Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994) was the pre-eminent member of a group of Polish composers that came to prominence after the Second World War and whose artistic advancement was given impetus by the death of Stalin in 1953. The works in this set cover four decades of Lutosławski's career and include most of his important orchestral works, starting with the early Symphonic Variations, his first and second symphonies and the Concerto for Orchestra, perhaps his best-known work.
The New York Times has praised violinist Miranda Cuckson’s “undeniable musicality,” while Gramophone has declared her “an artist to be reckoned with.” Born in Australia and educated in America, she makes her ECM New Series debut – alongside pianist Blair McMillen – with three 20th-century milestones: the Hungarian Béla Bartók’s Violin Sonata No. 2 (1922), the Russian Alfred Schnittke’s Violin Sonata No. 2 “Quasi una Sonata” (1968) and the Pole Witold Lutoslawski’s Partita for Violin and Piano (1984).
For this Elektra/Nonesuch release, the Kronos Quartet interprets Witold Lutoslawski's 1964 String Quartet, an uncommonly difficult piece since the four musicians are commanded to play their parts ad lib, as if they were alone. Lutoslawski was influenced by the random procedures of John Cage, but he also wished to maintain dramatic structure, so string quartet includes rigidity in time measures. The balance between freedom and structure provides for a surprisingly appealing recording.
Witold Roman Lutosławski was a Polish composer and orchestral conductor. He was one of the major European composers of the 20th century, and one of the preeminent Polish musicians during his last three decades. / Boris Blacher was a German composer. His career was interrupted by National Socialism. He was accused of writing degenerate music and lost his teaching post at the Dresden Conservatory…
At first glance the two works featured on this compilation have little in common-and on second and third glance too! The only common factor is the conductor and orchestra, and that in truth is the raison d'être for this compilation-an opportunity to hear the quality of this wonderful partnership whose output available in the West was and is minimal.
If you ask the most knowledgeable collectors to name the most prominent German Conductors in the immediate post war period, very few if any will mention Rolf Kleinert, and yet he was a major figure in cultural life particularly in Berlin.
This wonderful young Polish ensemble continue their exploration of the string quartet repertoire of their homeland with this album of music by two giants of the twentieth century. Witold Lutoslawski, whose centenary is celebrated in 2013, wrote his one and only string quartet in 1964 and it has since maintained an eminent position in the international repertoire. Krzysztof Penderecki (born 1933) was the most talked-about Polish composer in the early 1960s and remains an important presence in contemporary music. His three string quartets (1960, 1968 and 2008) are key works in the history of the post-war Polish quartet.
This complete set of Witold Lutoslawski's symphonies is a mixture of old and new. The second, third, and fourth symphonies are reissues of recordings made in the 1980s and 1990s during Esa-Pekka Salonen's tenure with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; all were acclaimed readings, and the 1985 version of the sizzlingly orchestrated Symphony No. 3, by now Lutoslawski's most commonly programmed and recorded work, has held up well against newer recordings.
This complete set of Witold Lutoslawski's symphonies is a mixture of old and new. The second, third, and fourth symphonies are reissues of recordings made in the 1980s and 1990s during Esa-Pekka Salonen's tenure with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; all were acclaimed readings, and the 1985 version of the sizzlingly orchestrated Symphony No. 3, by now Lutoslawski's most commonly programmed and recorded work, has held up well against newer recordings. What's new is the Symphony No. 1, recorded in the new Walt Disney Hall to round out the set in commemoration of the composer's 100th birthday. (The entire recording of the symphony is new, although the bizarre numbering of the tracks makes this difficult to figure out.)