Witold Lutoslawski
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1913-01-25
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Witold Lutoslawski

Biography

Witold Lutoslawski hoped to continue his studies in Paris after graduating in piano and composition from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1937. But military service intervened, during which he was captured by the Germans before escaping to Warsaw (his brother was ...

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Biography

Witold Lutoslawski hoped to continue his studies in Paris after graduating in piano and composition from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1937. But military service intervened, during which he was captured by the Germans before escaping to Warsaw (his brother was not so fortunate, and died in Siberia).

His Variations on a Theme of Paganini (1941) for two pianos, was written for himself and his composer-contemporary Andrzej Panufnik, with whom he played in Warsaw’s cafés. In 1949 Lutoslawski’s First Symphony (1947) was banned, and in the following years his output included much folk music, including children’s songs, until the extrovert Concerto for Orchestra (1950–54) established his national reputation. His fondness of aleatoric, or chance, principles, was first explored in Jeux vénitiens (1961) and in many works of the 1960s.

After the Symphony No. 2 (1965–7) and the Cello Concerto (1969–70) he developed a more melodic style in the Double Concerto for oboe and harp (1980) and Symphony No. 3 (1981–3). He died a year after the premiere in Los Angeles of his Symphony No. 4.

Profile by Edward Bhesania © BBC

Witold Lutoslawski Audio & Video


Witold Lutoslawski Tracks

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Witold Lutoslawski
Dance Preludes, for clarinet and piano
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Dance Preludes, for clarinet and piano
Witold Lutoslawski
Variations on a Theme by Paganini
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Variations on a Theme by Paganini
Witold Lutoslawski
Concerto for orchestra
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Concerto for orchestra
Witold Lutoslawski
Variations on a theme of Paganini for 2 pianos
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Variations on a theme of Paganini for 2 pianos
Witold Lutoslawski
Trois Poemes d'Henri Michaux (1963): Le grand combat & Repos dans le malheur
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Trois Poemes d'Henri Michaux (1963): Le grand combat & Repos dans le malheur
Witold Lutoslawski
Concerto for Orchestra - I. Intrada (Allegro maestoso)
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Concerto for Orchestra - I. Intrada (Allegro maestoso)
Witold Lutoslawski
Concerto for Orchestra
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Concerto for Orchestra
Witold Lutoslawski
Symphonic Variations (1936 - 1938)
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Symphonic Variations (1936 - 1938)
Witold Lutoslawski
Variations on a theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra
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Variations on a theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra
Witold Lutoslawski
Paganini Variations
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Paganini Variations
Azpiazu, Jose de, Kuropaczewski, Lukasz & Witold Lutoslawski
9 Folk Melodies - 1. Ach moj Jasienko (Oh, my Johnny)
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9 Folk Melodies - 1. Ach moj Jasienko (Oh, my Johnny)
Witold Lutoslawski
Ten Polish Dances
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Ten Polish Dances
Witold Lutoslawski
Five Songs
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Five Songs
Witold Lutoslawski
Slides
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Slides
Richard Uttley, Witold Lutoslawski & Mark Simpson
Dance preludes [Preludia taneczne] vers. for clarinet & piano
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Dance preludes [Preludia taneczne] vers. for clarinet & piano
Witold Lutoslawski
Concerto for Orchestra - 1st movement
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Concerto for Orchestra - 1st movement
Witold Lutoslawski
Subito for violin and piano
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Subito for violin and piano
Louis Lortie
Concerto for piano and orchestra (feat. BBC Symphony Orchestra & Edward Gardner)
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Concerto for piano and orchestra (feat. BBC Symphony Orchestra & Edward Gardner)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Symphonic Variations (feat. Edward Gardner)
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Symphonic Variations (feat. Edward Gardner)
Martha Argerich
Variations on a Theme by Paganini for Two Pianos (feat. Nelson Freire)
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Variations on a Theme by Paganini for Two Pianos (feat. Nelson Freire)
Witold Lutoslawski
Dance preludes, vers. for clarinet & piano
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Dance preludes, vers. for clarinet & piano
Add music you love and enjoy it
Playlists featuring Witold Lutoslawski
Essential Classics: Guest Choices
Essential Classics: Guest Choices


Witold Lutoslawski Biography

Witold Lutoslawski hoped to continue his studies in Paris after graduating in piano and composition from the Warsaw Conservatory in 1937. But military service intervened, during which he was captured by the Germans before escaping to Warsaw (his brother was not so fortunate, and died in Siberia).

His Variations on a Theme of Paganini (1941) for two pianos, was written for himself and his composer-contemporary Andrzej Panufnik, with whom he played in Warsaw’s cafés. In 1949 Lutoslawski’s First Symphony (1947) was banned, and in the following years his output included much folk music, including children’s songs, until the extrovert Concerto for Orchestra (1950–54) established his national reputation. His fondness of aleatoric, or chance, principles, was first explored in Jeux vénitiens (1961) and in many works of the 1960s.

After the Symphony No. 2 (1965–7) and the Cello Concerto (1969–70) he developed a more melodic style in the Double Concerto for oboe and harp (1980) and Symphony No. 3 (1981–3). He died a year after the premiere in Los Angeles of his Symphony No. 4.

Profile by Edward Bhesania © BBC

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