• WL100/12: ‘Breaking Chains’, BBC 1997

On 17 January 1997 the BBC began the second part of its Lutosławski festival, Breaking Chains, with three days of events at the Barbican Centre in London.  It had been preceded by five days of complementary events at the GSMD. Altogether, this was one of the most concentrated celebrations of Lutosławski’s life and music.

WL Breaking Chains, coverThe repertoire covered on 17-19 January 1997 included: Twenty Polish Christmas Carols (1946/1989), Straw Chain (1951), Concerto for Orchestra (1954), Five Songs (1957), Funeral Music (1958), Jeux vénitiens (1961), Trois poèmes d’Henri Michaux (1963), String Quartet (1964), Paroles tissées (1965), Cello Concerto (1970), Les espaces du sommeil (1975), Mi-parti (1976), Grave (1981/82), Symphony no.3 (1983), Chain 1 (1983), Partita (1984/88), Chain 2 (1985), Chain 3 (1986), Piano Concerto (1988), Interlude (1989), Chantefleurs et Chantefables (1990), Symphony no.4 (1992) and Subito (1992).  When combined with the pieces performed by GSMD students, this list is remarkably comprehensive (of the orchestral works, only the Double Concerto was missing).

It was a tremendous week.  I count myself lucky to have been there, and all praise to the BBC and GSMD for putting so many resources and such imagination into the project.  We’ll probably not see the like again.  The relevant pages of the programme are reproduced below.

WL Breaking Chains, BBC. 17-19.01.97:1

WL Breaking Chains, BBC, 17-19.01.97:2

WL Breaking Chains, BBC, 17-19.01.97:3

WL Breaking Chains, BBC, 17-19.01.97:4

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