• New CD Note (Lutosławski vol.4/Chandos)

It’s been ten months since the release of the third volume of Edward Gardner’s Lutosławski series with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.  Now volume four has appeared, and it’s a cracker (for the first time in the series, the cover illustration comes from outside Warsaw – it’s Wrocław).  The preceding CDs were:

Orchestral Works: Concerto for Orchestra, Symphony 3, Chain 3
Vocal Works: Lacrimosa, Silesian Triptych, Sleep, sleep, Paroles tissées, Les Espaces du sommeil, Chantefleurs et Chantefables
Orchestral Works II: Symphonic Variations, Paganini Variations, Piano Concerto, Symphony 4

Lutosławski: Orchestral Works III opens with Little Suite (1950), a work whose spirited nature masks the subtlety of its language when most other Polish composers were buckling under the weight of socialist-realist expectations.  A decade and a half later, Lutosławski was wrestling with large-scale form in his Second Symphony (1965-67), which is given an exceptionally persuasive reading here.  The soloist on this CD is Paul Watkins, who not only plays the Cello Concerto (1970) – which must have easily surpassed any other concerto written since then in its number of CD recordings – but also Lutosławski’s orchestration of Grave for cello and piano (1981/82).

Here’s the link to my booklet note for Lutosławski: Orchestral Works III, or you can scroll the CD NOTES tab above.

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