• WL100/1-81: The Complete List

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2015

January
• 2.01.15  WL100/1-81: The Complete List
• 1.01.15  WL100/81: Roussel 3, Lutosławski 3

2014

December
• 31.12.14  WL100/80: Lutosławski’s Chair
• 30.12.14  WL100/79: Jeux vénitiens conducting score
• 29.12.14  WL100/78: Jeux vénitiens pitch designs
• 28.12.14  WL100/77: Lutosławski’s French Bookmarks
• 27.12.14  WL100/76: Lutosławski Learns To Drive
• 26.12.14  WL100/75: Lutosławski’s Bookshelves
• 25.12.14  WL100/74: Lutosławski Rules!
• 24.12.14  WL100/73: Lutosławski’s Batons
• 23.12.14  WL100/72: Lutosławski’s Desk

2013

November
• 27.11.13  WL100/71: Lissa on Concerto for Orchestra
• 26.11.13  WL100/70: Concerto for Orchestra, **26.11.54
• 18.11.13  WL100/69: Livre, **18 November 1968
• 15.11.13  WL100/68: Nie oczekuję dziś nikogo
• 11.11.13  WL100/67: Notebook, 11 November 1961  on conducting
• 9.11.13  WL100/66: Overture, **9 November 1949

October
• 26.10.13  WL100/65: Mr and Mrs  Lutosławscy in Prague
• 24.10.13  WL100/64: Notebook, 24 October 1959  Webern
• 22.10.13  WL100/63: Mi-parti, **22 October 1976
• 19.10.13  WL100/62: Notebook, 19 October 1960  Pierre Schaeffer and objet sonore
• 15.10.13  WL100/61: Symphonic Variations
• 14.10.13  WL100/60: Cello Concerto, **14 October 1970
• 6.10.13  WL100/59: Lutosławski in Moscow (1951)

September
• 16.09.13  WL100/58: ‘old’ Derwid CDs
• 15.09.13  WL100/57: ‘el Derwid’ CD
• 6.09.13  WL100/56: Los Angeles (1985)  reposting of Lutosławski in Los Angeles (1985) (2.09.11)
• 5.09.13  WL100/55: Death of Lutosławski’s Father
• 3.09.13  WL100/54: Lutosławski and Panufnik (1945)
• 2.09.13  WL100/53: Trio, **2 September 1945

August
• 27.08.13  WL100/52: His Last BBC Prom
• 26.08.13  WL100/51: July Garland (1949) – the music
• 21.08.13  WL100/50: Volcano in Łowicz (1949)  Gałczyński
• 20.08.13  WL100/49: 22 July 1949 and a letter  July Garland
• 19.08.13  WL100/48: 22 July 1944 and after  Lutosławski’s medals
• 18.08.13  WL100/47: Folk Melodies, **22 July 1946
• 17.08.13  WL100/46: Notebook June-July

June
• 25.06.13  WL100/45: Trois poèmes, UK*25 June 1969
• 20.06.13  WL100/44: Paroles tissées, **20 June 1965
• 17.06.13  WL100/43: Variations, **17 June 1939
• 12.06.13  WL100/42: 33 ‘Derwid’ songs published

May
• 23.05.13  WL100/41: Symphony 4 (Polish premiere)
• 22.05.13  WL100/40: London Sinfonietta, 22 May 1993
• 18.05.13  WL100/39: Polar Music Prize, 18 May 1993
• 9.05.13  WL100/38: Les dessins de Michaux
• 9.05.13  WL100/37: Trois poèmes, **9 May 1963
• 8.05.13  WL100/36: Le songe de Desnos (1938)
• 4.05.13  WL100/35: Lutosławski in Riga

April
• 24.04.13  WL100/34: Jeux vénitiens, **24 April 1961
• 13.04.13  
WL100/33: Zanussi documentary (complete)
• 12.04.13  
WL100/32: Les espaces, **12 April 1978
• 9.04.13  
WL100/31: Notebook, 9 April 1969  on conducting (and Boulez)
• 7.04.13  
WL100/30: Notebook, 7 April 1960  on Cage
• 6.04.13  
WL100/29: Notebook, 6 April 1961  on ‘poor caricatures’
• 3.04.13  
WL100/28: Jazz Conversations (Lutosphere)

March
• 19.03.13  
WL100/27: Notebook, 19 March 1961  on rain and Jeux vénitiens
• 13.03.13  
WL100/26: Notebook, 13 March 1961 (2)  on electronic music
• 13.03.13  
WL100/25: Notebook, 13 March 1961 (1)  on feeling in music
• 11.03.13  
WL100/24: Notebook, 11 March 1961  on new instruments (and Jeux vénitiens)
• 9.03.13  
WL100/23: 9-10 March 1957  speech to Polish Composers’ Union
• 9.03.13  
WL100/22: Chain 1, figs 40-41

February
• 16.02.13  WL100/21: Funeral and Homily, 16.02.94
• 15.02.13  WL100/20: Dance Preludes, **15 February 1955
• 12.02.13  WL100/19: ‘Lutosławski live’, 12-19.02.93
• 12.02.13 WL100/18: Notebook, 12 February 1961  on his current music
• 6.02.13  WL100/17: Notebook, 6 February 1959  as a parachutist
• 2.02.13  WL100/16: Philharmonia Festival, 2-12.02.89

January
• 26.01.13  WL100/15: Thank-you note, 26 January 1993
• 22.01.13  WL100/14: Lutosławski at Polish Radio  new archival website
• 19.01.13  WL100/13: In Conversation with Zanussi
• 17.01.13  WL100/12: ‘Breaking Chains’, BBC 1997
• 16.01.13  WL100/11: ‘The Hidden Composer’  Witold Lutosławski and Polish Radio
• 13.01.13  WL100/10: ‘Breaking Chains’, GSMD 1997
• 12.01.13  WL100/9: Lutosławski’s Carpet
• 10.01.13  WL100/8: Musique funèbre, 10 January 1958
• 5.01.13  WL100/7: Lutosławski info online
• 3.01.13  WL100/6: Epitaph, **3 January 1980
• 2.01.13  WL100/5: Notebook, 2 January 1963  on Cymer the carpenter

2012

December
• 31.12.12  WL100/4: Lutosławski Likenesses
• 20.12.12  WL100/3: Lutosławski in Belfast (gallery)
• 18.12.12  WL100/2: Lutosławski in Belfast (DMus)
• 17.12.12  WL100/1: Lutosławski in Belfast
• 17.12.12  WL100

• Sustained Glissando

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 15.44.312014 marks the tenth anniversary of one of the most remarkable publishing ventures in Polish music.
Glissando magazine has ploughed its own furrow determinedly since 2004, despite a few rocky moments around 2008.  It has produced an average of two issues per year, in an A4 format, on no-nonsense matt paper and eschewing colour temptations except everything on the chart between black to white.  Its design is quirky (characteristically Polish) and often reminds me of a cross between underground literature (but of a much higher print quality) and art movements of decades ago.  The most recent issue (no.24) has gone glossy without losing its character.  The contents are listed at the end of this post.

The intent of Glissando has been clear from the start: to provide an alternative to mainstream music journalism and musicology.  It has done so by stressing what is going on in the work of composers and writers in their 20s and 30s and by giving a main focus to each issue (but not to the exclusion of all else).  As you can see from the banner headings given below, there was an early emphasis on music in other countries, on broader issues and concepts, and on digging into the past.  This has been nuanced over the years, with certain themes recurring, notably the exploration of sound and space.  The next issue (no.25, edited by Antoni Michnik) is called ‘Manifestos’ while the one after that (no.26, edited by Krzysztof B. Marciniak) returns to a familiar topic, ‘Soundscape’.

Since the start of 2014, Glissando has gone for guest editors (from within and without its regular team) and this gives great scope for diversity and depth.  But one must acknowledge that there have been, and still are, key figures in Glissando‘s history, among them Jan Topolski and Michał Mendyk.  Topolski is still at the centre of things and, in addition, has written a wonderful study of Gérard Grisey – Widma i Czasy (Spectra and Time; Warsaw, 2012).  Michał Mendyk has moved sideways to develop the independent record company, Bôlt, which has likewise pursued a distinct identity and now has a unique repertoire of archival and new recordings from Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

Other important contributors to the success of Glissando include Agata Kwiecińska and Eliza Orzechowska, who were part of the team from the beginning, and others, more recently, including Jacek Plewicki and Filip Lech.  The roster of writers includes notable names, of which I will mention only two here – Monica Pasiecznik and Michał Libera, partly because, like Jan Topolski writing on Grisey, they have gone on to publish major studies in the music series published by Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej.  There are two books by Pasiecznik – Rytuał superformuły. Stockhausen Licht (The Ritual of Superformulae. Stockhausen’s Licht; Warsaw, 2011) and  Po zmierzchu. Eseje o współczesnych operachco-authored with Tomasz Bierniacki (After Twilight. Essays on Contemporary Opera; Warsaw, 2013) – and one by Libera (who is also the guest editor of Glissando 24) – Doskonale zwyczajna rzeczywistość. Socjologia, geografia albo metafizyka muzyki (A Perfectly Ordinary Reality. The Sociology, Geography or Metaphysics of Music; Warsaw, 2013).

(In parenthesis, it is worth noting that it was Topolski, Mendyk and Libera who set up the 4.99 Foundation that runs Glissando, Bôłt Records and other projects.)

There has been an important strategic decision made this year at Glissando, and that is to switch to English rather than stay in Polish.  The primary intention is to attract contributors and readers from elsewhere in Eastern Europe rather than from ‘The West’.  This focus on new music in Eastern Europe matches Bôłt’s existing strategy.

The printed edition of no.23 is half-and-half Polish-English, no.24 completely in English.  Both languages are represented online.  The English online choice currently consists of just six articles (up from four last week): one from no.17, one from no.22, three from no.23 and one from no.24.  (A glance at this last item indicates that there may be textual and illustrative differences between the printed and online versions.)  The Polish online choice is much wider; it may even be comprehensive – I can’t tell (it stretches right back to no.1).  The plan for future issues is to have all articles in both languages, one in print and the other online.  It would be a tall task to translate all the past Polish articles into English, but one lives in hope that some of them will be singled out.

The Glissando website is well worth a visit, even if it may take a while to work out how to navigate the differently constructed English and Polish sections.  Long may it and its team challenge and provoke!

242014
• 24   Avant-Avantgarde
• 23   The Cassette Tape (with audio cassette)
2013
• 22   Noise
• 21   Performance/Performativity
2012
• 20  Swiss Music
2011
• 19   Polish Music (German-language issue)
• 18   Sound in Public Space
• 17   Hip-hop – Microtones
2010
• 16   Space – Italy – Mykietyn
2009
• 15   Lithuania
1-214x3002007
• 13-14   Rock
• 12   Wrocław
• 10-11   Benelux – Music and Cinema
2006
• 09   Austria
• 08   Scandinavia
2005
• 07   The 60s and 70s
• 05-06   Darmstadt School +
• 04   Electronic Music
• 03   Free Improvisation – Young Composers
2004
• 02   New York
• 01   Spectral Music – Japanese Avantgarde

Glissando no.24, ‘Avant Avantgarde’

• Michał Libera, Introducing Avant Avantgarde (p.4)
• Michał Libera, Amplifying the Sound: Technology of delivery – early amplifiers, mutes and the politics of volume (p.10)
• Pamela Granatowski, Projecting the Sound: Listening to Axis Mundi (p.28)
• Ewa Kozik, Processing the Sound: On more or less natural sound alterations (p.40)
• Antoni Michnik, Visualizing the Sound: Pre-phonographic analysis and reproduction of sound (p.50)
• Jan Topolski, Generating the Tone: Stay tuned, keep temper (p.66)
• Barbara Bogunia, Automating the Sound: Ars combinatoria and mystical automata (p.82)
• Maciej Śledziecki & Marion Wörle, Avant Avantgarde Instruments: We wonder why (p.98)

• New Sikorski & Panufnik websites

During this year’s Warsaw Autumn festival two new composer websites were launched.  This brings the roster of such Polish sites to eight over the past three years and they are an invaluable source for anyone wanting to learn more about Polish music.

Tomasz Sikorski‘s life and career were sadly short – he died in 1988 aged 49, and his decline is poignantly described in the biographical section of http://www.sikorski.polmic.pl/.  His music speaks of personal angst translated into obsessive repetition and an uncompromising approach to musical material, which is characteristically stark.  But it is by the same token compelling.  The focus piece is Music in Twilight, presented in video from the 2006 Warsaw Autumn.  There are a few pieces on YouTube and I wrote a post on 13 November 2013 in which I give these YouTube items (as they were available then) plus details of two recent CD issues of Sikorski’s music.

panufnik-kolekcja595

Andrzej Panufnik needs no introduction, one might think, but his centenary year has not been as comprehensively covered in concert as one would wish.  Earlier this year, the POLMIC (Polish Music Information Centre) series in which Sikorski’s site is the latest, set up a site devoted to Panufnik.  Now, NINATEKA, hosted by Narodowy Instytut Audiowizualny (National Audiovisual Institute), has added him to its collection alongside Górecki, Lutosławski and Penderecki, whose ‘Three Composers‘ site went live at the end of 2013.  These sites are primarily audiovisual but there are also highly informative notes on each piece.   You may choose English or Polish pathways.

Almost all of Panufnik’s compositions are available on http://ninateka.pl/kolekcje/en/panufnik/ in audio format (sometimes in two performances) and there are a dozen video files. The most interesting of the latter are two fairly recent films on Panufnik: Errata do biografii (Grzegorz Braun, 2008, in English/Polish) in which Panufnik’s life is explored, especially the Polish years, and My Father, the Iron Curtain and Me (Krzysztof Rzączyński, 2009, in English/Polish), in which his son Jeremy travels to Poland to explore his relationship with his father.

• New Website for Panufnik

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http://www.panufnik.polmic.pl

One of the most valuable initiatives of the Polish Music Information Centre (POLMIC), in conjunction with the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) and other institutes and publishers, is a series of composer websites.  The first, in 2012, was devoted to Kazimierz Serocki, and the second, in 2013,  to Tadeusz Baird.  Today, it is the turn of Andrzej Panufnik, in his centenary year.  With the launch last year of the threecomposers.pl website at NINATEKA (Górecki, Lutosławski, Penderecki), there are now accessible sources in English and Polish for six of Poland’s most distinctive composers of the second half of the twentieth century.

The leading light of the editorial team on the Panufnik site is Beata Bolesławska-Lewandowska (she was closely involved involved in its predecessors). The three POLMIC sites have similar formats, although the Panufnik site is more extensive.  It has eight principal sections, most with several sub-sections: Life, Timeline, Work, Musical Inspirations, Places, Gallery, Bibliography, Discography, plus a featured work, in this case Sinfonia sacra.

It looks as thorough and informative as its predecessors.  There are, for example, excerpts from most works at the top of their individual entries, which give useful background information on compositional circumstances, Panufnik’s concept and reception.  There is even information on the mass songs (with pages from the published scores).  The six entries under Musical Inspirations are useful little essays and a new feature (Places), possibly taking its cue from the mobile app released a year ago for Lutosławski’s Warsaw, explores half-a-dozen locations in each of Poland and Great Britain that were significant to Panufnik.

As one might expect, the Gallery of photos is especially rich, given Camilla Panufnik’s renown as a photographer.  The Bibliography is substantial and the CD Discography looks comprehensive.  There is the occasional navigational oddity (the audio excerpts are grouped under Gallery-Music), while the left sidebar can be a bit too sensitive to the touch of the cursor.  It would also be helpful sometime to have English translations of the documents that feature as photographs.

This new Panufnik site is an exceptional new resource, and a credit to all involved.  It is well worth investigating at leisure.  I wonder who will be next in this series?

Later on 16.05.14: Beata Bolesławska-Lewandowska has informed me that the next composer in the series will be Tomasz Sikorski – excellent news. His website will be launched at the 2014 ‘Warsaw Autumn’ festival.

• 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

• WL100/30: Notebook, 7 April 1960

Lutosławski on Cage


The bottom of this pot, from which we all draw, is already visible.  The zealous ones (Cage) have already scraped it.  As for me – I’m not particularly hurrying towards that moment, to which our history of music is unavoidably heading, i.e. the absence of all music.

W tym garnku, z którego wszyscy czerpiemy, już widać dno.  Co gorliwsi (Cage) już się do niego doskrobali. Co do mnie – nie śpieszę się tak do tej chwili, do której zmierza nieuchronnie nasza historia muzyki, tj. do braku wszelkiej muzyki.

Witold Lutosławski, 7 April 1960 [my translation]

This reaction to Cage, and what he stood for, was indicative of Lutosławski’s essentially traditional frame of mind, even when he was trying to break free of the past in early 1960.  What is strange about this comment is that only three weeks earlier Cage had had a liberating effect on Lutosławski’s music.  It has been known for a long time that Lutosławski heard a performance of Cage’s Piano Concert (1958) on the radio in 1960.  This chance hearing was a bolt from the blue for Lutosławski’s subsequent development, but commentators have never pinpointed the date.

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The broadcast details are contained in Danuta Gwizdalanka’s commentary on the Lutosławski Guide to Warsaw app (Routes>Warsovian>Saskia [sic] Kępa, Zwycięzców 39>’From (controlled) accident to accident’):

This event took place on 16 March 1960 at 10.10 p.m., when Polish Radio 3 broadcast a programme featuring the music of John Cage as part of the series Music Horizons.

 
Here is but one of a number of Lutosławski’s more positive public responses to Cage’s liberating significance:

[…] I heard on the radio a short fragment of John Cage’s second Piano Concerto [i.e., Concert for Piano and Orchestra].  The use of the element of chance opened for me a way to use a lot of musical ideas, that were kept ‘in stock’ in my imagination without any way to use them.  It was not a direct influence of Cage’s music, but the impulse, which enabled me to use my own possibilities.  So I wrote to him that he was a spark thrown on a barrel of gunpowder inside me. 

(‘Sound Language’, unpublished and undated typescript in English, included in
Zbigniew Skowron, Lutosławski on Music, Lanham MD, 2007, p.99)

 

 

 

 

 

• New app: Lutosławski Guide to Warsaw

Unknown-1News has just come through that two of the three app. platforms (IoS and Android) are now up and running for the Witold Lutosławski Guide to Warsaw.  It’s available in Polish or English.  There’s a very helpful website which tells you all about this inventive app., which is one of the more unusual ways that the Poles have come up with to celebrate the centenary of Lutosławski’s birth.   I wonder what he’d make of it.

To obtain further information on the IoS, Android and Windows versions of the app., click on this link to Przewodnik po Warszawie.

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