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CHAN 5106
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CHAN 5106

Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works, Volume III

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2012

Recorded in 24 Bit / 48Khz

Originally recorded in 2011

Artists:

BBC Symphony Orchestra


Edward Gardner


Paul Watkins

cello

Venue:

Watford Colosseum



Producer:

Brian Pidgeon



Engineer:

Ralph Couzens


Jonathan Cooper

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos




Total Time - 69:29
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WITOLD LUTOSLAWSKI

(1913-1994)
   
 

Mala suita (1950)

10:13  
  (Little Suite)  
  for Symphony Orchestra  
1 I Fujarka (Fife). Allegretto - Poco meno - Poco lento 2:43
2 II Hurra polka (Hurrah Polka). Vivace 1:33
3 III Piosenka (Song). Andante molto sostenuto 2:50
4 IV Taniec (Dance). Allegro molto - Poco più largo - Tempo I - Presto 3:07
   
 

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1969-70)

23:53  
  To Mstislav Rostropovich  
5 Introduction - 4:14
6 Episodes - 7:34
7 Cantilena - 6:27
8 Finale 5:36
 Paul Watkins cello
9 

Grave (1982)

5:36
  Metamorphoses for Cello and String Orchestra  
  Orchestration by the composer of version for Cello and Piano (1981)  
  Stafen Jarocinski in memoriam  
  crotchet=c. 152 - Lento (minim=c. 40)  
 

Symphony No. 2 (1965-67)

29:51  
10 1 Hésitant - 14:30
11 2 Direct 15:19
 Paul Watkins cello


This is the fourth volume in Chandos’ series devoted to the music of the Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski. Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, described by Gramophone as a ‘veritable dream team’ in a review for Vol. 1, are joined on this recording by the cellist and exclusive Chandos artist Paul Watkins.
 
Lutoslawski drew his main thematic material for Little Suite (Mala suita) from folk melodies from the village of Machów in south-east Poland. As such he was following one of the paths recommended by the communist government for connecting to the ‘broad masses’ by creating what today might be called ‘people’s music’. In this work Lutoslawski demonstrates his characteristic lightness of touch, excellent ear for orchestral timbre, and ability to transform his material into something highly individual.
 
The Second Symphony (1965 – 67) was Lutoslawski’s first large-scale orchestral work since the Concerto for Orchestra (1950 – 54), and a lot had happened in Poland since the premiere of that work. The government had significantly eased its cultural restrictions for music, which meant that Polish composers were becoming increasingly exposed to new ideas from the West. Lutoslawski, ever his own man, chartered a distinctive path through this thicket of new music, and by the mid-60s he had developed his own individual and expressive idiom. In the Second Symphony, he creates an atmosphere of tense anticipation in the opening stages, before drawing the listener into the ensuing, more purposefully developed music, which reaches a climactic explosion and resolution.
 
Paul Watkins is the soloist in the Cello Concerto, one of the most original works of recent times. While Lutoslawski insisted that this highly dramatic work was a purely musical drama, Mstislav Rostropovich, its dedicatee, considered the music to be a mirror of his own battles with the authorities in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s and ’70s.
 
In Grave, for solo cello and strings, for the first time in his life (not counting folk-inspired pieces), Lutoslawski based a work on the music of another composer: the first four notes of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. He takes Debussy’s motif and transforms it from intense musings into a free-flowing succession of robust and vigorous shapes.

 

“...this disc is a further triumph in a series that looks like it’s becoming the finest overview yet of the work one of the late 20th-century’s most significant composers...”
 
Phillip Scott – Fanfare – May/June 2013  

                                 ***** - Exceptional

Giuseppe Rossi - Musica magazine - April 2013


“... As with the other releases in Chandos’s series of his works, the sound and musicianship are top-notch...”

Stephen Estep – American Record Guide – March/April 2013 


“...If you fancy treating your mind to some seriously stimulating sounds this is a splendid journey on which to embark.”
Dominy Clements – MusicWeb-International.com – January 2013
 

                           Performance ****           Recording ****

“On this latest Lutoslawski release from Chandos there is a welcome disconnect between the first work and the rest of the programme. It opens with the Little Suite (1950) ... its bracing colours receive a performance of fresh vitality here from the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner. This disc then fst forwards one and a half decades to the Second Symphony ... Gardner’s control of the work not least its eventual disintegration, is highly compelling... the Cello Concerto receives a superbly concentrated performance here from the soloist Paul Watkins... A shorter and searing summation of Lutoslawski’s style can be heard in Grave (1982) for cello and orchestra which forms a fitting counterbalance to everything else on this disc.”
 
John Allison – BBC Music magazine  - February 2013
 
 

 “... Paul Watkins ... delivers an arresting performance of the 1970 Cello Concerto by Lutoslawski with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner ... It’s a sophisticated, carefully considered reading, and the orchestra is on top form, vivid, finely detailed, and grittily raw when needed...”

 
The Strad – January 2013

 "... Lutoslawski’s Little Suite, based on folk tunes, is bright, breezy and bucolic, its four movements demonstrating a knack of transforming simple material into something distinctive. But the key works on the disc are the Cello Concerto... and the Second Symphony... the concerto finds the soloist trying to engage with various orchestral sections, only to be insistently shot down by the brass. Watkins plays with the requisite spirit, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, under Gardner are lively sparring partners..."  ****

Andrew Clark - Financial Times - 1 December 2012

 


“...This programme ... offers a broad view of Lutoslawski’s creative profile, which the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner fleshes out with playing that is as polished as it is animated and alert to the individuality of Lutoslawski’s musical vocabulary and mode of expression...”
 
Geoffrey Norris – Gramophone magazine – Christmas Special Edition – December 2012 

“... The performances continue the highly favourable impression of this series to date, with Gardner securing  playing of real immediacy and finesse from a BBC Symphony Orchestra that sounds as fully engaged in the lighter aspect of the composer’s music as in its more searching utterances. Thanks in part to the spacious and wide-ranging SACD sound, these accounts of the Second Symphony, the Little Suite and Grave are now the preferred options ...”
 
Richard Whitehouse – International Record Review – December 2012

"...the centrepiece in this third disc is the Cello Concerto, dedicated to Rostropvich and played with dazzling poise by Paul Watkins... The orchestra and Gardner, experts in the Polish composer’s repertoire, shine alone in the Symphony No 2 and Mala Suite. Try some."

Fiona Maddocks - The Observer - 18 November 2012




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