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  • Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works (Concerto For Orchestra/ Symphony No.3/ Chain 3) (Hybrid SACD)
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Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works (Concerto For Orchestra/ Symphony No.3/ Chain 3) (Hybrid SACD) Hybrid SACD, SACD

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Recognised as one of the most talented conductors of his generation, Edward Gardner began his tenure as Music Director of English National Opera in May 2007 with a critically acclaimed new production of Britten’s Death in Venice. Under his direction, the ENO has presented a series of stellar productions, including Damnation of Faust, Boris Godunov, Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci, ... Read more in Amazon's Edward Gardner Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works (Concerto For Orchestra/ Symphony No.3/ Chain 3) (Hybrid SACD) + Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol. 4 (Dance Preludes/ Symphony No. 1) + Lutoslawski: Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - Symphonic Variations, Paganini Variations, Piano Concerto, Symphony no.4
Price For All Three: £42.66

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Product details

  • Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Composer: Witold Lutoslawski
  • Audio CD (27 Sept. 2010)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B0040MF1XU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,431 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Orchestral Works - BBC Symphony Orchestra
2. Concerto for Orchestra, Symphony No. 3, Chain 3 - BBC Symphony Orchestra

Product Description

Product Description

Concerto pour orchestre - Symphonie n°3 - Chain 3 / BBC Symphony Orchestra - Edward Gardner, direction

BBC Review

What’s this? The man who’s got English National Opera’s orchestra accompanying Puccini so passionately and emotionally has opted for Witold Lutosławski on his debut orchestral CD for Chandos?

In fact Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra – the main course on this disc – isn’t a million miles away from Puccini under the surface: big-boned themes marinate in complex orchestral textures before emerging in pile-driving unisons. For added verisimo weight, many of those themes are lifted directly from Polish folk music.

In a narrative sense, too, the Concerto is wholly suited to Gardner’s strengths. As Lutosławski wrote the piece in 1954 he was experimenting with the idiosyncratic theories of Witold Malíszewski, who suggested separate musical movements should serve specific and separate narrative functions.

That in mind, Gardner’s ENO-honed ability to choose and hold a tempo and set a tangible mood from the off serves him well in each movement: there’s tautness and weight in the Intrada’s production line of pounding rhythms, a fine sense of pace to the slow-burn Passacaglia and impressive lightness in the piquant woodwind flutterings – even if they aren’t the most beautifully shaped.

In fact, the burnished sound and dramatic thrust in the Concerto is reminiscent of Lutoslawski’s own recording on EMI. It’s just a shame the strings sound so purposeful in their ghostly response to the Chorale in the third movement – a dollop more Vaseline on the lens would have created a more eerie effect, but it’s the only obvious dramatic nail that Gardner hasn’t hit head-on.

The sound world of Lutosławski’s 1983 Third Symphony is initially less lyrical and a whole-lot more spatial, fragmentary and modernist. While there is the occasional lapse in ensemble, the playing is finely shaped – the symphony throws the spotlight on just as many solo instruments and instrumental groups as the Concerto does.

Gardner comes into his own as the symphony collapses through glissando winds and brass towards a more cogent conclusion, but careful listeners will notice that he’s actually pretty adept at the more elusive, darkened corners of the piece, too (and in the accompanying filler, Chain 3). He might not be Pierre Boulez, but he’s got me very interested – especially given the promise of the spine label, ‘Polish Music Volume One’. Watch out for more.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jet Wind on 22 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is the first release in what is hoped will be a complete survey of this Polish composers music from Chandos. The interpitation is clean and forthright and the playing of the BBC Symphony Orchestra is well up to the their high performance standards. The Chandos recording is detailed creating a good sound stage. This disc is also a Hybrid SACD that can can be played on standard CD players.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An excellent start to a new Polish orchestral series 31 Jan. 2011
By Dean Frey - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This new Chandos CD provides three important works by one of the 20th Century's most important composers. There's a great deal of cleverness evident in the Concerto for Orchestra, written in the early 1950s, a virtuoso showpiece modelled after Bartok's work. More cleverness was required to disguise some quite radical musical ideas as "social realism" for his political masters. Lutoslawski's Third Symphony, written for Solti & the Chicago Symphony in the early 1980s, is probably the composer's masterpiece. The Third Chain, written later in that decade, is slighter in scope but not in effect.

Gardner and his orchestra are at their best in the Symphony and Chain III. They're not quite hitting all of the virtuoso highlights of the folk-inspired Concerto for Orchestra, though the playing is still of a very high calibre. Both of the later works make use of aleatory, the introduction of chance into a musical work. Though Lutoslawski nails down pitches and rhythms, he gives the orchestral musicians the freedom to play sections of the piece in their own time.

This provides us with unexpected combinations of sound, which a multi-channel recording has the potential to expose to us more explicitly. Actually, I can see the advantage of really cranking this up, exaggerating the separation between instruments of the orchestra, even if it results in a less than accurate reproduction of the concert-hall experience. As it happens on this disc, the Chandos engineers have spread out the orchestra, but not at the expense of atmosphere and musical coherence. I expect to listen to this CD often, letting these often surprising sounds wash over me. And I look forward to other discs in Gardner's new series of Polish orchestral music.
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