Naxos's highly idiomatic Lutosławski
series having reached volume 8 and the
EMI Polish recordings of the 1970s in
and out of availability a disc playing
for five minutes short of an hour needs
to have something special about it.
This does. It contains the composer's
last studio recordings made in Poland.
Two substantial works are on offer.
Piano Concerto was also receiving its
Polish premiere recording. It is in
four segments but played without pause.
Helpfully CD Accord have given
a track to each segment. It was written
for and dedicated to Krystian Zimerman
for the 1988 Salzburg Festival. The
Symphony is in a single continuous movement
allocated a single half hour track.
Piano Concerto is in four movements
played attacca. Pobłocka
is a player of considerable repute and
has played this work often in Poland.
The composer chose her specially for
this recording. The recording is a degree
cooler and more airy than that for CD Accord's
Kord/Szymanowski series and is the better
for it. The music is warm and at times
of densely active melos. It seems to
look to some hybrid between Rachmaninov
and Messiaen. It is not difficult and
its clarified decorative way can make
it sound a little like Sorabji though
lithe and not so saturated with profuse
Third Symphony was written between
1974 and the end of January 1983. The
work is in two movements preceded by
a short introduction and followed by
an epilogue and coda. They are tracked
as one here. The work migrates from
the buzzing, angry, enigmatic outbursts
and the fluttering song of the avant-garde
1970s to the melodic accessibility of
his last years. Personally, despite
the note-writer’s eloquence I am not
at all sure that the result is completely
Symphony is a Chicago commission and
was premiered there with Solti conducting
in 1983 at about the same time as the
swiftly produced Tippett Fourth Symphony.
The Lutosławski was soon played
across Europe and North America but
not in Poland. The composer had boycotted
the Polish state media during the 1970s
into 1980s. He received the Solidarity
Prize in 1983.
authoritative and very readable notes
are by Charles Bodman Rae. His monograph
on the Lutosławski works has been
published in English and Polish.
entire CDAccord catalogue is available