Essays

Remembering Lutosławski by Steven Stucky

Words, words and music, words about music. “Woven Words” (the English title of Witold Lutosławski’s magical 1965 score Paroles tissées). It is a famously tricky subject: what can be said about music? What can music say?... read more

Essences and Essentials: Lutosławski's Musical Stories by Nicholas Reyland

‘Interest in how a work was made, the description and analysis of its notation,’ Witold Lutosławski argued during a panel discussion in 1962, ‘bears no relation to that which constitutes the experience of a work of art.’... read more

Lutosławski's Aesthetics and Their Sources by Zbigniew Skowron

Witold Lutosławski was one of those 20th-century composers who, as well as composing, wrote prolifically about his ideas on music throughout his life. Among his various texts one may distinguish some thematic groups, such as texts on musical form,... read more

Lutosławski - Parallel Lives of a Captive Muse by Adrian Thomas

Fifty years ago, Witold Lutosławski was beginning to make his mark internationally as one of the most interesting composers from Poland, a country whose musical life had remained much of a mystery to outsiders from the 1940s until the establishment... read more

Lutosławski and the Scars of Wars by Charles Bodman Rae

Wars leave wounds. Wounds leave scars. The physical ones are easy enough to recognise; we see them as identifying features. But scars of the psyche are not visible. We can only ‘see’ or know of them when they are reflected, refracted,... read more

Programme Notes

Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra (1950-54)

Intrada - Capriccio notturno e Arioso - Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale read more

Lutosławski: Musique funèbre (1954-58)

Prologue – Metamorphoses – Apogee – Epilogue read more

Lutosławski: Jeux Vénitiens (1960-61)

In the spring of 1957, Soviet-style artistic policy in Poland had thawed. Stalin was dead; the Warsaw Autumn Festival had just been born; and Lutosławski addressed his colleagues at the 9th General Assembly of the Polish Composers’ Union:... read more

Lutosławski: Cello Concerto (1968-70)

Introduction – Four Episodes – Cantilena – Finale read more

Lutosławski: Symphony No.3 (1972-83)

On 13 December 1981, General Wojciech Jaruzełski, Prime Minister of Poland, imposed Martial Law (in Polish Stan Wojenny, ‘state of war’). From that moment until September 1988, as a protest Lutosławski declined all concert appearances... read more

Lutosławski: Les espaces du sommeil (1975)

In his first Manifeste (1924), André Breton, father of the surrealist movement, pronounced Robert Desnos (1900-45) the quintessential surrealist poet: ‘Desnos speaks Surrealist at will… He reads himself like an open book, and... read more

Lutosławski: Chain 2 - Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra (1984-85)

Ad libitum - A battuta - Ad libitum - A battuta – Ad libitum – A battuta read more

Lutosławski: Piano Concerto (1987-88)

dotted crotchet = 110 – Presto – quaver = 85; Largo crotchet = ca. 84 read more

Lutosławski: Symphony No. 4 (1988-92)

Lutosławski’s four symphonies reflect the course of his development rather neatly. The First Symphony, composed from 1941 to 1947, closes his first style period; it became a cause célèbre when Lutosławski was criticised by... read more