressive sonic buildup in the second movement is far more dramatic here than on any other 2nd I've heard. (The disc also comes with an intriguingly slow 4th -- over 25 minutes -- which I don't think is fully successful, but certainly gives a different view of the work, one in which the ad libitum passages are more structurally significant than in Wit, Salonen et al.)

Personally, I don't find the Wit/Paleczny PC to be inferior to the highly praised one by Zimerman. It's just a different take on the music, which I consider equally valid. In fact, I think Wit's series (the several installments I've heard) is solid throughout.
For some reason, the Wit/Paleczny piano concerto has always felt underpowered to me (which rather surprised me as this pairing did what is easily my favourite Szymanowski Symphonie concertante). Zimerman probably remains my favourite recording, though the IMO terribly underrated Paul Crossley's recording with Salonen has to run it close. I also have Andsnes/Welser-Most, which I wanted to like more than I actually do, and Poblocka/Kord, which I need to revisit.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: lescamil on February 10, 2012, 10:20:58 AM
Believe it or not, the recording I like best of the piano concerto is the one by Leif Ove Andsnes. It is probably played the least romantically of the bunch (I haven't heard Lortie yet, though), but it has the most nuance to it. It's one of those recordings that you wouldn't expect to be so good, especially because of Andsnes's musical track record. I was frankly shocked to find out that he had recorded this piece. It does have a sound similar to how he recorded Bartók's 2nd piano concerto, speaking of Bartók, but with more lightness to it.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on March 10, 2012, 08:24:51 PM
Chain 3 is probably my favorite Luto work at the moment.

I just pulled this Post up, as I pulled up the Chain 2 (Mutter), and Chain 3 (DG) from their oblivion in The Inventory. Chain 2 was quite playful, and was I right in hearing a presumed 'violin sonata' (piano & violin) that had an ad libitum orchestration (couldn't read notes and drive!)? Chain 3 must have passed while I was lamenting the fate of my evening, so, I will have to return in the morning! ;) ;D

I see Chain 1 is the rarest, yet from the samples seems to be another quite playful work.

I don't know WL just seems lovable to me, no? Like Martinu? I did feel these pieces were, ..., I don't want to say 'old fashioned' :o, but with WL here you're just getting the 'joy' factor. 'Exuberance' is certainly a WL trait. Rules melt away, he is in The Pantheon.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 31, 2012, 05:15:19 PM
One of the things I love about live performance is: at the time you arrive at the hall, you feel only roughly, "Sure, that's a nice enough piece." And the band play their heart out, and that piece which you thought, "I can take it, I can leave it," now grabs you, and you think it one of the great works in the lit.

Thus, to-night, the Musique funèbre.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Johnll on February 20, 2013, 07:37:46 PM
Dundonnell:

I bought the Naxos recording on the recommendation of the fine people on this forum, and although I like it very much, I still prefer the Rostropovich version - as I have already said on this thread, that Rostropovich CD coupled with the Dutilleux is one of the absolute high points in his recorded output - and that is realy saying something. The Dutilleux is similarly fantastic - this is one of the best recordings of anything in my collection.
Doing some lurking on this thread. I strongly second the Rostropovich rec! The sound is not 24 bits fresh, but still fine and the performance (experience ) is A+++.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on August 07, 2013, 08:55:35 AM
I'm assuming MI has ALL Lutoslawski recordings?!?!?!haha

Is Salonen still Tops in Symphony No.3?


Just writing that reminds me of first hearing No.3. I believe it was the biggest Modern work I'd heard up until then (all recommends from Penguin; Messiaen being the other heavyweight). No.3 is one huge, sweeping Symphony. THEN, Sony re-released it, un-yolked from Messiaen, with No.4 (hey, also, who's Tops here now?,... Salonen's was never considered the best anyway)!! That was nice!

So, along with Dutilleux, where are we with the Lutoslawski Symphonies? I like the rawness of the EMI in 1-2 and hear no reason to carry farther on there.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: lescamil on August 07, 2013, 09:04:33 AM
Is Salonen still Tops in Symphony No.3?

I still have yet to hear better than Salonen for that symphony. I don't think that recording will be bettered.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 07, 2013, 09:45:33 AM
I still have yet to hear better than Salonen for that symphony. I don't think that recording will be bettered.

Agreed. A fine performance that won't likely be bettered anytime soon.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on August 07, 2013, 09:53:37 AM
I'm assuming MI has ALL Lutoslawski recordings?!?!?!haha

Is Salonen still Tops in Symphony No.3?


Salonen's good, but I still favor the composer's own performance, which I have on the original Philips LP release. One of my formative contemporary music experiences.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 07, 2013, 09:55:48 AM
I'm assuming MI has ALL Lutoslawski recordings?!?!?!haha

Nope, I wish. :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: kyjo on August 07, 2013, 02:38:33 PM
I like a lot of Lutoslawski's music (it is at the outer fringes of my comfort zone), but there is nothing in his output as special as Symphony no. 4. Such an elegiac, haunting work. I also really enjoy his Concerto for Orchestra, a fun and exciting work.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 07, 2013, 03:01:32 PM
I like a lot of Lutoslawski's music (it is at the outer fringes of my comfort zone), but there is nothing in his output as special as Symphony no. 4. Such an elegiac, haunting work. I also really enjoy his Concerto for Orchestra, a fun and exciting work.

Will have to revisit Lutoslawski's Symphony No. 4 at some juncture, but I do remember enjoying it. Not to change the subject, but what do you think about the Second Viennese School?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: kyjo on August 07, 2013, 05:34:12 PM
Will have to revisit Lutoslawski's Symphony No. 4 at some juncture, but I do remember enjoying it. Not to change the subject, but what do you think about the Second Viennese School?

Like you (I believe), my favorite composer of the group is Berg and my least favorite is Webern. I enjoy most all of Berg's music, even though Wozzeck still scares the crap out of me! :D My appreciation for Schoenberg's music has been increasing lately, and, solely on the basis of my immense liking of his early works, he may very well surpass Berg as my favorite of the group! I still have problems with works such as Pierrot Lunaire, Variations for Orchestra and the SQs 3 and 4, but I've come to understand his 12-tone works more, especially the Piano and Violin Concertos. But my love for his early works is incomparable to my growing admiration of his later works. Verklarte Nacht, Pelleas et Melisande, Gurrelieder, Chamber Symphony no. 1 and String Quartet no. 2 (especially in its expansion for string orchestra-magical!) are just magnificent works! It is a continual source of puzzlement for me that these works are so neglected in the concert hall while R. Strauss' vastly overrated orchestral works (with the exception of Metamorphosen, the only work of his that doesn't leave me cold) get so much attention. Webern? As I've mentioned before, I love Passacaglia, Im sommerwind and Langsamer satz, but I fail to understand the logic behind his later works. I find no emotion whatsoever in these works. Schoenberg and Berg, at least, continued the Romantic tradition in their music to varying degrees. But Webern has no connection to the Romantic tradition, at least to my ears. Back to Berg, do you own this two-disc set?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fkiTDb%2B1L._SY300_.jpg)

The main selling point of this set is the inclusion of a sumptuous orchestration of the Piano Sonata and a completion of an orchestral Passacaglia that Berg left unfinished at his death. You might question the Gothenburg SO under the direction of an Italian conductor in such repertoire, but they are much more than just competent. :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 07, 2013, 06:51:33 PM
Like you (I believe), my favorite composer of the group is Berg and my least favorite is Webern. I enjoy most all of Berg's music, even though Wozzeck still scares the crap out of me! :D My appreciation for Schoenberg's music has been increasing lately, and, solely on the basis of my immense liking of his early works, he may very well surpass Berg as my favorite of the group! I still have problems with works such as Pierrot Lunaire, Variations for Orchestra and the SQs 3 and 4, but I've come to understand his 12-tone works more, especially the Piano and Violin Concertos. But my love for his early works is incomparable to my growing admiration of his later works. Verklarte Nacht, Pelleas et Melisande, Gurrelieder, Chamber Symphony no. 1 and String Quartet no. 2 (especially in its expansion for string orchestra-magical!) are just magnificent works! It is a continual source of puzzlement for me that these works are so neglected in the concert hall while R. Strauss' vastly overrated orchestral works (with the exception of Metamorphosen, the only work of his that doesn't leave me cold) get so much attention. Webern? As I've mentioned before, I love Passacaglia, Im sommerwind and Langsamer satz, but I fail to understand the logic behind his later works. I find no emotion whatsoever in these works. Schoenberg and Berg, at least, continued the Romantic tradition in their music to varying degrees. But Webern has no connection to the Romantic tradition, at least to my ears. Back to Berg, do you own this two-disc set?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fkiTDb%2B1L._SY300_.jpg)

The main selling point of this set is the inclusion of a sumptuous orchestration of the Piano Sonata and a completion of an orchestral Passacaglia that Berg left unfinished at his death. You might question the Gothenburg SO under the direction of an Italian conductor in such repertoire, but they are much more than just competent. :)

Thanks for your feedback here, Kyle. I've seen that Berg set, but do not own it. But I already own so much Berg, but I will investigate that set, so thanks for your recommendation here. For me, The Second Viennese School continue to captivate me. I really admire all three composers even though I don't (yet) understand Webern's later works, but Schoenberg and Berg are two of my favorite composers. Their music still frightens most audiences even today and that, to me, is real Modernism right there. When a work breaks the rules, shocks people, but continues to leave people in wonderment. These composers had substance in their music and this is one reason I continue to come back time and time again.

Back to Lutoslawski...
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on August 07, 2013, 07:46:17 PM
So who's Tops in No.4? Wit?

Sony
Naxos
CPO
Dux
Chandos

Wow, that's 5 recordings. WL's doin' pretty well for himself.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 07, 2013, 07:53:14 PM
So who's Tops in No.4? Wit?

Sony
Naxos
CPO
Dux
Chandos

Wow, that's 5 recordings. WL's doin' pretty well for himself.

I have yet to hear the CPO (Kofman) or Dux (Blaszczyk), but, for right now, Sony (Salonen) really stands at the top of the heap, although I remember enjoying Gardner's performance quite a bit.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: kyjo on August 08, 2013, 04:48:29 AM
So who's Tops in No.4? Wit?

Sony
Naxos
CPO
Dux
Chandos

Wow, that's 5 recordings. WL's doin' pretty well for himself.

There's little to choose between Salonen (Sony) and Wit (Naxos) IMO. Both are excellent performances.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on August 08, 2013, 05:36:56 AM
There's little to choose between Salonen (Sony) and Wit (Naxos) IMO. Both are excellent performances.

I have yet to hear the CPO (Kofman) or Dux (Blaszczyk), but, for right now, Sony (Salonen) really stands at the top of the heap, although I remember enjoying Gardner's performance quite a bit.

I thought Salonen's was originally criticized, not for being a rush-job, but, I mean, it waaas a brand new piece,... I would have thought the others, with more time to get acquainted, would be able to add the special zing to the proceedings? huh

Well, either way you slice it, that original Sony 3-4 IS a classic issue. Still, I'd love to hear from the basement dweller with all five recordings, haha!!

Totally forgot about the CPO.


Symphony No.2

Along with the 'Livre', I find this Lutoslawski's 'Xenakis moment'. I just love all the activity. Again, I've only heard the EMI, and the rawness is very appealing. I'm curious about Salonen here: must be some awesome sonics, and I wonder how he deals with all the 'ad libitum'.


YOU KNOW WHAT? LUTO REALLY IS A GREAT ALL AROUND MODERN,... at least three 'styles', lots of variation, lots of technique, huge statements, totally abstract,... yet... all at the same time very gut level... yaaay!!!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 08, 2013, 05:42:01 AM
Yeah, snyprrr, Lutoslawski is just amazing in the sheer amount of orchestral textures he's able to conjure up.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on August 10, 2013, 04:47:48 PM
Salonen's good, but I still favor the composer's own performance, which I have on the original Philips LP release.
Seconded. I know Lutoslawski said that Salonen's performance was far better, but I don't agree; there's something more impactful about the way the Berliners build tension (the recording ambience may contribute, too).

So who's Tops in No.4? Wit?

Sony
Naxos
CPO
Dux
Chandos
I've heard Salonen, Wit, Kofman and Gardner, and have quite a strong preference for Salonen here. Of the others I've heard, Wit is to my ear a more broad-brush-stroke reading than Salonen; acceptable but not really a first choice, while Kofman's a very different view, with broad tempi that do threaten to leave the momentum sagging even as they illuminate details I missed in other recordings. In the context of the preceding three, Gardner is largely superfluous.

(I'd still regard the Kofman as an essential Lutoslawski purchase, as his is the only recording of the 2nd that has ever managed to convince me of the work's stature.)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on August 12, 2013, 04:43:04 AM
Seconded. I know Lutoslawski said that Salonen's performance was far better, but I don't agree; there's something more impactful about the way the Berliners build tension (the recording ambience may contribute, too).
I've heard Salonen, Wit, Kofman and Gardner, and have quite a strong preference for Salonen here. Of the others I've heard, Wit is to my ear a more broad-brush-stroke reading than Salonen; acceptable but not really a first choice, while Kofman's a very different view, with broad tempi that do threaten to leave the momentum sagging even as they illuminate details I missed in other recordings. In the context of the preceding three, Gardner is largely superfluous.

(I'd still regard the Kofman as an essential Lutoslawski purchase, as his is the only recording of the 2nd that has ever managed to convince me of the work's stature.)

edward saves the day... except now you're piquing my interest in that Kofman, arrgh!!

Still, one MUST consider the LUXURY of having FIIIVE recordings of something like the Fourth. Not every Composer is afforded such a luxury, as we all well know.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 14, 2013, 05:14:04 PM
Lutoslawski's masterful Piano Concerto:

Although Lutoslawski was a concert pianist for five years of his career, he did not get around to writing a piano concerto until his last decade, a time when his music was mellowing. The work is in four continuous movements and features greater emphasis on melody and less on aleatoric counterpoint, an element found in many of his previous large compositions.

Cast in four sections, the opening panel serves as a sort of introduction, presenting the materials from which the succeeding movements spring. It begins in a haze of trills and swirls, an air of mystery and playfulness immediately evident. The piano enters delicately in the upper register, maintaining the ethereal mood. Tension gradually accrues, and the piano erupts, provoking the orchestra to violently spring to life just in time for the start of the second movement.

The driving second movement begins menacingly in the bass register, swirling upwards, taking on a Bartókian sort of rhythmic spring, both on the keyboard and then in the orchestra. The music mixes playfulness with a queasy sense of risk, of danger lurking around the corner. The latter moments are eerie as the music slowly fades. The composer's aleatoric contrapuntal procedures are in evidence more so in the second movement than in any other.

The third movement also begins on the piano, the music slowly taking shape, initially seeming to struggle to find its lyrical way in the long piano solo that dominates the first half. The orchestra finally enters, imparting a sense of tension with its softly trilling strings. The piano erupts in the latter half, drawing out hazy brass proclamations and anxious string activity. The music turns calm until the start of the finale.

The theme for this final movement is delivered throughout by the orchestra and is made up of short phrases filled out by rests. The music, then, has a sort of stop-and-start character in its creepy opening. The piano's material is derived from the main theme and is imaginatively integrated with the orchestra's music. The finale has a somewhat episodic character as tension builds and variants come and go. The piano writing is dazzling throughout and the presto ending is thrilling.

[Taken from All Music Guide]

What does everyone think of this work? I have recently fallen for this concerto thanks to a Lortie/Gardner performance, which I'm sure someone probably don't like here. ::) ;) Everyone has their favorites, right? :) Anyway, the last movement contains some pretty impressive harmonies, but the whole work sounds amazing and like it would be quite taxing on the soloist. Looking forward to hearing the Zimerman performance I have on the way.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: lescamil on August 14, 2013, 08:14:13 PM
One of my favorite piano concertos of the last 50 years. One composer I am reminded of quite a bit in this concerto is... wait for it... Chopin. Those of you who know it well might agree. There are some passages in the piano part that have the same sort of freedom and lyricism, even in the non-aleatoric parts that are conducted and sync up normally. The second and fourth movements are real barn-burners that should attract more pianists than the piece currently does. It is a really tough piece, though, which perhaps is one reason why it doesn't get played often (it still gets performances, though).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2014, 08:41:33 PM
A great documentary with Steven Stucky and Esa-Pekka Salonen detailing the life of Lutoslawski:

http://www.youtube.com/v/lJ9EeRvYRTY
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: lescamil on February 20, 2014, 11:14:28 PM
Steven Stucky: there's a man who could back up his great compositions with an equal gift for talking about music. Believe it or not, John Adams's preconcert talks at the LA Phil are a step down from Stucky's preconcert talks when he was still here as artistic director. He wrote a book on Lutoslawski that I would like to read someday.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 21, 2014, 07:10:27 AM
Steven Stucky: there's a man who could back up his great compositions with an equal gift for talking about music. Believe it or not, John Adams's preconcert talks at the LA Phil are a step down from Stucky's preconcert talks when he was still here as artistic director. He wrote a book on Lutoslawski that I would like to read someday.

Yeah, Stucky seems to be considered an authority on Lutoslawski. I'm sure that book would be good.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on February 27, 2014, 06:44:05 AM
Who do we like in Symphony No.4? (I'm assuming you will say Wit- Chandos?)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 27, 2014, 06:55:23 AM
I like Salonen/LA Philharmonic on Sony. :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on February 27, 2014, 04:52:09 PM
I like Salonen/LA Philharmonic on Sony. :)
I think I would tend to agree here. The composer's own recording is also strong, but Salonen's orchestral playing is IMO superior. I don't think the Naxos Wit or the Gardner are on the same level. An interestingly slower alternative view of the work is offered by Kofman on cpo--I don't think it's entirely successful but it's a big contrast to other readings, and is interestingly paired with the only reading of the 2nd to completely convince me of the work's merits.

(FWIW, my 3rd of choice is BPO/Lutoslawski. The composer may have compared it unfavourably with Salonen's recording, but I think he was being overly self-critical here.)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: lescamil on February 27, 2014, 09:24:39 PM
Salonen with Lutoslawski has not been beat in any recordings I have heard, and that goes for just about everything purely orchestral. Some of the solo works such as the Piano Concerto and Les Espaces du Sommeil have better recordings with their respective soloists.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on February 28, 2014, 09:00:02 AM
I think I would tend to agree here. The composer's own recording is also strong, but Salonen's orchestral playing is IMO superior. I don't think the Naxos Wit or the Gardner are on the same level. An interestingly slower alternative view of the work is offered by Kofman on cpo--I don't think it's entirely successful but it's a big contrast to other readings, and is interestingly paired with the only reading of the 2nd to completely convince me of the work's merits.

(FWIW, my 3rd of choice is BPO/Lutoslawski. The composer may have compared it unfavourably with Salonen's recording, but I think he was being overly self-critical here.)

Are you sure you're not speaking of the famous 3rd, in which Salonen and the composer are definitely rivals,... but the 4th?

I like Salonen/LA Philharmonic on Sony. :)

... because Salonen's recording is very early, and I thought someone newer would have perhaps eased into it more (I seem to recall Salonen being not totally transcendent in the 4th, like he wasn't ready to make it sound better than it is- eh? (not saying it isn't great))?

No, I'm sold on Salonen in the 3rd- I should probably again get that blue Sony.


Also, that EMI 3-cd: does anyone know is it a regular width jewel case or what?



To me, ole Luto has such a limited Ooo-vre- his Discography is pretty well mapped out now and there's really nothing to GET (oh no, what shall we do?!?!). The EMI set and Salonen cover most all you'd really want,... plus, I like the Alban Berg a lot in the SQ,... maybe the Double Concerto on Philips,... Cello Concerto with Slava,... what is there?,...

So, whp do we like in the Piano Concerto? There's quite a lot to choose from. I'd be a sucker just for the DG, but there's too many others contending. Eh? (have I asked this before?) (am I gearing up for a CDCDCD run??????)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on February 28, 2014, 09:20:59 AM
Who else likes Barenboim/CSO in the 3rd? It's faster overall than other recordings I know (27:53), and generally different enough from other performances to be worth the listen.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on February 28, 2014, 10:31:36 AM
Are you sure you're not speaking of the famous 3rd, in which Salonen and the composer are definitely rivals,... but the 4th?
Yep. Lutoslawski recorded the 4th for Polskie Nagranie a year before his death.

Re: the piano concerto; I can't go far beyond Zimerman/Lutoslawski. Poblocka/Kord or Crossley/Salonen would probably be my second pick; Paleczny/Wit I find uncompetitive and Lortie/Gardner was a bit of a disappointment to me, as I thought the work would suit Lortie well.

Oddly enough, I've never got around to hearing the Barenboim 3rd.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: lescamil on February 28, 2014, 11:13:30 PM
For the Piano Concerto, Andsnes and Welser-Möst (I forget which orchestra) is the best one I know, both for soloist and orchestra/conductor. Andsnes brings out some of the hidden romantic qualities while being attentive to what really makes the work Lutoslawski. Welser-Möst brings an almost Boulez or Salonen-like amount of detail to the orchestral part. Even better is that this is a live recording, making the sound a bit more vibrant than the others.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 03, 2014, 09:14:49 AM
Has anyone here been collecting the Opera Omnia series on the Accord label? I'm thinking of picking up the recording with Symphonies 2 & 4, but there are three other volumes so far in the series. The newest volume contains Symphony No. 1 and Concerto for Orchestra.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on April 06, 2014, 09:44:40 AM
For the Piano Concerto, Andsnes and Welser-Möst (I forget which orchestra) is the best one I know, both for soloist and orchestra/conductor. Andsnes brings out some of the hidden romantic qualities while being attentive to what really makes the work Lutoslawski. Welser-Möst brings an almost Boulez or Salonen-like amount of detail to the orchestral part. Even better is that this is a live recording, making the sound a bit more vibrant than the others.

Well, this one was only 47 cents... plus shipping! But, yea, how can one go wrong here?...


Has anyone here been collecting the Opera Omnia series on the Accord label? I'm thinking of picking up the recording with Symphonies 2 & 4, but there are three other volumes so far in the series. The newest volume contains Symphony No. 1 and Concerto for Orchestra.

I just went ahead and... AGAIN... ordered that 3 disc EMI set (I have the 2 disc set... then there was the OTHER 2 disc set... both EMI, different, ... but now the three discs are all in one place... thank God it was only $6), and also Salonen's 3&4 (yes, also reordered, but only pennies).

My point being I can't see any reason to go beyond those viciously awesome original recordings,... I'll even buy them again instead of trying out 'New' Lutoslawski. I mean, I almost had to get Zimerman just on principle,... a total CDCDCD move if there ever was one. Thankfully, the penny pincher won out there, haha!!


Someone would really really have to do a song and dance to get me to try ANY other WL Cycle or Series, at this point. I mean, Salonen would be the obvious choice, anyhow. WHAT actual works are more stupendous in the Naxos Cycle?... Chandos?... Accord?...

Sure, works like Symphony 2 surely invite competition... but I'd like to hear something totally different, then, than what's offered on EMI.

They've sealed up Lutoslawski every which way till Sunday... and, he's got quite a smaller Works List than many others. Surely the book on WL is closing and consensus will begin to build on recordings? I mean, HOW MANY discs of 'Complete Piano Music' can one stand? ??? The only reason I got the 3-EMI was to get the 'Preludes & Fugue' and the ultra rare 'Postlude 1'. (wasn't that on the old EMI disc with Schmidt and Busoni?)


btw- i like the ABQ in the SQ (pdq!)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: lescamil on April 06, 2014, 07:31:50 PM
Has anyone here been collecting the Opera Omnia series on the Accord label? I'm thinking of picking up the recording with Symphonies 2 & 4, but there are three other volumes so far in the series. The newest volume contains Symphony No. 1 and Concerto for Orchestra.

They're all available (6 volumes now) on MOG. Initial listenings reveal a more than capable Lutoslawski conductor in Jacek Kaspszyk, whom a friend of mine has long recommended to me for this music. The chamber music performances are also great. Color me impressed so far.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 06, 2014, 08:07:13 PM
I just went ahead and... AGAIN... ordered that 3 disc EMI set (I have the 2 disc set... then there was the OTHER 2 disc set... both EMI, different, ... but now the three discs are all in one place... thank God it was only $6), and also Salonen's 3&4 (yes, also reordered, but only pennies).

My point being I can't see any reason to go beyond those viciously awesome original recordings,... I'll even buy them again instead of trying out 'New' Lutoslawski. I mean, I almost had to get Zimerman just on principle,... a total CDCDCD move if there ever was one. Thankfully, the penny pincher won out there, haha!!

Someone would really really have to do a song and dance to get me to try ANY other WL Cycle or Series, at this point. I mean, Salonen would be the obvious choice, anyhow. WHAT actual works are more stupendous in the Naxos Cycle?... Chandos?... Accord?...

Sure, works like Symphony 2 surely invite competition... but I'd like to hear something totally different, then, than what's offered on EMI.

They've sealed up Lutoslawski every which way till Sunday... and, he's got quite a smaller Works List than many others. Surely the book on WL is closing and consensus will begin to build on recordings? I mean, HOW MANY discs of 'Complete Piano Music' can one stand? ??? The only reason I got the 3-EMI was to get the 'Preludes & Fugue' and the ultra rare 'Postlude 1'. (wasn't that on the old EMI disc with Schmidt and Busoni?)

btw- i like the ABQ in the SQ (pdq!)

Luto's own recordings on EMI are really good, but obviously not the final word on his music. Besides Salonen, I do like Gardner's performances on Chandos a lot. I haven't heard people talk about these recordings all that much for whatever reason, but I think Gardner's series certainly outclasses Wit's. It seems to be a general consensus that Wit's performances aren't up to par with older recordings nor has he got the edge on some of these newer recordings coming out on the Accord label, which seem to be getting incredibly favorable reviews so far. I'd like to collect these at some point, but I think I'll wait once some other volumes are released, which two more volumes will released later this month.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 06, 2014, 08:09:01 PM
They're all available (6 volumes now) on MOG. Initial listenings reveal a more than capable Lutoslawski conductor in Jacek Kaspszyk, whom a friend of mine has long recommended to me for this music. The chamber music performances are also great. Color me impressed so far.

Yep, it seems this series is a win/win so far. Definitely will be acquiring them all at some point.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 06, 2014, 08:20:06 PM
Two new additions to Lutoslawski catalog:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71mN1%2BOOp7L._SL1400_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81yZE2w3Y5L._SL1400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on April 07, 2014, 06:16:08 AM
Luto's own recordings on EMI are really good, but obviously not the final word on his music. Besides Salonen, I do like Gardner's performances on Chandos a lot. I haven't heard people talk about these recordings all that much for whatever reason, but I think Gardner's series certainly outclasses Wit's. It seems to be a general consensus that Wit's performances aren't up to par with older recordings nor has he got the edge on some of these newer recordings coming out on the Accord label, which seem to be getting incredibly favorable reviews so far. I'd like to collect these at some point, but I think I'll wait once some other volumes are released, which two more volumes will released later this month.

Yea, if I want to supplement the 'Original' recordings, I'll wait until the dust settles and everyone comes into agreement. Still, can't wait to again hear that Salonen 3rd. I remember the 3rd being one of those things that impressed me early in my learning- probably heard it along with that Messiaen from Salonen.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on April 07, 2014, 05:35:50 PM
Symphony No/3 (1983)

I just listened to Salonen again after decades, and I'm surprised how much of it I remember, just such a sweeping and at times mysterious score. It takes me back to when I discovered it at the library, maybe 20 years ago. This was what I thought was the 'Last Symphony'- the last Composer of High Modernism still writing something called a 'Symphony' (Penderecki having "turned back"). It was the last word in the Romantic Symphony tradition, in my mind, being more Modern sounding than Dutille...x ... well, I hadn't heard Gerhard at the time... but, anyway, the 3rd seemed to tower over the modern landscape as a "current" piece, written in the '80s,... and it had such a "hook", that open rat-a-tat-tat that hinged my listening. This music made this novice feel like he had arrived and could do anything!

And, I think the arrival of the more conservative 4th solidifies the 3rd's reign over Lutoslawski's arch. Anyhow, I forgot how powerful- almost like Simpson I thought- but such an original utterance, and form, and WL has always seemed like such a happy pappy concerning this work.

And Salonen's seamless and sumptuous reading, and the deliciously cool sounding recording instantly transport me. It might be Desert Island material.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on April 08, 2014, 09:14:43 AM
Symphony No.4 (1992)

Salonen again,... this time it sounds like Bartok's 'Symphony' from 1954,... don't you think? I hear lots of Late Bartok. As I said before, I still feel that WL "settled down" and retreated from the edge a bit, and wrote a somewhat normal one-movement Symphony, but, how can this not be the final word on the Romantic Symphony?- it has an almost elegiac quality in its nobility and contour- but it doesn't give any real concession to '"popularity", meaning, he didn't do a Penderecki in the end, which is nice- that the Romantic Tradition ends like this rather than that. Maybe this paragraph doesn't make sense, hmm. Haha!!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on April 11, 2014, 06:25:09 AM
Piano Concerto (1988)

How many recordings do we now have? Zimerman, Polacka(?), Ohlsson, Crossley, Andsnes, Lourie, Kupic,... and the Naxos guy! I mean, that's pretty impressive, and the PC seems to be poised to accept the award for Best PC of the Last 20 Years, simply by being the most well know,... I suppose.

I did ask you all what you thought here, but Andsnes was only .73 cents (and, I mean, it's Andsnes!... with FWM conducting!), so, what did I have to loose? But I'm going to ask: Is it too perfect? I mean, it's a quite sweet production, but I was almost disconcerted by Andsnes extreme virtuosity, as if it almost sounded  fake? I don't know,... anyhow, it sure is a pristine rendition. I mean, I'm not really complaining at all, it's just so... so perfect I don't know what to do, ack!! I think I really have to compare to Zimerman, who sounds just a tab more "relaxed" (whatever I mean by that).

It seems as though most all of the performances clock in at 25 minutes, and WL is pretty specific about timing, so, there's not too much to listen for there. Perhaps only the individuals' viruosity is the only thing that separates them? Here, Andsnes has such a razor sharp articulation in the upper registers that it sounds like each note was pasted on individually. The piano is just a fraction in front of the orchestra, which may add to that 'concertante' feeling, but it's nothing really noticeable. Don't get me wrong, I'm just trying to find sooomething wrong with it because it's so perfect sounding.

Either way, what of the music? One can read our own CRCulver's take: he's just not into WL's Late Style too much, thinking it perhaps sounds to Romantic (and one can hear the  Big Romanticism here), but I was able to hear lots of things carried over from Symphony No.3. Still, it isn't THE most Avant-Garde work in history. Perhaps if this was the Gerhard PC (written in the '50s?) it would be held up now as the perfect combination of Modern & Romantic, but that would place this music much earlier than 1994. But I'm not sure how much earlier this music cooould have been written- maybe earlier '80s, but that just places it with Sym. 3. I like to see it an 'End Game' piece: the 'Gotterdammerung' of Romantic Style, dying in the fires of the New World.

Lots of the Composers of High Modernism became more 'Melodic', or something, seeing the Age of High Modernism die in the New Romanticism, so, I imagine, they felt the need to "do it right". And I think that's what WL achieves here, the sound of the end of an era. I know it's not the most brooding piece ever, but it does have a certain Tragic feel to it if you listen to it as such?.

The PC and the Symphony Np.4 do share a similar emotional core, and though I can appreciate Mr. Culver's questionings, I'd still hold this music up- not as something 'Brave'- but as the BEST example of what a 'Retreat' SHOULD sound like. mm?? Ultimately, I hear something Funereal here, and I don't know who else (Boulez? no, Xenakis? no, Ligeti? no) would have been the one to write this kind of music. WL: the most 'human' of the High Modernists?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 11, 2014, 06:49:24 AM
Piano Concerto (1994)

Actually this dates from around 1988. He wasn't able to compose much in 1994, since he died early in the year.

Quote
Either way, what of the music? One can read our own CRCulver's take: he's just not into WL's Late Style too much, thinking it perhaps sounds to Romantic (and one can hear the  Big Romanticism here), but I was able to hear lots of things carried over from Symphony No.3. Still, it isn't THE most Avant-Garde work in history. Perhaps if this was the Gerhard PC (written in the '50s?) it would be held up now as the perfect combination of Modern & Romantic, but that would place this music much earlier than 1994. But I'm not sure how much earlier this music cooould have been written- maybe earlier '80s, but that just places it with Sym. 3. I like to see it an 'End Game' piece: the 'Gotterdammerung' of Romantic Style, dying in the fires of the New World.

By the same reasoning I could see Romantically-inclined listeners criticizing it for being too "modern" or "avant-garde." I see where you're coming from, and in the context of Luto's overall development, it looks like a nostalgic look back. But so what? Listened to on its own terms, I find it quite captivating. It's certainly one of the handful of his pieces I like to return to again and again.

Quote
WL: the most 'human' of the High Modernists?

Quite possibly, yes  :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on April 11, 2014, 08:00:29 AM
Actually this dates from around 1988. He wasn't able to compose much in 1994, since he died early in the year.

Well... hurmph >:(... the NERVE of him!! It must've been an afterthought! :laugh: Maybe it was ghost-written by Corigliano? :'( :laugh:

Take my wife... please! :-[ ::) :P
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maciek on April 13, 2014, 11:36:39 PM
Not sure if anyone is aware of NInA's Three composers site:

http://threecomposers.pl/ (http://threecomposers.pl/)

There's quite a selection of recordings to listen to on-line (hover over the name "Lutosławski" and select "music" to get to the list).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: EigenUser on May 13, 2014, 02:24:21 PM
Just heard Luto 4 for the first time. Awesome piece!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 13, 2014, 02:27:58 PM
Just heard Luto 4 for the first time. Awesome piece!

Certainly is. What other Lutoslawski works have you heard, Nate?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Cato on May 13, 2014, 02:31:34 PM
Just heard Luto 4 for the first time. Awesome piece!

Thanks to Maciek, you can hear many works on line: here is the Fourth Symphony.

http://threecomposers.pl/utwor/iv-symfonia (http://threecomposers.pl/utwor/iv-symfonia)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: EigenUser on May 13, 2014, 05:58:36 PM
Certainly is. What other Lutoslawski works have you heard, Nate?
Let's see...
-Symphony No. 4 -- loved
-CFO -- liked
-Cello Concerto -- hated (sorry guys :-[)
-Symphony No. 3 -- didn't like, but I'll give it another go
-Venetian Games -- didn't like
-Piano Concerto -- really liked
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on May 14, 2014, 07:18:08 AM
Let's see...
-Symphony No. 4 -- loved
-CFO -- liked
-Cello Concerto -- hated (sorry guys :-[)
-Symphony No. 3 -- didn't like, but I'll give it another go
-Venetian Games -- didn't like
-Piano Concerto -- really liked

You like Late WL. You should definitely try harder with No.3 (Salonen most preferably). Surely you'll like the other Early Music like Symphony 1 or the Funeral Music. The Cello Concerto is his most misunderstood piece imo,- the word 'farty' pops into mind (I had it in the pile for listening this week- to make some sense of it- yea, it's hard to like). I don't blame you there- but- out of all the Modern Composers, WL is The One you should try to 'Like'. Things like Symphony 2 and 'Venetian Games' should be attempted at regular intervals to force the barrage of notes down your throat- you'll eat your dissonance like a man!!

Sym 3 is a massive Romantic 'End of the World' piece- very big brassy chords and lots of distinctive melody in a very dramatic arc of events- who doesn't thrill to the opening ba-da-da-da? I imagine it written in 1899...

Really, other than Sym 4 and the PC, what major Late Work is there? The Mutter disc?...
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: EigenUser on May 14, 2014, 07:29:54 AM
You like Late WL. You should definitely try harder with No.3 (Salonen most preferably). Surely you'll like the other Early Music like Symphony 1 or the Funeral Music. The Cello Concerto is his most misunderstood piece imo,- the word 'farty' pops into mind (I had it in the pile for listening this week- to make some sense of it- yea, it's hard to like). I don't blame you there- but- out of all the Modern Composers, WL is The One you should try to 'Like'. Things like Symphony 2 and 'Venetian Games' should be attempted at regular intervals to force the barrage of notes down your throat- you'll eat your dissonance like a man!!

Sym 3 is a massive Romantic 'End of the World' piece- very big brassy chords and lots of distinctive melody in a very dramatic arc of events- who doesn't thrill to the opening ba-da-da-da? I imagine it written in 1899...

Really, other than Sym 4 and the PC, what major Late Work is there? The Mutter disc?...
Yeah, the Luto cello concerto reminds me a little bit of the Ligeti cello concerto, which (as much as I love Ligeti) is a piece that I really don't like. I've tried many times -- with the score, without the score, different recordings, in a box, with a fox...

I do not like it, Sam I am! :laugh:

There is some Luto on the Berlin's digital concert hall and I've been looking at that recently. I think I'll listen to the 2nd symphony next. Is that a 'difficult' one as well? How does it compare to the cello concerto?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on May 14, 2014, 07:43:40 AM
Yeah, the Luto cello concerto reminds me a little bit of the Ligeti cello concerto, which (as much as I love Ligeti) is a piece that I really don't like. I've tried many times -- with the score, without the score, different recordings, in a box, with a fox...

I do not like it, Sam I am! :laugh:

There is some Luto on the Berlin's digital concert hall and I've been looking at that recently. I think I'll listen to the 2nd symphony next. Is that a 'difficult' one as well? How does it compare to the cello concerto?

It's more like 'Venetian', random-y and violent! Yaaay!!



btw- everyone was writing unattractive CCs during the '60s.



But, Sym 3 shouldn't be a problem, - just be in the mood for 30 minutes.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on May 14, 2014, 07:45:39 AM
I'm taking Slava CC in the car. Back l8r
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: EigenUser on May 14, 2014, 08:38:04 AM
I'm taking Slava CC in the car. Back l8r
Make sure to play it loud and disturb others in traffic :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: .
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: jochanaan on May 14, 2014, 08:42:26 AM
...But, Sym 3 shouldn't be a problem, - just be in the mood for 30 minutes.
Lutoslawski 3 has one of the most powerful endings in all music--that long slow buildup to the percussion-filled ending... ;D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on May 14, 2014, 01:37:14 PM
Make sure to play it loud and disturb others in traffic :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: .

y'know... I enjoyed it a lot this time. I already knew to expect the rrrm rrrm rrrm rrrm rrrm, and I still find it ridiculously convoluted- the opening solo- and - I guess he meant it that way- very Xenakian.

And yea, I knew to expect the brass braying- but, at some point, when it all just sounded like a game being tossed around to different sections, the joy of sound and noise took over and I could start appreciating it. It definitely reminds me of the Xenakis Cello Concerto of 1969- it could very well have come from him in an odd mood- and, considering Xenakis had a little criticism for the Polish non-scientifics- maybe Lutoslawski was showing how far he could go. And this concerto goes pretty far in trying to "be something".

But, at the moment, I'm giving the shadow of the doubt to WL. (nice piano and percussion interplay)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: not edward on May 14, 2014, 03:08:28 PM
There is some Luto on the Berlin's digital concert hall and I've been looking at that recently. I think I'll listen to the 2nd symphony next. Is that a 'difficult' one as well? How does it compare to the cello concerto?
I'd say the 2nd symphony is as tough listening as it gets, Lutoslawski-wise. Definitely a harder sell than the cello concerto. For the mid-period, gritty Lutoslawski (1960-1976) I'd suggest Livre, Mi-parti or Paroles tissees as perhaps easier to connect with than the symphony.

But your mileage may very; after all, the cello concerto's my single favourite Lutoslawski work. :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on May 14, 2014, 05:04:33 PM
after all, the cello concerto's my single favourite Lutoslawski work. :)

It's quite a unique structure- but what do you like? The solo scales in the beginning sound kind of Xenakian, as does a lot of the obsessive atmosphere and the sense that we are experimenting on the spot in a lab gives the impression of High Modernity (it is the late '50s after all). The crashing back and forth between groups... I find the structure to be tube-like- it just goes in one straight line from beginning to end (though it's quite a  messy ride)... what do you think?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: EigenUser on May 19, 2014, 02:14:02 PM
Is anyone here familiar with the Luto "Ten Polish Dances" for orchestra (John, I'm looking at you $:))? I acquired a large conductor's score of this work for $3.50 today (it was an oversize score of a familiar name -- how could I resist at that price?), but I have never heard of it previously. I listened on YouTube later today and it reminds me of the thing for clarinet and orchestra that he did.

It even comes with what appears to be a detachable poster of Lutoslawski! Reminds me of a quote I saw commenting on how the CSO website has a downloadable picture of Boulez for desktop wallpaper:
Quote
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra thinks a race of people exists who want to download an image of Boulez onto their computer desktop.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 19, 2014, 02:30:00 PM
Is anyone here familiar with the Luto "Ten Polish Dances" for orchestra (John, I'm looking at you $:))? I acquired a large conductor's score of this work for $3.50 today (it was an oversize score of a familiar name -- how could I resist at that price?), but I have never heard of it previously. I listened on YouTube later today and it reminds me of the thing for clarinet and orchestra that he did.

It even comes with what appears to be a detachable poster of Lutoslawski! Reminds me of a quote I saw commenting on how the CSO website has a downloadable picture of Boulez for desktop wallpaper:

Yep, I know the work and really enjoy it. Of course, it's written in his 'folk-influenced style' but it's still good fun nonetheless. The pinnacle of this folk-influenced style is the Concerto for Orchestra, which Lutoslawski wasn't terribly fond of.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: EigenUser on May 19, 2014, 04:59:10 PM
Yep, I know the work and really enjoy it. Of course, it's written in his 'folk-influenced style' but it's still good fun nonetheless. The pinnacle of this folk-influenced style is the Concerto for Orchestra, which Lutoslawski wasn't terribly fond of.
Ah, the CFO -- I've been meaning to hear that again. I've heard it twice so far and really enjoyed it.

Do you like the 2nd symphony? I've still been meaning to hear that one as well. Apparently it's kind of a gnarly work.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 19, 2014, 05:17:17 PM
Ah, the CFO -- I've been meaning to hear that again. I've heard it twice so far and really enjoyed it.

Do you like the 2nd symphony? I've still been meaning to hear that one as well. Apparently it's kind of a gnarly work.

Honestly, I don't like Symphony No. 2 with Symphonies 3 & 4 being much more to my taste. Symphony No. 1 is quite good too for an early work. If I were to be even more honest, some of my favorite Lutoslawski are the works he wrote for voice and orchestra. These works are completely spellbinding. I still enjoy many of his purely orchestral works and the concertante works, except the Cello Concerto, which I've never warmed to and can't get my head around it.

Do you own any Lutoslawski recordings yet?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on May 19, 2014, 05:31:44 PM
except the Cello Concerto, which I've never warmed to and can't get my head around it.

oh, you and he aught to get along just fine! ;) :laugh:
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: EigenUser on May 19, 2014, 05:35:47 PM
Honestly, I don't like Symphony No. 2 with Symphonies 3 & 4 being much more to my taste. Symphony No. 1 is quite good too for an early work. If I were to be even more honest, some of my favorite Lutoslawski are the works he wrote for voice and orchestra. These works are completely spellbinding. I still enjoy many of his purely orchestral works and the concertante works, except the Cello Concerto, which I've never warmed to and can't get my head around it.

Do you own any Lutoslawski recordings yet?
No, I've been listening via YouTube. I also have a subscription to the Berlin DCH which I love because the concerts stream from my iPhone to the AppleTV connected to the big screen and sound system. They have the 2nd (among others) -- I think I'll watch it tomorrow.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: EigenUser on May 24, 2014, 07:00:30 AM
Okay, I just saw Luto's 2nd symphony and was ready to not like it. I thought that the first movement ("Hesitant") was kind of dull, but I actually admit that I enjoyed the second movement ("Direct"). It was exciting!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 21, 2014, 08:59:28 PM
Okay, I just saw Luto's 2nd symphony and was ready to not like it. I thought that the first movement ("Hesitant") was kind of dull, but I actually admit that I enjoyed the second movement ("Direct"). It was exciting!

I'll freely admit to not being particularly fond of Symphony No. 2. Symphonies 1, 3, & 4 are excellent and more to my liking. Have you heard the Piano Concerto or the Concerto For Orchestra? Lutoslawski took some time to grow on me, but he's definitely one of my favorite post-war composers.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 21, 2014, 09:17:09 PM
I know Karlo and I have watched this series, but would be interested to know if anyone else has seen this series? If you haven't, here's your chance:

http://www.youtube.com/v/FE-MDGn7piU

http://www.youtube.com/v/zk3rNitzZkM

http://www.youtube.com/v/t01vDsOO0Dw

http://www.youtube.com/v/JnM7jljMazU

Very informative and entertaining.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on September 22, 2014, 06:04:24 AM
Okay, I just saw Luto's 2nd symphony and was ready to not like it. I thought that the first movement ("Hesitant") was kind of dull, but I actually admit that I enjoyed the second movement ("Direct"). It was exciting!

my favorour
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994) PIANO CONCERTO.... MEH...EH...
Post by: snyprrr on September 16, 2015, 01:46:13 PM
Piano Concerto

I just pulled out Andsnes, with Most, but, it wasn't too far in that I started feeling that this was an old-fashioned piece. It just started to sound like Rachmaninov to me, 1940s, maybe WL going back to his roots, even with a Modernist bent? Anyhow, after everything else I've been into lately, this piece came off as a bit tepid. I seriously feel like crossing it off my list, as 'Done'. I was really quite taken aback, wondering how I got this reaction. But, the music itself isn't very essential, and there are a lot of typical Lutoslawski-isms going on, making it seem more like an exercise to me.

shugs

What can you tell me today?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994) PIANO CONCERTO.... MEH...EH...
Post by: Mirror Image on September 16, 2015, 02:30:50 PM
Piano Concerto

I just pulled out Andsnes, with Most, but, it wasn't too far in that I started feeling that this was an old-fashioned piece. It just started to sound like Rachmaninov to me, 1940s, maybe WL going back to his roots, even with a Modernist bent? Anyhow, after everything else I've been into lately, this piece came off as a bit tepid. I seriously feel like crossing it off my list, as 'Done'. I was really quite taken aback, wondering how I got this reaction. But, the music itself isn't very essential, and there are a lot of typical Lutoslawski-isms going on, making it seem more like an exercise to me.

shugs

What can you tell me today?

For me, Lutoslawski's strength lies in his works for voice and orchestra. Such incredible orchestration in these works. I can take or leave a lot of Lutoslawski but these vocal works are outstanding. FYI, I"m a fan of the Piano Concerto, but prefer Lortie's with Gardner on Chandos. That is a performance that just feels right to me. Every nuance is carefully brought to the foreground and Gardner is a sensitive accompanist.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: lescamil on September 16, 2015, 02:54:37 PM
Andsnes's recording of the Lutoslawski piano concerto is a very romanticized interpretation, make no mistake about it. However, it is probably my favorite interpretation of the work. The work, upon further study of the score, really feels, to me at least, like Lutoslawski was taking a sort of indirect approach to a neo-romantic style, keeping the idiom thoroughly his own, but much of the piano writing is very romantically bent in terms of how it's written. The cadenza in the second movement to me just screams it. I am sure that Lutoslawski did this intentionally, seeing that he wrote the piece for Krystian Zimerman, a pianist who was known for his Chopin and other romantics. A more romantic interpreter such as Andsnes is what the piece needs. Zimerman's two recordings of the work are a bit more subtle and pulled back, and I really enjoy those, as well, but Andsnes and Welser-Möst are tops. That's just my two cents.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on September 16, 2015, 05:24:33 PM
I hear what you're both saying ;)- yes and yes
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on December 13, 2015, 02:17:01 AM
I've never heard his name spoken....is it pronounced Lut-oss-wuhv-ski?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Joaquimhock on December 13, 2015, 06:03:50 AM
I've never heard his name spoken....is it pronounced Lut-oss-wuhv-ski?

http://fr.forvo.com/word/witold_lutos%C5%82awski/#pl
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Scion7 on December 14, 2015, 12:36:35 AM
... but he was "Lutto" to his friends!   8)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on February 04, 2017, 09:02:58 PM
I have been bewitched by this gentleman. For me, his style is bittersweet (and I liked it), it has scary moments, which is trapped in strange situations mixed with random thoughts. Recently I listened to the awesome Cello concerto, it was an astounding masterwork! It's like a nightmare, a fear story where the cello is the character of the tale and the orchestra his awful thoughts that torture him. The concerto doesn't finish happily or with serenity because the cello suffers until the last second. This experience have me touched!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on February 05, 2017, 12:01:46 AM
I have been bewitched by this gentleman. For me, his style is bittersweet (and I liked it), it has scary moments, which is trapped in strange situations mixed with random thoughts. Recently I listened to the awesome Cello concerto, it was an astounding masterwork! It's like a nightmare, a fear story where the cello is the character of the tale and the orchestra his awful thoughts that torture him. The concerto don't finish happily or with serenity because the cello suffers until the last second. This experience have me touched!
I really love your extramusical interpretation! Very unique; it is like nothing I have heard before. I suppose people could say the same thing about many of his mature works.

I'm similarly captivated by his Piano Concerto, which I think is an absolute masterwork. Do you have any thoughts about it?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maestro267 on February 05, 2017, 07:50:00 AM
I happen to be listening to Lutoslawski right now. The "violin concerto" triptych comprising Chain II, Interlude and Partita.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on February 05, 2017, 02:26:27 PM
I really love your extramusical interpretation! Very unique; it is like nothing I have heard before. I suppose people could say the same thing about many of his mature works.

I'm similarly captivated by his Piano Concerto, which I think is an absolute masterwork. Do you have any thoughts about it?

Actually, I must revisit it for refreshing my memory. Lutoslawski's style is really unique, he creates weird atmospheres and I can perceive certain psychologic fear (it's the sensation that him give me).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on June 14, 2017, 07:20:16 PM
Was going to mention Livre pour orchestre when you mentioned similarities between him and Xenakis, but you already mentioned that piece.

https://www.youtube.com/v/xtexspg9Yyc

Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on July 02, 2017, 10:09:10 PM
He is my favorite composer of the present, as to say a composer in particular who is like a mentor figure to me at this point in time. I am very thankful for his music  :)

I hope Daddy Xenakis is still with you though
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on July 02, 2017, 10:30:42 PM
Without Stockhausen I feel that popular culture would still be in the dark ages, technology-wise. What you say about resources is true as well. I would love to read his analyses of serial compositions.

Boulez kinda hates the dry academicism associated with 'analysis,' and I tend to have the same views as him when it comes to people's obsession over the question 'what was the original series?' and 'where can the different permutations be found in this piece?'

Stockhausen took a fascinating approach to serialism which I am currently looking into...........


Not sure if Lutosławski has anything that can be regarded as serial? I do love his controlled indeterminacy, something I have taken on in my own compositions.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994) We Told Lew to Slaw Ski
Post by: snyprrr on July 03, 2017, 07:38:33 AM
My three favorite Lutoslawski works have got to be:

Symphony no 2
String Quartet
Cello Concerto

and 'Livre'... and 'Jeux venetians'...

But I do like the grandiose Symphony 3,... sometimes the more Romantic 'Preludes&Fugues'...



have trouble liking the "normal" Piano Concerto, and the Mutter disc doesn't send me too much...



might have to take the Cello Concerto out for a spin (Slava/EMI)... it's still a very odd duck in my book, very odd structure and content,... as is the SQ... pieces that make me listen through the introduction...



Maybe it's that Luto LOOKS the most like Stravinsky that makes me think of him as more conservative, or, grandfatherly,... when in actuality, he's not really (except towards the end of course)


Hearing much Igor in IX's Lutoslawski fanfare/elegy...

Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mahlerian on July 03, 2017, 01:20:59 PM
I love Boulez's quote in Beyond the Score, where he says about new materials (likened to architecture) and serialism being a solution to reach a particular aesthetic goal.

Lutoslawski was just like Xenakis, Kagel, Maderna and Berio in this regard, all being people from the Darmstadt school in the middle of all the innovations who didn't take on serialism.

Berio did use serial techniques, actually, including rows.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: CRCulver on July 11, 2017, 12:59:07 AM
I've never head Berio and Serialism in the same sentence before so this is surprising to me  :o

Berio's purely instrumental works of the 1950s (such as his first string quartet) are as stereotypical Darmstadt serialism as they come. Even many later works are serialist (Points on the Curve to Find... is based on a tone row, albeit not a 12-tone one, for example).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: snyprrr on July 11, 2017, 09:41:09 AM

 :-[ Kinda bored of him now, I've listened to like 130 of his works, hundreds of times already  :laugh:

Break out 'Plan 9'??!!!

"Stew-pid, stew-pid"
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maestro267 on September 18, 2017, 04:15:09 AM
Listening to the Piano Concerto for the first time. I like what I've heard of Lutoslawski's music so far. I think my favourite work of his is the Cello Concerto. Or, to use my alternative title for the work, "Interruptions for cello and orchestra".
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 18, 2017, 05:00:26 AM
Listening to the Piano Concerto for the first time. I like what I've heard of Lutoslawski's music so far. I think my favourite work of his is the Cello Concerto. Or, to use my alternative title for the work, "Interruptions for cello and orchestra".

My favorite works from Lutoslawski are his song cycles. Their atmosphere and the exquisitely done orchestrations make these works hugely enjoyable for me.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 18, 2017, 12:31:25 PM
Listening to the Piano Concerto for the first time. I like what I've heard of Lutoslawski's music so far. I think my favourite work of his is the Cello Concerto. Or, to use my alternative title for the work, "Interruptions for cello and orchestra".

The cello concerto is such a singular composition, there is no any similar work, completely remarkable and unique. The piano concerto is not as appealing as this one. Another work I like so much by him is the string quartet, fuc**ng music from his most frightening nightmares.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Ainsi la nuit on July 12, 2018, 02:45:53 AM
Jotting down a few thoughts on Lutosławski and his music - one of my favourite composers...

I first encountered Lutosławski through his work for two pianos, the variations on Paganini's famous 24th caprice. It's a fun work, an absolute blast to listen to, but ultimately not a very important part of his massive oeuvre. Back then though, at the ripe age of (around) 15, it made a big impression. It was terribly quirky music, with odd harmonies, funky rhythms and irresistible momentum. It was Martha Argerich and Gabriela Montero playing, a performance from the 2007 Verbier Festival that I found from my local library on a DVD. Anyway, I really enjoyed the work but ultimately forgot about the composer completely for many years to come.

The next big thrust toward his music came when I was passionately working my way through Krystian Zimerman's recorded output. It was then when I discovered the piano concerto - the only one he wrote - in a performance led by Lutosławski himself, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. What a strange experience it was! The music would have scared me off had I heard it a few years earlier, but by then I was already familiar with many works of Schoenberg, Berg, Boulez and others. But there was something unique about the textures in the music. It was mysterious, light and elusive - like water that escapes when one tries to catch it with bare hands. I could spot familiar elements all over the music, but still it felt unfamiliar and exotic; this is a quality that I value in Lutosławski's music in general. It always feels fresh. On a side note, Zimerman later recorded the concerto again with Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker - a fine performance indeed, even if I slightly prefer the earlier take. However, through that new CD I got to know the 2nd symphony, a terrific work that made me even more curious about the work of this composer.

When talking about Lutosławski, it's of course necessary to discuss his usage of aleatoricism in his work. He discovered the possibility of implementing elements of chance in his music upon hearing a radio broadcast of Cage's piano concerto. This discovery led to a total transformation of Lutosławski's compositional style - the earlier folk-inspired music, interesting and brilliant in its own right, took a drastic turn into works like Jeux vénitiens and the aforementioned 2nd symphony. I personally feel a very strong connection to this part of Lutosławski's music: it's unpredictable but organized, ever-changing but still controlled by the composer to an extent that it could never be called pure chance music, if such a term exists (I'm not trained musically, so I must apologize for any terminological inconsistencies, but I've gotten the impression that the users at this forum aren't too fussy about such things). I must make a disclaimer though: while I love discussing the development of Lutosławski's theoretical approach to music, I feel like such discussions sometimes overshadow the thing that matters the most: listening and playing the music, and reacting to the music and deciphering the message that lies within. This of course happens with a lot of 20th and 21st century composers...

Like I most often do with (for me) new composers, I continued my search through concertante works since it's a genre I connect with very strongly. Discovering Anne-Sophie Mutter's performances of Chain 2 and the orchestrated Partita was a game-changer, the music was so exciting that I became completely obsessed with it. Anyone reading this: if you haven't heard that recording, go do that now! The performances are full of fire and passion, and it was the learning of these works that, according to her own report, made Mutter realize that there's an urge to play contemporary music in her. I heard the Partita live this season, along with the 4th symphony, and it felt very special indeed! Anyway, after those two I searched out the cello concerto and the double concerto for oboe and harp. Especially the latter felt like an absolutely essential piece already on my first hearing. I once read a critic calling it "lesser Lutosławski" - I beg to disagree! To each their own, I guess...

The 3rd symphony is a stunning work, already considered a classic by many. I really love it so much. There's so much going on there at all times, and there's a particularly touching moment near the end of the piece, where it feels like all the tension has come to an end and suddenly the listener is free to run where ever they wish... I'm going to hear the work live next season, can't wait! The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, under its chief conductor Hannu Lintu, is actually making a complete recording of the symphonies, along with other works. Kudos to them! I feel like Lutosławski is at his very best in the orchestral scores he wrote. There's something shimmering, delicate and airy about his textures, even though he's sometimes terribly brutal - think about the massive piano banging in the Jeux vénitiens; a moment that fills me with joy every time. There's so much to explore again and again: the Musique funèbre, Preludes and fugue, the Livre pour orchestre, the Mi-parti, the Novelette, the Chain 3... All works worth of careful listening and study! Even the early works that Lutosławski himself later dismissed, like the concerto for orchestra, are really fused with his unique imagination.

While Lutosławski's orchestral works form the main body of his output, there's still a lot of music he wrote in other genres too. How about the string quartet, a staggeringly difficult and complex work? It's quite a ride for the players and listeners alike, but ultimately very rewarding. The brief Subito for piano and violin is a worthy piece, not to mention the chamber version of the Partita. Certain vocal pieces are definitely among his best work: Trois poèmes d'Henri Michaux, Paroles tissées, Les espaces du sommeil... He also wrote quite a lot of children's songs, accessible pieces that anyone can enjoy! Versatile is one of the words that I feel characterizes this marvelous composer very well.

There's no doubt that Lutosławski is my favourite Polish composer, and one of my favourite composers overall. Along with Schoenberg, he is the "Beethoven of the 20th century" for me, if such a silly term could be used - constantly exploring, always renewing and never ever compromising the artistic integrity of his work. His work is innovative, exciting, fresh and always full of new things to discover. I'm happy to see that his music is played with increasing frequency everywhere, but of course there's still a long way for him to be a household name. Leading performers - Rattle, Mutter, Rostropovich, Salonen... - who promote or have promoted his work certainly helps. Lutosławski often spoke of "fishing for souls" - meaning that he, through his music, tried to find people with similar sensibilities and aesthetic values. Well, I certainly grabbed his hook with enthusiasm and have never regretted it!

How do people here feel about Lutosławski's music? I know there's been plenty of discussion on this thread already, but I'd be happy to see some fresh activity too, since I really feel strongly for this composer. :)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on July 12, 2018, 07:22:17 PM
I agree with you about the greatness of Lutoslawski. He is also one of my favorite composers (on a top 30 list). I'm impressed by the soundworlds Lutoslawski created in many of his works, soundscapes that seem coming from nightmares or very-weird oniric places, quite enigmatic and mysterious overall. I think it's the most characteristic quality of his music, helped by a effective orchestration (regarding the orchestral works of course). My favorite works are the unique Cello Concerto, the Piano Concerto, Jeux Vénitiens, the wildly nightmarish String Quartet, the Concerto for orchestra, Musique funèbre, Variations on a theme by Paganini for piano and orchestra, Preludes and Fugue for 13 strings, Songs for alto and orchestra, Livre and Mi-Parti. Being a huge symphony fan, I haven't assimilated his 4 symphonies yet, but I'll do it in due course.

The box-set of Naxos is a real treasure and a must-have for Lutoslawski fans.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Ainsi la nuit on July 15, 2018, 08:25:28 AM
The box-set of Naxos is a real treasure and a must-have for Lutoslawski fans.

Absolutely. The series has covered a lot of lesser known works, and served as a great help when I was going through (literally) every work by the composer I could find.

For the symphonies, there are already quite a lot of options available. Salonen/LPO is a good choice (the orchestra premiered the 4th!) and Gardner on Chandos achieved fine results as well.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: relm1 on July 15, 2018, 03:23:48 PM
Absolutely. The series has covered a lot of lesser known works, and served as a great help when I was going through (literally) every work by the composer I could find.

For the symphonies, there are already quite a lot of options available. Salonen/LPO is a good choice (the orchestra premiered the 4th!) and Gardner on Chandos achieved fine results as well.

Don't forget Lutoslawski's own interpretation which I find superior to the others.  This for example:
https://www.amazon.com/Lutoslawski-Orchestral-Music-Witold/dp/B001BJ84BG
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 09, 2018, 07:16:25 PM
As I told you, if you don't know the Lutoslawski truly unique string quartet yet, please do yourself a favor and give it many listens. It's such an intriguing piece. You don't have to wait so much so that your creativity begins to make you think of strange creatures, whispering insects at a nightmarish dark night, or too crude experiences. Here we have a Lutoslawski at the height of his creative powers. And what about the technical mastery? Just impeccable, controlled randomness and a huge amount of effects that easily mesmerize you. This is an ode to the bizarre  >:D

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61NYhsY0hKL._SY355_.jpg)

The performance is in an authority of its own. This is music that is beyond words to be honest, you have to hear it to live it.

And what about the cover art? Well, it depicts fairly good (but not enough) the impressions one can imagine.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 07, 2019, 12:13:10 PM
Jotting down a few thoughts on Lutosławski and his music - one of my favourite composers...

I first encountered Lutosławski through his work for two pianos, the variations on Paganini's famous 24th caprice. It's a fun work, an absolute blast to listen to, but ultimately not a very important part of his massive oeuvre. Back then though, at the ripe age of (around) 15, it made a big impression. It was terribly quirky music, with odd harmonies, funky rhythms and irresistible momentum. It was Martha Argerich and Gabriela Montero playing, a performance from the 2007 Verbier Festival that I found from my local library on a DVD. Anyway, I really enjoyed the work but ultimately forgot about the composer completely for many years to come.

The next big thrust toward his music came when I was passionately working my way through Krystian Zimerman's recorded output. It was then when I discovered the piano concerto - the only one he wrote - in a performance led by Lutosławski himself, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. What a strange experience it was! The music would have scared me off had I heard it a few years earlier, but by then I was already familiar with many works of Schoenberg, Berg, Boulez and others. But there was something unique about the textures in the music. It was mysterious, light and elusive - like water that escapes when one tries to catch it with bare hands. I could spot familiar elements all over the music, but still it felt unfamiliar and exotic; this is a quality that I value in Lutosławski's music in general. It always feels fresh. On a side note, Zimerman later recorded the concerto again with Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker - a fine performance indeed, even if I slightly prefer the earlier take. However, through that new CD I got to know the 2nd symphony, a terrific work that made me even more curious about the work of this composer.

When talking about Lutosławski, it's of course necessary to discuss his usage of aleatoricism in his work. He discovered the possibility of implementing elements of chance in his music upon hearing a radio broadcast of Cage's piano concerto. This discovery led to a total transformation of Lutosławski's compositional style - the earlier folk-inspired music, interesting and brilliant in its own right, took a drastic turn into works like Jeux vénitiens and the aforementioned 2nd symphony. I personally feel a very strong connection to this part of Lutosławski's music: it's unpredictable but organized, ever-changing but still controlled by the composer to an extent that it could never be called pure chance music, if such a term exists (I'm not trained musically, so I must apologize for any terminological inconsistencies, but I've gotten the impression that the users at this forum aren't too fussy about such things). I must make a disclaimer though: while I love discussing the development of Lutosławski's theoretical approach to music, I feel like such discussions sometimes overshadow the thing that matters the most: listening and playing the music, and reacting to the music and deciphering the message that lies within. This of course happens with a lot of 20th and 21st century composers...

Like I most often do with (for me) new composers, I continued my search through concertante works since it's a genre I connect with very strongly. Discovering Anne-Sophie Mutter's performances of Chain 2 and the orchestrated Partita was a game-changer, the music was so exciting that I became completely obsessed with it. Anyone reading this: if you haven't heard that recording, go do that now! The performances are full of fire and passion, and it was the learning of these works that, according to her own report, made Mutter realize that there's an urge to play contemporary music in her. I heard the Partita live this season, along with the 4th symphony, and it felt very special indeed! Anyway, after those two I searched out the cello concerto and the double concerto for oboe and harp. Especially the latter felt like an absolutely essential piece already on my first hearing. I once read a critic calling it "lesser Lutosławski" - I beg to disagree! To each their own, I guess...

The 3rd symphony is a stunning work, already considered a classic by many. I really love it so much. There's so much going on there at all times, and there's a particularly touching moment near the end of the piece, where it feels like all the tension has come to an end and suddenly the listener is free to run where ever they wish... I'm going to hear the work live next season, can't wait! The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, under its chief conductor Hannu Lintu, is actually making a complete recording of the symphonies, along with other works. Kudos to them! I feel like Lutosławski is at his very best in the orchestral scores he wrote. There's something shimmering, delicate and airy about his textures, even though he's sometimes terribly brutal - think about the massive piano banging in the Jeux vénitiens; a moment that fills me with joy every time. There's so much to explore again and again: the Musique funèbre, Preludes and fugue, the Livre pour orchestre, the Mi-parti, the Novelette, the Chain 3... All works worth of careful listening and study! Even the early works that Lutosławski himself later dismissed, like the concerto for orchestra, are really fused with his unique imagination.

While Lutosławski's orchestral works form the main body of his output, there's still a lot of music he wrote in other genres too. How about the string quartet, a staggeringly difficult and complex work? It's quite a ride for the players and listeners alike, but ultimately very rewarding. The brief Subito for piano and violin is a worthy piece, not to mention the chamber version of the Partita. Certain vocal pieces are definitely among his best work: Trois poèmes d'Henri Michaux, Paroles tissées, Les espaces du sommeil... He also wrote quite a lot of children's songs, accessible pieces that anyone can enjoy! Versatile is one of the words that I feel characterizes this marvelous composer very well.

There's no doubt that Lutosławski is my favourite Polish composer, and one of my favourite composers overall. Along with Schoenberg, he is the "Beethoven of the 20th century" for me, if such a silly term could be used - constantly exploring, always renewing and never ever compromising the artistic integrity of his work. His work is innovative, exciting, fresh and always full of new things to discover. I'm happy to see that his music is played with increasing frequency everywhere, but of course there's still a long way for him to be a household name. Leading performers - Rattle, Mutter, Rostropovich, Salonen... - who promote or have promoted his work certainly helps. Lutosławski often spoke of "fishing for souls" - meaning that he, through his music, tried to find people with similar sensibilities and aesthetic values. Well, I certainly grabbed his hook with enthusiasm and have never regretted it!

How do people here feel about Lutosławski's music? I know there's been plenty of discussion on this thread already, but I'd be happy to see some fresh activity too, since I really feel strongly for this composer. :)

A bit late to the party, but thanks for this post. Quite fun to read through. Lutoslawski’s music is something that has been increasingly more and more important to me as my musical experience and tastes mature. I can’t remember exactly the moment I heard his music, but I know it had to be his Concerto for Orchestra that I first heard probably 10 years ago now. I bought the Dohnányi with The Cleveland Orchestra on Decca that paired this work with Bartók’s of the same title. Truth be told, I have always thought the Lutoslawski work was better than the Bartók and is much better than the composer gave it credit for (he distanced himself further away from it, especially in the 1960s where the composer’s ‘true’ voice emerged).

I’ll type more later...
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: schnittkease on May 07, 2019, 01:48:49 PM
Thanks for bumping this. Livre must be one of the most spellbinding pieces I've ever heard; I return to it every few months.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 07, 2019, 01:59:15 PM
I composer I should revisit. Most of my listening has been to this old EMI release (which has now been rebranded Warner, of course).



I remember being a bit obsessed with the funeral music.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 07, 2019, 04:13:19 PM
Thanks for bumping this. Livre must be one of the most spellbinding pieces I've ever heard; I return to it every few months.

I should revisit Livre. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve heard a Lutoslawski work that I’ve actively disliked. Even if I’m not certain of a work of his, I’ll return to it many months later only to be overwhelmed by the work. In terms of his orchestral music, the only work that has given me any sort of problems was his Symphony No. 2, but even now I’m beginning to untangle the musical webs of this complex work.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 07, 2019, 04:16:05 PM
I composer I should revisit. Most of my listening has been to this old EMI release (which has now been rebranded Warner, of course).



I remember being a bit obsessed with the funeral music.

Musique funèbre is an outstanding work, Scarpia. I own those composed conducted performances in this incarnation:


Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 07, 2019, 04:37:33 PM
A bit late to the party, but thanks for this post. Quite fun to read through. Lutoslawski’s music is something that has been increasingly more and more important to me as my musical experience and tastes mature. I can’t remember exactly the moment I heard his music, but I know it had to be his Concerto for Orchestra that I first heard probably 10 years ago now. I bought the Dohnányi with The Cleveland Orchestra on Decca that paired this work with Bartók’s of the same title. Truth be told, I have always thought the Lutoslawski work was better than the Bartók and is much better than the composer gave it credit for (he distanced himself further away from it, especially in the 1960s where the composer’s ‘true’ voice emerged).

I’ll type more later...

To continue my thoughts from the post (above)...

After I heard works of his like Little Suite and Concerto for Orchestra, I heard Jeux vénitiens and that’s when I thought “What in the world is this?” and “Is this the same composer who wrote Concerto for Orchestra?” Turns out that, indeed, it was the same composer and I didn’t misread any labels. ;) It just took me by surprise that’s all and I then had to acquaint myself with his biography to see just where exactly this split from the earlier folk-influenced period began. When I finally heard his Piano Concerto (forget which performance, but it might have the Zimerman recording), my mind was truly blown. I wasn’t expecting anything like it, but also my expectations were beyond met. This is around the time I had also acquired the composer-conducted set on EMI and, to be honest, my mind is still recuperating from the awesomeness that came forth from the speakers. Every work was a spectacle to behold. I also started to read about how aleatoric musical procedures started affecting his music and how it came to give his compositions an element of spontaneity that you, otherwise, might not achieve with strictly notated music. What surprised me is how these aleatoric ideas didn’t really sound completely random, but, rather, like it was a part of the composition all along. I have come to really regard him as one of the finest composers of his era and really admire how he stuck to doing his thing without getting caught up in what composers like Boulez or Xenakis were doing (even though he probably was very much aware of both composers’ work). It also seems his music is coming from more of a French musical angle than a particularly Polish or a German one. A lot of this boils down to his way of getting to the essential in his music, but also how certain elements can color others. A truly remarkable composer and, from what I understand, a truly nice man and a gentleman even to those that disliked his music and criticized it.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 07, 2019, 06:37:47 PM
For those that may have not seen this excellent documentary:

https://www.youtube.com/v/lJ9EeRvYRTY
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 09, 2019, 05:19:54 AM
Some other rather interesting videos from The Philharmonia’s YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/v/Vxp9Q4k28q4

https://www.youtube.com/v/hg1YQDFTFMY

https://www.youtube.com/v/v0H3HC12VG0
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 20, 2019, 06:06:27 AM
Cross-posted from the ‘Listening’ thread -

First-Listen Mondays:

Lutoslawski
Piano Sonata
Bukoliki
Three pieces for young people
A Kiss of Roxanne
Zimowy Walc (Winter Waltz)
Melodie Ludowe
Two Studies
Invention
Zasłyszana melodyjka (An Overheard Tune)
Miniatura for 2 Pianos

Giorgio Koukl, piano
Virginia Rossetti, piano


(https://d27t0qkxhe4r68.cloudfront.net/t_900/747313976829.jpg?1535627643)

This is shaping up to be an outstanding disc and if someone hasn’t heard Lutoslawski’s piano music, then please do so. Truly remarkable music and the Piano Sonata at various times reminded me of Debussy and Scriabin but also Enescu.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: kyjo on May 20, 2019, 11:13:44 AM
Cross-posted from the ‘Listening’ thread -

This is shaping up to be an outstanding disc and if someone hasn’t heard Lutoslawski’s piano music, then please do so. Truly remarkable music and the Piano Sonata at various times reminded me of Debussy and Scriabin but also Enescu.

The Piano Sonata is an absolute beauty. It’s hardly representative of Lutoslawski’s mature style, of course, but it’s best just to forget that and revel in its lush, impressionistic textures. It’s like discovering a lost piano sonata by Ravel!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 20, 2019, 11:16:12 AM
The Piano Sonata is an absolute beauty. It’s hardly representative of Lutoslawski’s mature style, of course, but it’s best just to forget that and revel in its lush, impressionistic textures. It’s like discovering a lost piano sonata by Ravel!

It sure is. In fact, most of these piano works aren’t representative of his mature style given the years of the compositions. Only Inventions was written during his mature period: 1968.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 11, 2019, 11:34:29 AM
Lutoslawski's music has been blowing my mind lately. I recently discovered it after randomly picking up a used CD in a record store from the LaSalle Quartet with works by Penderecki, Mayuzumi, Cage, and of course Lutoslawski. The latter was like nothing else I ever heard and I've been picking up tons of his music lately, mostly the Antoni Wit series on Naxos (I think he has an amazing feel for this music) but I also just got the Philips Lutoslawski compilation with recordings by the composer, by Witold Rowicki, and others.

I don't know what it is about his music. I really can't put my finger on it. The more I listen to it, though, the more it makes sense. I feel like his music is actually extremely accessible, despite how modernistic it may come off at first. Does anyone know why this might be? Perhaps I'm just accustomed to the language by now, but I don't think his music comes off as much more thorny than someone like Debussy, for example.

This is truly incredible stuff. My favorites so far are the first Symphony, the aforementioned String Quartet, Jeux vénitiens, and the late song cycle Chantefleurs et Chantefables. I just finished listening to his Funeral Music for strings too and really enjoyed it. Next on my list to check out is the piano concerto. I've heard individual movements and was completely blown away. Though I think I need to work through what I have first.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 11, 2019, 01:09:56 PM
Lutoslawski's music has been blowing my mind lately. I recently discovered it after randomly picking up a used CD in a record store from the LaSalle Quartet with works by Penderecki, Mayuzumi, Cage, and of course Lutoslawski. The latter was like nothing else I ever heard and I've been picking up tons of his music lately, mostly the Antoni Wit series on Naxos (I think he has an amazing feel for this music) but I also just got the Philips Lutoslawski compilation with recordings by the composer, by Witold Rowicki, and others.

I don't know what it is about his music. I really can't put my finger on it. The more I listen to it, though, the more it makes sense. I feel like his music is actually extremely accessible, despite how modernistic it may come off at first. Does anyone know why this might be? Perhaps I'm just accustomed to the language by now, but I don't think his music comes off as much more thorny than someone like Debussy, for example.

This is truly incredible stuff. My favorites so far are the first Symphony, the aforementioned String Quartet, Jeux vénitiens, and the late song cycle Chantefleurs et Chantefables. I just finished listening to his Funeral Music for strings too and really enjoyed it. Next on my list to check out is the piano concerto. I've heard individual movements and was completely blown away. Though I think I need to work through what I have first.

How interesting to read, I feel identified with what you wrote. I'm glad you enjoyed his unique String Quartet, it's Lutoslawski at his best on small ensembles. For me it's like music from a weird nightmare, with some whispering and mesmerizing effects. He was a quite unique conjurer of fascinating atmospheres. His voice is easily recognizable.

Have you ever tried his 3rd Symphony? At first I was reluctant to this kind of music, but now I consider it brilliant and cleverly created, and it's quite enigmatic, with hidden messages.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 11, 2019, 01:19:00 PM
I haven't yet heard the 3rd symphony, no. But it is included on this Philips "The Essential Lutoslawski" 2CD that I've just picked up, with the composer conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. Surely it will not be long before I get around to that one. Seems that's one of his best-known works, along with the Concerto for Orchestra, which is also included.

I don't quite know if the String Quartet is a nightmare for me, I feel like it's a still, deep body of water. Dark and mysterious for sure, but never completely unsettling.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 11, 2019, 01:30:12 PM
I haven't yet heard the 3rd symphony, no. But it is included on this Philips "The Essential Lutoslawski" 2CD that I've just picked up, with the composer conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. Surely it will not be long before I get around to that one. Seems that's one of his best-known works, along with the Concerto for Orchestra, which is also included.

I don't quite know if the String Quartet is a nightmare for me, I feel like it's a still, deep body of water. Dark and mysterious for sure, but never completely unsettling.

I hope you do it so. The Concerto for Orchestra is one of his outstanding early works, even I prefer it to that of Béla Bartók (as good as it is, of course). I'd also recommend the Cello Concerto, which is often considered his opus magnum. Mi-Parti, Livre, Partita for violin and orchestra, the Piano Concerto, Preludes and Fugue for 13 strings, the Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Chains I-II-III. I wonder why Lutoslawski didn't write any opera. I think that would have been more than interesting. A quite surrealistic piece.

And how intriguing and curious your feelings are about the SQ. I'd never have thought them that way!  ;)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 11, 2019, 01:44:39 PM
^You are getting me excited to explore his works further, but I'm trying to wade through it all slowly. There is so much of it (relatively speaking), and it seems to be all of a high quality. But I have many of those works you've mentioned already in my library from recent purchases, including the Cello Concerto, Violin and Orchestra Partita, Paganini variations (listened and enjoyed earlier, a strange work), Chain II. Just a matter of getting around to all of it.

As I alluded to I am also extremely intrigued to hear the piano concerto in full. Is Zimerman the way to go, or has anyone else recorded a formidable performance?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 11, 2019, 01:57:24 PM
^You are getting me excited to explore his works further, but I'm trying to wade through it all slowly. There is so much of it (relatively speaking), and it seems to be all of a high quality. But I have many of those works you've mentioned already in my library from recent purchases, including the Cello Concerto, Violin and Orchestra Partita, Paganini variations (listened and enjoyed earlier, a strange work), Chain II. Just a matter of getting around to all of it.

As I alluded to I am also extremely intrigued to hear the piano concerto in full. Is Zimerman the way to go, or has anyone else recorded a formidable performance?

Do it slowly, there is no hurry. Just do it when you feel it's convenient. The Zimerman is a superb performance indeed. The Naxos rendition is a strong alternative as well.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 20, 2019, 06:57:41 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81AfNUGkG%2BL._SY355_.jpg)

Prompted by the recent discussion about this composer, it was time to reacquaint myself with his symphonies. Today 1 & 2. I didn't recall how shockingly astonishing the 1st Symphony is. A firm candidate for the best first symphony by anyone IMO. The management of the instruments, the chaotic effects, the sonorities, the weird atmospheres, the musical argument... simply wow! It had me at the edge of my seat. I can't but praise the rendition by Salonen and the LAPO, exemplary in all regards. The clapping and some effusive reactions at the end are a proof of how terrific the performance was (a live recording). A clear masterpiece in my view.

The 2nd belongs to the Lutoslawski's recognizable soundworld, so it sounds much odder but always gripping my interest. I sum up the symphony in two words: amorphously thought-provoking. This is the kind of works where you have to pay attention to details and subtleties. Independently of musical theories and academic basis, this music leads me to think of oniric and surrealistic landscapes with some touches of fear. Somehow this music makes sense to me. I find that very rewarding and highly stimulating. A thoroughly striking work.

P.S. Lutoslawski was a genius!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: schnittkease on August 20, 2019, 10:31:12 PM
Wait till you get to the 3rd!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 21, 2019, 01:43:15 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81AfNUGkG%2BL._SY355_.jpg)

Prompted by the recent discussion about this composer, it was time to reacquaint myself with his symphonies. Today 1 & 2. I didn't recall how shockingly astonishing the 1st Symphony is. A firm candidate for the best first symphony by anyone IMO. The management of the instruments, the chaotic effects, the sonorities, the weird atmospheres, the musical argument... simply wow! It had me at the edge of my seat. I can't but praise the rendition by Salonen and the LAPO, exemplary in all regards. The clapping and some effusive reactions at the end are a proof of how terrific the performance was (a live recording). A clear masterpiece in my view.

The 2nd belongs to the Lutoslawski's recognizable soundworld, so it sounds much odder but always gripping my interest. I sum up the symphony in two words: amorphously thought-provoking. This is the kind of works where you have to pay attention to details and subtleties. Independently of musical theories and academic basis, this music leads me to think of oniric and surrealistic landscapes with some touches of fear. Somehow this music makes sense to me. I find that very rewarding and highly stimulating. A thoroughly striking work.

P.S. Lutoslawski was a genius!

Yes! The first symphony is a killer! Definitely my favorite of the 3 I've heard (1, 3, & 4 - I love the other two, but the 1st made such an impression when I first heard it).

I have recordings of Luto's symphonies by Antoni Wit as well as the composer himself, but I really want the Salonen. I think he and the Los Angeles PO would be perfect for this music.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 21, 2019, 12:06:28 PM
Wait till you get to the 3rd!

So did I!

(https://d27t0qkxhe4r68.cloudfront.net/t_900/28946404324.jpg?1464797700)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81AfNUGkG%2BL._SY355_.jpg)

Symphony No. 3 from the Philips twofer and the 4th from the other one.

The 3rd is in the vein of the 2nd, seems like an expansion of it but feels more confident, and the limited aleatorism technique is clearer. This is a sound feast, the way Lutoslawski exploits the orchestral colour is amazing. And lots of effects, but not mere flashy effects, they are inherent to the musical structure. It ellicits all kind of intriguing feelings. At times sounds like nocturnal music à la Bartók with that mesmerizing whispering. Fascinating stuff.

The 4th sounds a bit more concentrated and more symphonic. I saw somewhere that it's more difficult to grasp than the others, but I didn't feel it so. It's somehow approachable. Among them, it was the one I liked the least but not for much.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 21, 2019, 12:08:28 PM
Yes! The first symphony is a killer! Definitely my favorite of the 3 I've heard (1, 3, & 4 - I love the other two, but the 1st made such an impression when I first heard it).

I have recordings of Luto's symphonies by Antoni Wit as well as the composer himself, but I really want the Salonen. I think he and the Los Angeles PO would be perfect for this music.

I share your sentiments about the 1st: it blown me away. It could be my favorite, and the 3rd is not far behind.

Salonen and the LAPO understand and breath this music. Definitely it's a safe purchase.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Andy D. on August 21, 2019, 01:14:31 PM
I first learned of Lutoslawski through the attached CD, and actually found his piece more interesting than Penderecki's (and this is coming from a fan of Krystof).

Looking forward to checking out his symphonies tonight I have 3 (BPO) in  the queue.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 21, 2019, 01:33:11 PM
^Funny, I also first got into Lutoslawski from a disc which I bought for the Penderecki quartet that was included:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/A1xebg6K%2BML._SL1500_.jpg)

It's a phenomenal disc, and the Luto quartet is definitely the highlight.

Anyway, I really want to get that disc you've mentioned, specifically for the three Penderecki quartets. It's on my wish list. But I think I'd better get into other works of Penderecki first, as I don't know much of his music. Maybe some of his orchestral music.

I'm listening to Luto's 1st symphony now. Antoni Wit, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. The Wit Naxos series is not to be slept on. These are phenomenal performances of Lutoslawski's great music. I have a few volumes of this series (including the 1st and 4th symphonies) as well as the famous Philips "Essential Lutoslawski" compilation. All of it is great. I'm really starting to become obsessed with this composer lately. I think he is easily one of the greatest composers to rise out of the postwar generation.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Andy D. on August 21, 2019, 02:27:59 PM
For me Penderecki is one of the the greatest living composers. My favorites are his symphonies and the Utrenja. I like his Requiem too.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: relm1 on August 21, 2019, 02:48:20 PM
For me Penderecki is one of the the greatest living composers. My favorites are his symphonies and the Utrenja. I like his Requiem too.

Don't forget the concerti!
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: 71 dB on August 22, 2019, 01:48:02 AM
For me Penderecki is one of the the greatest living composers. My favorites are his symphonies and the Utrenja. I like his Requiem too.

I don't think I have ever heard anything by Penderecki (not sure) and I don't even care.
I believe I have head Lutoslawski's music, but considering I don't remember anything that music must have been indifferent for me.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 22, 2019, 01:50:55 AM
I don't think I have ever heard anything by Penderecki (not sure) and I don't even care.
I believe I have head Lutoslawski's music, but considering I don't remember anything that music must have been indifferent for me.
Why bother posting in the thread at all then then...? I doubt many of us will be enthralled by your indifference... ;D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Andy D. on August 22, 2019, 02:08:36 AM
Why bother posting in the thread at all then then...? I doubt many of us will be enthralled by your indifference... ;D

To be fair, Penderecki and Lutoslawski might be considered an acquired taste by many.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 22, 2019, 02:13:23 AM
To be fair, Penderecki and Lutoslawski might be considered an acquired taste by many.

Indeed, but are the composer threads in this forum really the place to discuss indifference toward the composers in question? I would even be OK with passionate hatred.  ;D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: 71 dB on August 22, 2019, 02:41:41 AM
Why bother posting in the thread at all then then...? I doubt many of us will be enthralled by your indifference... ;D

To express a viewpoint that there are classical music fans to whom Lutoslawski and Penderecki are obscure composers.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: 71 dB on August 22, 2019, 02:45:33 AM
would even be OK with passionate hatred.  ;D

I try not to hate things. If possible I ignore rather than hate.  0:)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 22, 2019, 02:48:27 AM
Fair enough. All I can say to that is your loss, my friend. I am happy to have discovered Lutoslawski's music recently, and my life has been enriched for it.

If I had to narrow his talent to one trait, I'd say that Luto was a hell of a virtuosic orchestrator. I can't help but wonder if he had studied the scores of Ravel. He must have taken some influence from John Cage, too. Now that's an obscure composer to me.

I still have yet to hear Luto's 2nd symphony. I think I will hold out until I can afford to get the Salonen/LAPO cycle of his symphonies. Perfectly content to explore the other three until then. The first continues to be my favorite at this early stage in my listening.

I try not to hate things. If possible I ignore rather than hate.  0:)

That is probably a healthy perspective to take. :D There's not much in music that I truly hate, either.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Andy D. on August 22, 2019, 02:51:12 AM
To express a viewpoint that there are classical music fans to whom Lutoslawski and Penderecki are obscure composers.

I think that viewpoint's shared by many, my friend. If I walk down a typical American street (for instance) and mention their names, 10-1 I'd get a blank stare.

That said, I highly recommend the Utrenja (at least just to say ya gave it a fair try)...mostly because it might be Penderecki's most dazzlingly original work. And a great piece on its own, imo. Just be ready, there isn't a horror film score in the world that could prepare yourself for Part II's...uh, 'Resurrection".

But hey, it's definitely not for everyone lol.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Andy D. on August 22, 2019, 02:54:09 AM
I really like Lut's 3rd symphony, the aleatoric parts in general in his  music  are quite welcome and inspiring to me. I'm not as wild about the  4th, which makes me think of the time Pollack stopped doing drips (when he was so amazing and ground-breaking with them).

I found the Salonen recording buried  in my discs, glad to have that one.

Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: North Star on August 22, 2019, 05:09:16 AM
Fortunately for Poju, Naxos has an excellent series of Lutolawski recordings, available individually or boxed here.


Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: 71 dB on August 22, 2019, 07:58:22 AM
That said, I highly recommend the Utrenja (at least just to say ya gave it a fair try)...mostly because it might be Penderecki's most dazzlingly original work. And a great piece on its own, imo. Just be ready, there isn't a horror film score in the world that could prepare yourself for Part II's...uh, 'Resurrection".

But hey, it's definitely not for everyone lol.

Thanks, I'll look that out if I have time (for all the Youtube videos I watch these days...  :P )

EDIT: I listened to the first 15 minutes of Utrenja (Naxos) on spotify and didn't like it at all. Cold horror music from hell. I felt like being in hell. I prefer "heavenly" music with warmth and beauty. apparently Penderecki is not my thing. Sorry.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on September 24, 2019, 03:31:26 PM
A few pieces of Lutoslawski's have blown me away lately: the Double Concerto for Oboe & Harp, the concert aria Les espaces du sommeil, the Funeral Music for strings, and the First Symphony. These pieces are all wildly different from each other and between them all, I think the new listener might be able to garner an idea of just how versatile Luto's talent was. I think all of these rank among his more accessible pieces, too.

I'm not always in the mood for Lutoslawski's great music, but when I am receptive to it, I am absolutely in awe. What a composer!!  :o

(https://img.discogs.com/7GvTQ9fRHx0VbPUJXyogch9zJYg=/fit-in/600x596/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-9293293-1478098203-1027.jpeg.jpg)

This is a must for any 20th century classical library, I think... it's hard to imagine a better introduction to his works. It wasn't mine, that honor goes to the LaSalle Quartet recording of his String Quartet, and then Antoni Wit's recording of the First Symphony along with the great Jeux vénitiens and a few song cycles. I am curious to hear Salonen's recordings of the symphonies, but frankly, I think the Polish conductors and orchestras are the way to go with this music. He is Poland's great Modern composer, and as cosmopolitan as his music would become, there is an essential Polishness to still most of it.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 24, 2019, 03:49:36 PM
Thanks, I'll look that out if I have time (for all the Youtube videos I watch these days...  :P )

EDIT: I listened to the first 15 minutes of Utrenja (Naxos) on spotify and didn't like it at all. Cold horror music from hell. I felt like being in hell. I prefer "heavenly" music with warmth and beauty. apparently Penderecki is not my thing. Sorry.

You're sort of like this:  :D

(https://i.imgur.com/FgEEfs9.jpg)
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on September 24, 2019, 04:18:22 PM
^  :laugh: yes. Nailed it.  0:)  >:D
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on November 16, 2019, 02:10:23 PM
Lutosławski's String Quartet is an ingenious work. I have never heard anything like it in the genre. What other chamber music did Lutosławski write? All that I have is this and then the two-piano version of the Paganini Variations, a completely different kind of piece. Please tell me there's something else out there. Failing that I suppose I still have the SQs of Bacewicz and Penderecki to explore further...
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: North Star on November 16, 2019, 04:44:47 PM
Lutosławski's String Quartet is an ingenious work. I have never heard anything like it in the genre. What other chamber music did Lutosławski write? All that I have is this and then the two-piano version of the Paganini Variations, a completely different kind of piece. Please tell me there's something else out there. Failing that I suppose I still have the SQs of Bacewicz and Penderecki to explore further...
Check out the wonderful Partita for violin and piano - I at least prefer it to the later orchestration (requested by Mutter, I recall).
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: relm1 on November 16, 2019, 05:35:33 PM
A few pieces of Lutoslawski's have blown me away lately: the Double Concerto for Oboe & Harp, the concert aria Les espaces du sommeil, the Funeral Music for strings, and the First Symphony. These pieces are all wildly different from each other and between them all, I think the new listener might be able to garner an idea of just how versatile Luto's talent was. I think all of these rank among his more accessible pieces, too.

I'm not always in the mood for Lutoslawski's great music, but when I am receptive to it, I am absolutely in awe. What a composer!!  :o

(https://img.discogs.com/7GvTQ9fRHx0VbPUJXyogch9zJYg=/fit-in/600x596/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-9293293-1478098203-1027.jpeg.jpg)

This is a must for any 20th century classical library, I think... it's hard to imagine a better introduction to his works. It wasn't mine, that honor goes to the LaSalle Quartet recording of his String Quartet, and then Antoni Wit's recording of the First Symphony along with the great Jeux vénitiens and a few song cycles. I am curious to hear Salonen's recordings of the symphonies, but frankly, I think the Polish conductors and orchestras are the way to go with this music. He is Poland's great Modern composer, and as cosmopolitan as his music would become, there is an essential Polishness to still most of it.

I totally agree with you and have this set too and adore it and find it the best versions of the music (perhaps because it was my first exposure to it though) but I love it.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on November 17, 2019, 03:49:54 AM
Check out the wonderful Partita for violin and piano - I at least prefer it to the later orchestration (requested by Mutter, I recall).
Thanks! I didn't know there was a chamber version of that great piece. Let's see if I can find it.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: André on November 17, 2019, 10:05:10 AM
Fortunately for Poju, Naxos has an excellent series of Lutolawski recordings, available individually or boxed here.




This set is indispensable.

....................................................................

I’ll hear the 4th symphony next Wednesday, conducted by Hannu Lintu. I really look forward to that concert  :).

Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Daverz on November 17, 2019, 11:14:17 AM
You're sort of like this:  :D

(https://i.imgur.com/FgEEfs9.jpg)

"Imagine no Penderecki, I wonder if you can..."

Of course, later Penderecki rather famously "sold out", though some of his music can still be a bit dour.  An exception is the Piano Concerto, which is about as unbuttoned as Penderecki gets.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maestro267 on November 18, 2019, 11:04:26 AM
He also has his own Composer Discussion thread where discussion of him should be taken. This is Lutoslawski's thread.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on November 18, 2019, 11:59:57 AM
Getting back on topic of Lutoslawski, how about those orchestral songs?!?!? For me, they are are tremendous works and definitely reveal, at least for this listener, the scope and range of his artistry.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: CRCulver on October 13, 2020, 11:29:25 AM
Has anything ever been written on how Lutoslawski learned English? There are a number of videos on YouTube of him speaking English, and he speaks with total comfort and this remarkably patrician accent. Did he have an English governess growing up? Did he spend some time in childhood in England?
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: MusicTurner on October 13, 2020, 11:35:32 AM
Has anything ever been written on how Lutoslawski learned English? There are a number of videos on YouTube of him speaking English, and he speaks with total comfort and this remarkably patrician accent. Did he have an English governess growing up? Did he spend some time in childhood in England?

His mother would translate English children's books in the early years for a living, so there was some learning there at least.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on October 15, 2020, 02:54:15 AM
Has anything ever been written on how Lutoslawski learned English? There are a number of videos on YouTube of him speaking English, and he speaks with total comfort and this remarkably patrician accent. Did he have an English governess growing up? Did he spend some time in childhood in England?

I always got the impression that those videos were dubbed. His English is just too perfect.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Scion7 on October 15, 2020, 04:20:01 AM
No.

" He had a fluent command of English – a language he had learned from his mother as a child, but which he only mastered as an adult. "

I remember news on the beeb back in the day - a light Polish accent.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: CRCulver on October 15, 2020, 10:52:09 AM
I always got the impression that those videos were dubbed. His English is just too perfect.

There are plenty of videos where Lutoslawski is speaking extemporaneously and the audio perfectly matches his mouth, so no, obviously not dubbed.

It is not particularly astonishing that Lutoslawski could learn English so well. The Eastern European elites who came of age in the entre deux guerres or before often learned French or German to the same high standard, and Lutoslawski came from an aristocratic family. My question was only about how he managed to immerse himself in an English environment for a time, because this wasn’t covered in any of the biographies which I have seen.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on October 15, 2020, 04:02:13 PM
There are plenty of videos where Lutoslawski is speaking extemporaneously and the audio perfectly matches his mouth, so no, obviously not dubbed.

It is not particularly astonishing that Lutoslawski could learn English so well. The Eastern European elites who came of age in the entre deux guerres or before often learned French or German to the same high standard, and Lutoslawski came from an aristocratic family. My question was only about how he managed to immerse himself in an English environment for a time, because this wasn’t covered in any of the biographies which I have seen.

Yeah, I don't know. Just a suspicion I had after watching this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdDE5owPUMc

The fact that I couldn't really read his lips due to the low resolution of the video didn't help. I had the same question as you; I couldn't reconcile his speaking as if he were someone who was totally immersed in the language, with what I know of his biography.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: CRCulver on October 16, 2020, 01:13:03 AM
Watch this video, for instance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVlq6zihyjg
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on August 29, 2021, 07:29:15 PM
https://www.youtube.com/v/cXQ1fgmUIPY

I can't get enough of his Concerto for Orchestra. It encapsulates so much greatness, atmosphere and rich music. Gardner leading the hr-Sinfonieorchester succeeds at bringing all the personality this work has and offering a staggering rendition. One of my favorite works of the 20th century.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 29, 2021, 07:36:03 PM
https://www.youtube.com/v/cXQ1fgmUIPY

I can't get enough of his Concerto for Orchestra. It encapsulates so much greatness, atmosphere and rich music. Gardner leading the hr-Sinfonieorchester succeeds at bringing all the personality this work has and offering a staggering rendition. One of my favorite works of the 20th century.

It’s a nice work even if the composer disliked it. How do you feel about Lutosławski’s more mature works? Any favorites? I always said his song cycles were some of the finest of the later half of the 20th Century and I still feel this way. I’m coming around to his symphonies --- the 3rd and 4th are especially good.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Symphonic Addict on August 29, 2021, 08:01:58 PM
It’s a nice work even if the composer disliked it. How do you feel about Lutosławski’s more mature works? Any favorites? I always said his song cycles were some of the finest of the later half of the 20th Century and I still feel this way. I’m coming around to his symphonies --- the 3rd and 4th are especially good.

Well, Luto wasn't having a good day if he claimed that! For me it's an utterly sensational creation. Besides the CfO, Partita for violin and orchestra, the Double Concerto for oboe and harp, all the symphonies, Livre, Mi-Parti, the String Quartet, the Cello Concerto, Musique funèbre, Symphonic Variations (I think this is early), Paganini Variations (in both versions), Preludes and Fugue for 13 strings, Les Espaces du Sommeil and Jeux Vénitiens are rather close to my tastes.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 29, 2021, 08:04:02 PM
Well, Luto wasn't having a good day if he claimed that! For me it's an utterly sensational creation. Besides the CfO, Partita for violin and orchestra, the Double Concerto for oboe and harp, all the symphonies, Livre, Mi-Parti, the String Quartet, the Cello Concerto, Musique funèbre, Symphonic Variations (I think this is early), Paganini Variations (in both versions), Preludes and Fugue for 13 strings, Les Espaces du Sommeil and Jeux Vénitiens are rather close to my tastes.

All extremely fine works, indeed. Yeah, I think he was definitely wrong about his dismissal of this work for sure. It’s fabulous.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: Maestro267 on August 30, 2021, 05:45:48 AM
Probably he dismissed it cos it's his most famous work, and artists are always doing that, hating the thing that, while making them the most money, stifles them creatively and in the minds of others, as if the CfO was the only work he wrote worth anything. Obviously those of us in the know know that's vastly untrue, but among the mainstream populace it's different.
Title: Re: Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 30, 2021, 12:54:02 PM
It's certainly the only Lutoslawski work I've seen in concert.