Lutoslawski's Last Concert

Lutoslawski's Last Concert

4.0 1
by Witold Lutoslawski
     
 

This is not a re-creation of the last concert conducted by Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski, but a recording of his actual last appearances conducting his own music, in Toronto on October 24, 1993, a few months before his death. As a live recording it's quite good; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) sound is clear, and crowd noise is restricted to some nice…  See more details below

Overview

This is not a re-creation of the last concert conducted by Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski, but a recording of his actual last appearances conducting his own music, in Toronto on October 24, 1993, a few months before his death. As a live recording it's quite good; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) sound is clear, and crowd noise is restricted to some nice applause at the ends of pieces. Apart from the fact of Lutoslawski's appearance as conductor, the album is noteworthy for its program; the earliest work, "Chain 1," was composed in 1983, when Lutoslawski was 70, and the entire group focuses to an unusual degree on the composer's late style. Toward the end of his life Lutoslawski restricted, but did not discard, his trademark aleatoric (chance) techniques, putting them to very specific uses within a strict framework of intervals and motives. "Chain 1" and "Chain 2" represent what the composer called his chain form, in which the music defines two processes (his word is "strands") that overlap and wrap around each other like the links of a chain (or perhaps a braid). All these works follow similar procedures; they define a sequence of intervallic events that are brilliantly set off by the orchestration and are likely to be apparent even to general listeners. Lutoslawski's influence has been great; American and British symphony concert programs are full of compositions that try to do what Lutoslawski does here, but don't do it as well. The "Partita" (tracks 1-5) is based on an earlier Lutoslawski chamber work and features a more conventional five-movement form, with two ad libitum movements in Lutoslawski's more familiar manner. The song cycle "Chantefleurs et Chantefables" is based on poems by Robert Desnos (1900-1945), a poet who died in one of the Nazi concentration camps Lutoslawski narrowly avoided. Non-Francophones will be hampered here by the lack of texts, even online. The instrumental works, however, are worth the time of anyone interested in Lutoslawski; they're mostly available on other recordings, but Canada's New Music Concerts Ensemble crisply responds to Lutoslawski's direction and gives the music the structural clarity it needs.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/2010
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313245079
catalogNumber:
8572450
Rank:
258460

Tracks

  1. Chain 1, for chamber orchestra  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Robert Aitken  -  New Music Concerts Ensemble
  2. Chantefleurs et Chantefables (Songflowers and songfables), for soprano & orchestra  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Robert Aitken  - Valdine Anderson  - Robert Desnos  -  New Music Concerts Ensemble
  3. Chain 2, dialogue for violin & orchestra  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Robert Aitken  - Fujiko Imajishi  -  New Music Concerts Ensemble
  4. Interlude for orchestra  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Robert Aitken  -  New Music Concerts Ensemble
  5. Partita, for violin, orchestra & obbligato piano (arranged from version for violin & piano)  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Witold Lutoslawski  - Robert Aitken  - Fujiko Imajishi  -  New Music Concerts Ensemble

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Lutoslawski's Last Concert 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Dynamic_Andy More than 1 year ago
It seems that most recent music falls into the "Post-Modern" category - ie, very melodic and somewhat simple, geared for movies. Lutoslawski was a true "modern" composer, and his music is quite refreshing. It's not simple, or "relaxing" but is moving, driving and ultimately enjoyable. The violin soloist explores the range of his instrument and takes you with him. I'd heard some Lutoslawski on my local classical music station beforehand so when I saw this album, I jumped on it and am glad I did. The music station mentioned that some South American country commissioned Lutoslawski to write a national anthem (or something like that), and were quite disappointed - I can't imagine anything more hilarious!