7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
beware - NOT the best intro cd to this Master composer...
, 3 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Lutoslawski: Symphony No.4 (Audio CD)
Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski is now acknowledged as one of the masters of 20th C classical music using both avante-garde + his own compositional techniques to produce undeniably arresting music that is arguably more approachable + enjoyable to the most noted late 20th C modernist composers - Pierre Boulez or Elliot Carter, if not Gyorgy Ligeti.
As a Lutoslwaski fan of over ten years now - having first being converted to his music via a London Barbican weekend dedicated to his music back in the late 1990s, i would just like to add a brief review here of the Naxos release of his Symphony no.4 etc. This cd although as fine as the others in the excellent series under Antoni Wit + the Polish NRSO for intense, committed playing and interpretation - it is NOT the best introduction to his music as the choice of music for this cd is rather too austere,lacking variety + doesnt do this great composer justice i feel.
Symphony No.4 is a pretty difficult + late work by Lutoslawski (his last Symphony from 1993)which summarises many of his varied techniques into a 20 minute work. its growing on me but lacks the overt brilliance of his Concerto, or vocal works. i would recommend people approach his more lyrical Symphony no.1 then the No.3 would be best to listen to first). Likewise the Chain No.2 for Violin remains in similar subdued territories, although the earlier Funeral Music also played here,is very powerful one of the best works here (and was dedicated to Bartok).this naxos cd for me lacks the diversity of the others in the series.
go instead for the absolutely riveting vocal compositions Chanteflueurs et Chantefables, Trois Poemes + also Mi-Parti. the CD under Essa Pekka Salnonen (on Sony) is similarly excellent with a fine Chantefleurs (w/Dawn Upshaw) + the Piano Cncerto. for me the best introduction to this composer is still his Concerto for Orchestra again under Wit in the naxos budget (or under the composer himself on EMI), as a great place to convert people to his music as "among the most accesssible of the twentieth century" (Rough guide to Classical Music) as that release contains a marvellous recording of Lutoslawski's most initially attractive large scale work.
alternatively - try the "best of Lutoslawski" release on naxos - for an bargain basement edited intro selection of his works for those in a hurry..
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