• WL100/54: Lutosławski and Panufnik (1945)

Here are two forgotten assessments of Lutosławski and Panufnik from 1945.  I think that this is the first time that this material has been seen in modern times.  On one of my rummages in second-hand bookshops in Kraków, back in the 1990s, I came across a bundle of concert programme, one of which I featured in an earlier Lutosławski post: WL100/43: Variations, **17 June 1939.  This second programme, which I explored in the preceding post WL100/53: Trio, **2 September 1945, has the biographies of the five composers on the back page.  In fact, the biographical elements on Lutosławski and Panufnik take second place to assessments of the composers’ creative personae.  It is not indicated who wrote them.  I’ve translated the two for Lutosławski and Panufnik below.

WL program 2.09.45 4

WITOLD LUTOSŁAWSKI b. 1913 represents the youngest generation of Polish composers and, among them, the direction of the “extreme left”.  This avant-gardism expresses itself in Lutoslawski in the openly fanatical pursuit of logic and rigour in the design of his prevailing use of polyphony as a means towards these goals, searching absolutely for his own sound world, as far removed as possible from that used by previous generations of composers.  It is especially interesting to find that this avant-gardism appeared in Lutoslawski independently, as an expression of his own internal needs.  During his studies he found no external stimulus in this direction, nor did the environment in which he grew up and was educated have the slightest intrusive impact.  He completed his music studies at the Warsaw Conservatory in the class of Witold Maliszewski, one of the representatives of the most conservative tendency among our composers and teachers.
Among the most important works by Lutoslawski we may mention: Piano Sonatas (which he has performed several times), Symphonic Variations (performed at the Wawel Festival in 1939), Variations on a Theme of Paganini for two pianos, fragments of a Requiem, piano pieces and songs.  Currently he is working on a symphony, of which the first movement is already fully completed, the rest in sketches.

This biography is fascinating for several reasons: (1) the placing of Lutosławski as a radical “extreme left” composer on the basis, presumably, of his main composition so far, the Symphonic Variations, (2) the early indication of his life-long desire for logic and rigour, (3) the emphasis on polyphonic writing (with only a few pieces as evidence) as distinct from the later emphasis on harmony, (4) the strong statement about Lutosławski’s independence from external sources and events (something which he reiterated over and again until the end of his life), and (5) the deliberate distancing from his teacher Maliszewski, whom later he often cited as a key influence on his structural thinking while recognising Maliszewski’s disapproval of the Symphonic Variations.  Given the strength of opinion expressed in this paragraph, it wouldn’t surprise me at least if it was written by the unknown author on the basis of a detailed briefing from the composer.  I don’t have the feeling that Lutosławski penned it himself (see the error mentioned in the paragraph below).

The list of works curiously multiplies the Piano Sonata.  This is the only time that I have read any suggestion that there might be more than one!  It also reveals where Lutosławski was in the composition of the First Symphony (1941-47).  We may now date the completion of the first movement as by August 1945 at the latest, with the other three movements being finished over the following two years.

ANDRZEJ PANUFNIK, whose “Tragic Overture” was such a success in Kraków’s last concert season*, is the second strong supporter – alongside Lutosławski – of radical trends among our youngest composers. And with him at the forefront, the quest for the greatest formal logic is advancing, and for the most part he experiments with clearly positive results in the pursuit of a new musical language.  At the same time, a very specific note of lyricism is revealed in his music, which gives his pieces the most distinctive physiognomy.
Panufnik is the author of: Variations for piano, Trio for violin, cello and piano, Folk Songs with wind instr. accomp., Songs with chamber orchestra, “Tragic Overture”, Orchestral Variations, Symphonic Image and two symphonies.
As an outstandingly gifted conductor himself, he is the best performer of his symphonic works.  In recent times, he has worked regularly with the Polish Film Unit in Łódż.

Panufnik’s biography is interesting for largely different reasons.  He has long been regarded as the most experimental Polish composer of the second half of the 1940s, so it is fascinating to see that he already bore this mantle in 1945 with a work like Tragic Overture (1942, reconstructed 1945) and that the lyrical side of his music achieves prominent notice at a moment when he was focusing on tight motivic cells.  The list of works includes some that had been lost during the Second World War and have generally been left out of his list of works since, including his early student Variations for piano, the Symphonic Variations – which Panufnik had conducted in the graduation concert – and Symphonic Image (both works were composed during Panufnik’s last year at the Warsaw Conservatoire, 1935-36) as well as the two symphonies (1940, 1941).**  The Songs with chamber orchestra are unidentifiable.

…….

* The dates of the wartime premiere in Warsaw of Tragic Overture vary according to the source: the Polish Encyklopedia Muzyczna and Panufnik’s autobiography Composing Myself give 1943, while the monographs by Beata Bolesławska and Ewa Siemdaj give 19 March 1944.  As to the premiere in Kraków of the reconstructed score, Siemdaj gives 10 January 1946, but this leaflet indicates that it was given sometime during the 1944-45 season.
** In his autobiography, Panufnik noted: ‘I then decided to try to rescue my Symphony no.1.  But here my memory faltered and the results were disappointing.  I performed it in one of our symphony concerts, but afterwards destroyed the score.  With that I renounced further reconstruction work…’.  Concert programmes from Kraków indicate that Panufnik conducted the premiere of his reconstructed First Symphony on 30 November 1945, and again on 6 December.

• WL100/53: Trio, **2 September 1945

With this programme leaflet, the precise date of the premiere of Lutosławski’s Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon (1944-45) can be determined.  It has long been known that it was given its first performance in Kraków during the Festival of Contemporary Polish Music (1-4 September 1945).  This leaflet indicates that the premiere was on Sunday 2 September, which was also the final day of the Congress of the Union of Composers (subsequently known as the Union of Polish Composers, ZKP), held 29 August – 2 September to galvanise Poland’s musical life in the immediate post-war months.  Lutosławski was appointed Secretary-Treasurer of the new union during the congress.

WL program 2.09.45 1

The programme of this Chamber Concert does not specify that this was the premiere of the Trio, but then it also fails to do the same for at least one of the other pieces.  The previously understood details of the premiere of Andrzej Panufnik’s Five Folk Songs (later known in English as Five Polish Peasant Songs, 1940, reconstructed 1945) were only that the piece was premiered during this festival under the young conductor and composer Stanisław Skrowaczewski (b.1923).  The details here give not only the date, but also the full complement of players, under a different conductor and composer, Artur Malawski (1904-57).

WL program 2.09.45 2

Also in the first half of the programme were several piano pieces by Jan Ekier (who celebrated his 100th birthday four days ago), most of them written before the war.

The second half of the programme focused on Roman Padlewski (1915-44) , whose death in valour during the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944 was one of the greatest losses to Polish music during the Second World War. Padlewski’s first and third string quartets were destroyed during the Uprising, but the Second Quartet (1940-42) survived.  I don’t know if it was performed in one of Warsaw’s secret concerts during the war or whether this was its premiere.  It was preceded here by Tryptyk żałobny (Mourning Triptych), by Tadeusz Kassern (1904-57), which was based on melodies from a 16th-century hymnal and dedicated to Padlewski’s memory.

WL program 2.09.45 3

• WL100/52: His Last BBC Prom

Twenty years ago today, on Friday 27 August 1993, Lutosławski was in London to conduct the BBC SO in the UK premiere of his Fourth Symphony.  It was to be his last visit to this country, as he died on 7 February the following year.  Before the concert, looking fit and fired up for the performance, he talked to me about the new piece and answered questions from members of the Proms audience.

WL&AT, Proms, 27.08.93

And here’s an article/interview by Stephen Johnson published the same day in The Independent.

Johnson:WL article 27.08.93

• WL100/44: Paroles tissées, **20 June 1965

Lutosławski probably met Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears for the first time in 1961, when they came to perform at the 5th ‘Warsaw Autumn’.  Their programme included three of Berg’s Seven Early Songs (‘Nacht’, ‘Im Zimmer’ and ‘Die Nachtigall’), Britten’s Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo and Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente, Poulenc’s Tel jour, telle nuit and Tippett’s Boyhood’s End.  This photo from their Warsaw visit was taken by Andrzej Zborski.

283ae1dcee_1190407134photo

A commission from Aldeburgh soon followed, but Lutosławski missed the deadline for the 1963 Festival.  Instead, Britten conducted the first concert performance of Lutosławski’s Dance Preludes in the version for clarinet and chamber orchestra (with Gervase de Peyer and the English CO).   Lutosławski later recalled that Britten hadn’t realised how difficult this version was because of the polymetric divisions between soloist and orchestra.  He apparently had an attack of nerves during the performance and stopped for a moment in order to find out where he was in the score.

Lutosławski eventually produced the score of Paroles tissées in time for the 1965 Aldeburgh Festival, and he conducted the piece there on 20 June, with its dedicatee Peter Pears and the Philomusica of London.  It is quite likely that Lutosławski stayed on in the UK for a few more days to hear Colin Davis conduct the Concerto for Orchestra on 25 June, with the London SO at the Royal Festival Hall.  This was possibly the work’s first UK concert performance, though it had been recorded for the BBC in 1958.

Here’s a video of Pears and Lutosławski reprising their partnership ten years later, this time with the Chamber Ensemble of the Warsaw National Philharmonic, on 25 September 1975, during the 19th ‘Warsaw Autumn’.  Check out Lutosławski’s natty get-up!

• Lutosławski Report (Warsaw, 2013)

The Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw has today issued a Report on the presence of Witold Lutosławski’s music in the musical life of Poland and the world.  Its author is Ewa Cichoń.  It covers mainly the years since Lutosławski’s death in 1994, up to the end of 2012.  The report, which exists in English and Polish pdfs (links below), contains a wide range of data:

• Performances in Poland and abroad
• Selected festivals in Poland
• CD recordings
• Literature
• Literature – list of publications
• Films and DVDs
• Programmes broadcast on TVP (Polish TV)
• Websites devoted to Lutosławski
• Researchers and promoters
• Institutions
• Institutions, festivals, competitions bearing Lutosławski’s name
• Others connected with Lutosławski
• Musical works dedicated to Lutosławski
• A public survey on Lutosławski
• Appendix: Publication of Lutosławski’s works
• Appendix: Broadcasts on Polish Radio

• English-language version of the report
• Polish-language version of the report

• Lutosławski Cello Concerto: more videos

In the eighteen months since I posted a review of (then) existing videos of Witold Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto (4 December 2011), there has been a flurry of further activity, especially in 2013.  The latest to come to my attention is a recording by Kian Soltani (born in 1992), who played the concerto to win the final of this year’s Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki.  This competition takes place every five or six years and several exponents of the Lutosławski have been prizewinners on previous occasions, including Oren Shevlin (1996), whose YouTube recording from 2011 I thought very highly of in my earlier post, Rafał Kwiatkowski (2002), who went on to record the concerto for DUX in 2005, and Nicolas Altstaedt (2007), who has been one of quite a few cellists to have included it in this centenary year (Warsaw and Stavanger).

As I’m currently deep in the final stages of my book on the Cello Concerto, I’m afraid I don’t have the time to review all the recent uploads, so here is just a list of what’s newly available.

Promotional videos

2013 marks two anniversaries: Lutosławski’s centenary and the bicentenary of the Royal Philharmonic Society.  The RPS commissioned Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto in 1966 and to mark these events Tom Hutchinson from the RPS made a short video to coincide with a performance of the work on 7 March by Truls Mørk and the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen.  Hutchinson discusses some of the correspondence and press reviews of the premiere by Rostropovich, the Bournemouth SO and Edward Downes at the Royal Festival Hall on 14 October 1970.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg1YQDFTFMY  (uploaded 7 March 2013)

The British cellist Alexander Baillie talks about the piece in advance of his performance of it with the Boston PO under Benjamin Zander on 23, 25 and 26 February 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHP-VMrR0zs  (uploaded 23 February 2012)   
see below for url for vimeo of Baillie’s performance on 26 February 2012

The conductor of the Boston PO performances, Benjamin Zander, gave a pre-concert talk on the concerto (with the orchestra) on 26 February 2012.  He has some perceptive observations to make about the orchestration but unfortunately is occasionally loose with the historical facts.  It’s posted in two sections.

http://www.bostonphil.org/BPOBlog/2012/04/04/lutoslawski-concerto-for-orchestra-and-cello-pre-concert-talk/#more-943

Audio recordings

Miklós Perényi was the second cellist to record the Lutosławski (with the Budapest SO under György Lehel on Hungaroton), but his version from 1975 has never been transferred to CD.  It is a fascinating approach (the opening D naturals are 2/3rds of the suggested speed – c.40 crotchets/fourth notes per second instead of c.60), yet overall the performance is one of the shortest.  Perényi has also been playing the work for longer than most – he performed it in Katowice on 25 January this year, the 100th anniversary of Lutosławski’s birth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4xlRmhNXJI  (uploaded 26 December 2012)

There’s also an audio of the first half of the concerto by young Polish musicians: Michał Zieliński (cello), the Orchestra of the Fredyryk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, conducted by Michał Smigielski.  Bizarrely, it stops partway through the Cantilena (just before fig. 74).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pil13C2RpiQ  (uploaded 4 November 2011)

Videos

Alexander Baillie (see above for his promotional video) played the concerto as part of the Boston PO’s 2011-12 season, under Benjamin Zander (see above for the vimeo of his pre-concert talk).  It’s a shame that the titles are presented over the opening of the concerto, so that it’s more than a minute before we get a sight of Baillie.  The vimeo is in three parts.  Part 1: up to fig.38 (the Introduction, the first two Episodes and almost, but not quite, to the end of Episode 3); Part 2: from fig. 38 (through the Cantilena and on into the Finale) up to fig.88 (just before the cello’s ‘sigh’); Part 3: from the ‘sigh’ to the end.

http://www.bostonphil.org/BPOBlog/2012/04/11/lutoslawski-concerto-for-orchestra-and-cello/#more-948

There are three performances from the Paulo Cello Competition:

Nicolas Altstaedt‘s performance of the concerto was uploaded in three sections in 2010, but as I discussed on 4 December 2011 there was a frustrating visual-audio time-lapse in the second and third instalments.  These have now been taken down, though the first instalment is still there (it covers the solo introduction and the first two Episodes).  Now the same uploader has posted the performance in a single video, technical problems sorted.  It comes from Altstaedt’s participation in the 2007 Paulo Cello Competition, with the Finnish Radio SO, conducted by Dmitri (Dima) Slobodeniouk.  It is fiery and passionate and must have been absolutely electrifying in concert.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIxvBjP7ld8  (uploaded 9 March 2013)

Silver Ainomäe, who was also a prizewinner at the Paulo Cello Competition in 2007, also played the Lutosławski concerto, likewise with the Finnish Radio SO under Slobodeniouk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVqx2uUls54  (uploaded 4 February 2013)

Kian Soltani‘s performance at this year’s Paulo Cello Competition was given on 27 April, with the Helsinki PO conducted by John Storgårds.  The video is available on this site only until 24 October 2013.

http://areena.yle.fi/tv/1907455

A much earlier concert took place in Madrid on 18 January 2002, when Felix Fan performed the Lutosławski concerto with the Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Leaper.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdoW0q81F24  (uploaded 12 January 2013)

There are also two video performances by young American musicians now on YouTube:

Tyler Borden, University of Buffalo SO, conducted by Daniel Bassin, on 1 March 2013.  There is also an unrevealing ‘conductor cam’ version from stage left … (second url below).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rs1XklVcJI  (uploaded 1 March 2013)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DVEksYh2PQ  (uploaded 13 April 2013)

The Swiss cellist, Frédéric Rosselet, joined the University of Southern California SO, conducted by Carl St Clair, for this performance on 14 March 2013.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVEsCl9hb18  (uploaded 28 April 2013)

• WL100/41: Symphony 4 (Polish premiere)

This time twenty years ago, Lutosławski was dashing around Europe.  On 18 May 1993, he received the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm.  Four days later, on 22 May, he conducted the London Sinfonietta in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. And the following night he was back in Warsaw for the Polish premiere of his Fourth Symphony.  On this occasion, he was in the audience at the Studio Koncertowe S1 at Polish Radio – it would be named after him three years later.

I too had dashed in May 1993 from the QEH to S1.  There was a last-minute change of programme (Novelette replaced Chantefleurs et Chantefables) and, yes, the tickets did cost 50,000zł each!

Your Song Is Mine 1

Twenty years later, I’m again in Warsaw on 23 May, this time for the premiere at Teatr Wielki of a double-bill of works by composers two generations younger than Lutosławski: Dla głosów i rąk (For Voices and Hands) by Jagoda Szmytka (b.1982) and Transcryptum by Wojciech Blecharz (b.1981).  The excitement is still there!

Projekt-P-big

• WL100/40: London Sinfonietta, 22 May 1993

A belated but heartfelt tribute for Lutosławski’s 80th birthday was given by the London Sinfonietta on 22 May 1993. The composer joined the Sinfonietta for two concerts at the Barbican Hall, conducting the evening event and sitting in the audience for the chamber concert that preceded it.  Krzysztof Zanussi’s recent film on Lutosławski was also shown (see post of 13 April).

London Sinfonietta, 22.05.93

Lutosławski had a long and fruitful connection with the London Sinfonietta.  He first conducted it on 25 September 1972 in a recording of Paroles tissées with Peter Pears (Decca HEAD 3) and on 20 January 1973 he conducted the Sinfonietta at the QEH in London in a programme entirely of his own music: Musique funèbreParoles tissées (with Pears), Jeux vénitiens and Preludes and Fugue (UK premiere; its second performance).  A matter of days later he sprang to the Sinfonietta’s defence having learned of its parlous financial state.  Not only did he send a letter to The Times (published on 16 February 1973) but he also wrote a longer testimonial, reproduced below.

The words ‘London Sinfonietta’ associate in my mind with two unforgettable experiences.  The first was my first contact with the ensemble at the occasion of a gramophone recording of one of my pieces with Peter Pears as soloist.  It was last September at Maltings Snape.  The second was a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in January this year, when I had the privilege of conducting the London Sinfonietta in a programme of my works.

To appear for the first time in front of an orchestra one has never conducted before is very often an embarrassing situation for a composer.  It is certainly a most valuable opportunity to convey the composer’s interpretation of a work to the performers.  But, on the other hand, it is rather a troublesome necessity to have to insist on the precise execution of the details of one’s own work, and to have to introduce some new ways of making music, which need to be explained exactly.

From the first rehearsal with the London Sinfonietta, all my misgivings disappeared entirely.  I felt very strongly that the only goal of those wonderful musicians was to achieve the best possible results; to respond as accurately as possible to the composer’s suggestions; in other words – to help to realise his sound vision in the most faithful way.

A group of experienced first-class musicians, some of whom are really virtuoso players, who have such an interest and devotion for contemporary music, is an invaluable treasure for us – for contemporary composers. Arthur Honegger once wrote that a contemporary composer whose work was played in a subscription concert felt like a man sitting at a table to which he had not been invited.  The London Sinfonietta’s series of twentieth-century music concerts offers the participating composers just the contrary: the rare and incomparable feeling of being the right man in the right place.

The very existence of such a group and its pioneer mission of promoting the music of our time is a beautiful example to follow in other countries all over the world.

• WL100/31: Notebook, 9 April 1969

Lutosławski on Conducting (and Boulez)


If I accept a proposal to conduct my own works, this is not out of conceit.  On the contrary, it is out of modesty.  I do not have enough confidence that the most prominent conductors will ever take on the works of my last period (after Musique fun.) or, even if they do, I do not imagine that they will have enough time, inclination and independence from their habits to conduct them well.  Of course the exception here is Janek Krenz.  But he rarely has the opportunity to conduct my pcs now.  The surprise, however, contrary to what I wrote at the beginning, is that serious conductors have interested themselves so quickly in my Symphony 2 (Skrowaczewski, Bour).  So perhaps there really is no need for me to conduct?  I am tempted, however, to experience it for myself and prove to others that, e.g., Symphony 2 can and should be conducted as the notation stipulates, and not, e.g., as Boulez did in some bits. 

Jeśli przyjmuję propozycje dyrygowania własnymi utworami, to nie przez zarozumiałość.  Przeciwnie, przez skromność.  Nie mam dość wiary w to, że najwybitniejsi dyrygenci zabiorą się kiedykolwiek do utworów mego ostatniego okresu (po Muzyce żał.), albo jeśli nawet się zabiorą, to nie wyobrażam sobie, że będą mieć dość czasu, chęci i – niezależności od swych przyzwyczajeń – aby je dyrygować dobrze.  Naturalnie wyjątkiem tutaj jest Janek Krenz.  Ale on rzadko ma okazję dyrygowania moich utw. teraz.  Niespodzianką jest natomiast to, że wbrew temu, co napisałem na początku, poważni dyrygenci zainteresowali się tak szybko moją II Symfonią (Skrowaczewski, Bour).  Może więc rzeczywiście nie ma potrzeby, abym sam dyrygował?  Korci mnie jednak, aby samemu doświadzyć i innym udowodnić, że np. II Symfonią można i należy tak dyrygować, jak przewiduje jej zapis, a nie np. tak, jak to zrobił w niektórych fragmentach Boulez.

Witold Lutosławski, 9 April 1969 [my translation]

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 21.44.44When he wrote this, Lutosławski had been conducting his own music on the international stage for almost six years. He had shared the podium with Slavko Zlatić for the premiere of Trois poèmes d’Henri Michaux (Zagreb, 9 May 1963) and with Jan Krenz for the work’s first recording (1964).  He gradually increased his profile as a conductor during the 1960s (it was, after all, a useful way of increasing his hard-currency income).  He conducted the premiere of Paroles tissées with Peter Pears (Aldeburgh Festival, 20 June 1965) as well as of the Second Symphony (Katowice, 9 June 1967), followed by the second and third performances of the Second Symphony at the ‘Warsaw Autumn’ Festival (24 September, 1967) and again in Warsaw (16 February, 1968).

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 21.58.24The references to Stanisław Skrowaczewski and Ernest Bour refer to the facts that Bour gave the first performance of the Second Symphony outside Poland (Baden-Baden, summer 1968), followed by Skrowaczewski (Minnesota, 21 February 1969; New York, 3 March 1969).  Lutosławski conducted the seventh performance less than a fortnight before this diary entry (Uppsala, 28 March 1969).  Four more performances followed in 1969 (making a total of seven that year), two in 1970, four in 1971, and one in 1972.  The work seems to have fallen by the wayside for several years, reappearing once in 1978 and again in 1979, once in each of 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984, and then languishing until single performances in 1989 and 1993.  That amounts to 26 performances during Lutosławski’s lifetime, one for each year since 1967.  It was long regarded as a weaker cousin to Livre pour orchestre (1968), although in recent years their fortunes seem to have been reversed and it is now Livre which is on the sidelines.  But that is a topic for a further discussion.

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 22.00.37Lutosławski’s confidence that other conductors would take up the Second Symphony went largely unrealised. Neither Bour nor Skrowaczewski touched it again during his lifetime.  The other conductors were Charles Groves (twice) and Paul Huppert (1969), Andrzej Markowski (1970), Konstantin Iliev (1971) and Matthias Bamert (1993). Jan Krenz’s name is not on the list.  All the other performances (bar one whose details are incomplete) were conducted by Lutosławski (data from Stanisław Będkowski & Stanisław Hrabia, Witold Lutosławski. A Bio-Biography, Westport CT, 2001).  His initial premonition proved correct, as he ended up conducting 15 of the 26 performances.

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 22.02.04The Boulez story is one of the oddities in Lutosławski’s career.  He had not finished the first movement of the Second Symphony in time for the scheduled premiere (Hamburg, 15 October 1966), in which the Sinfonie Orchester der Norddeutschen Rundfunk was conducted by Pierre Boulez.  The performance therefore consisted only of the second movement.  I’ve never heard a recording of this concert, so I cannot comment on Lutosławski’s little sideswipe at Boulez.  What is certain, however, is that Boulez has not since conducted any of Lutosławski’s music.  By any measure, given that Boulez has recently performed and recorded music by Szymanowski (not someone with whom I would ever have linked him), this is a strange not to say glaring omission.

The images of Lutosławski were taken by Jan Zegalski in Katowice during rehearsals for the premiere of the Second Symphony in Katowice in June 1967.  They come from Witold Lutosławski w Polskim Radiu (I posted on this fascinating web resource in WL100/14 on 21.01.13).  In one shot, Lutosławski is in conversation with Krenz, who had been his conducting mentor since the early 1950s.

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 22.03.28

• Lutosławski @sacrum+profanum, 22.09.13

sacrum_logotypecmyk_jasnetlHot on the heels of my recent posts about the re-imagining of Lutosławski’s music by Polish musicians, news has come through of a potentially more far-reaching project involving non-Polish musicians at the 2013 sacrum+profanum festival in Kraków.

On 22 September, the AUKSO orchestra, under Marek Moś, will play Lutosławski’s Musique funèbre and Preludes and Fugue.  Their by-the-book performances will then be responded to by four composers known for their electronic work: Clark (Chris Clark, UK), Emika (UK, of Czech parentage), Mira Calix (UK) and Oneohtrix Point Never (Daniel Lopatin, USA).  The event – ‘Polish Icons 2’ – starts at 18.00, at the ArcelorMittal Hala Ocynowni.  Tickets (bilety) are 79zł (c. £20) until the end of May, thereafter 99zł (c. £25).  The Polish announcement is available here (the English-language pages have not yet caught up with the Polish news release).

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