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Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 / Louis Lortie, Gardner/BBC SO

Audio Samples

>Lutoslawski, Witold : Symphonic Variations, for orchestra
>Lutoslawski, Witold : Concerto for Piano "For Krystian Zimerman"
>Lutoslawski, Witold : Variations on a theme of Paganini for 2 Pianos
>Lutoslawski, Witold : Symphony no 4

Album Summary

>Lutoslawski, Witold : Symphonic Variations, for orchestra
>Lutoslawski, Witold : Concerto for Piano "For Krystian Zimerman"
>Lutoslawski, Witold : Variations on a theme of Paganini for 2 Pianos
>Lutoslawski, Witold : Symphony no 4
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This is the third volume in the Chandos series devoted to the music of the Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski. It brings together his first surviving orchestral piece (The Symphonic Variations) and his last symphony, as well as two works for piano and orchestra - an early work originally written for two pianos (The 'Paganini' Variations), and his very last concerto. The works are performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner, described by Gramophone as a veritable 'Dream Team' in Vol. 1. They are joined in this recording by Louis Lortie, the award-winning pianist and exclusive Chandos artist.

"[The Symphony Variations] now sound lush and exuberant...Louis Lortie makes the most of the slightly underwhelming Piano Concerto (1987-88). The jaunty Variations on a Theme of Paganini (1978) – written within a year of Andrew Lloyd Webber's better-known version – and the Fourth Symphony (1988-92) give far more sense of this discreetly quixotic composer." -The Observer

BBC Music Magazine
Gardner and the BBC Symphony, backed up by glittering sound, do [the Symphonic Variations] proud, from the folk-like opening flute theme, through its varied treatments... Lortie is an ideal soloist [in the Concerto], with a clarity of touch familiar from his recordings of the French repertoire, but also the power for the bigger gestures... Again, Gardner leads a detailed, musically sure-paced orchestral contribution.

Gramophone Magazine
In a performance as vivacious and committed as this one, [the Symphonic Variations] comprises a veritable treat... Gardner's conception of the riveting Fourth Symphony (1988-92)... has both infectious involvement and considerable expressive ardour to commend it... Throughout, Gardner secures some first-class playing from the BBC SO; Ralph Couzens's engineering is, needless to say, state of the art.

The Observer
[the Symphony Variations] now sound lush and exuberant...Louis Lortie makes the most of the slightly underwhelming Piano Concerto (1987-88). The jaunty Variations on a Theme of Paganini (1978) - written within a year of Andrew Lloyd Webber's better-known version - and the Fourth Symphony (1988-92) give far more sense of this discreetly quixotic composer.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Walthamstow Assembly Hall (06/29/2011-06/30/2011).



Reviews

Lutoslawski orchestral works 2
Together with Grazyna Bacewicz, Andrzej Panufnik, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994) was one of Poland's most important twentieth-century composers. Since it was founded in 1930, BBC Symphony Orchestra, one of England's leading orchestras, has been passionately committed to performing twentieth-century and contemporary music. On this new Chandos CD, the BBC Symphony Orchestra performs four of Lutoslawski's important orchestral works. This composer's mostly post-Romantic music style is not to everyone's taste, but those who love his music will certainly want to acquire this CD. The "Symphonic Variations" show the influence of early Stravinsky. At the request of the Polish-born pianist Felicja Blumental, the "Variations on a Theme of Paganini," originally for two pianos, was reworked into a piece for piano and orchestra. The Piano Concerto and the Fourth Symphony were both composed in the 1980s, several years after Lutoslawski had developed a newly melodic and often passionately lyrical musical language. Those who tend to dismiss Lutoslawski as "too modern" are encouraged to try these works. Edward Gardner coaxes fine performances from the orchestra, and the recorded sound is excellent.
Ted Wilks

Submitted on 02/11/12 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Lutoslawski, Witold : Symphonic Variations, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Walthamstow Assembly Hall (06/29/2011-06/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936-1938

>Lutoslawski, Witold : Concerto for Piano "For Krystian Zimerman"
  • Performer: Louis Lortie (Piano)
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Notes: Walthamstow Assembly Hall (06/29/2011-06/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1987

>Lutoslawski, Witold : Variations on a theme of Paganini for 2 Pianos
  • Performer: Louis Lortie (Piano)
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Notes: Walthamstow Assembly Hall (06/29/2011-06/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1941-1978

>Lutoslawski, Witold : Symphony no 4
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Notes: Walthamstow Assembly Hall (06/29/2011-06/30/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1993