• WL100/4: Lutosławski Likenesses

If you haven’t already twigged whose eyes are fixing you from above as you read onpolishmusic, here’s the answer:


The photo was taken in 1937, when Lutosławski was 24, and this profile and penetrating gaze would be repeated in many subsequent photos.  He’s the spitting image of his father Józef, pictured below in 1900 when he was 19, with his mother Maria (they were to marry in 1904; Witold was their fourth and last child).  Józef was executed by the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1918; Maria died in 1967.

Maria & Józef Lutosławscy, 1900

I’ve often wondered if Lutosławski was deliberately emulating his father’s pose in the photo from 1937.  The likeness is uncanny.  Aside from such measured photos, Lutosławski could be full of laughter.  Fifty years on, during his visit to Belfast in 1987, when he was 74, he was captured from a less usual angle, showing his right profile.  It’s one of my favourite images of Lutosławski and one which has not been shown publicly until now.

WL, Belfast, 17.12.87

On the eve of his centenary year, here’s to the musical celebrations of 2013!

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