Lutosławski Lauded by German Critics
no-image, Lutosławski Lauded by German Critics
Lutosławski: The Symphonies supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute has won the Germany Record Critics’ Award in the Orchestral Music category. The two-disc set was released in celebration of the composer’s 100th birthday.
The collection spans almost 30 years of recording by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, directed by Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, a friend and longtime supporter of Lutosławski. The four symphonies reflect 50 years of Lutosławski’s career. Opening the set is a performance of Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic – Lutosławski’s last work, composed to commemorate the Philharmonic’s 75th anniversary which Jonathan Blumhofer comments for ArtsFuse "If you think humor and contemporary music don’t (or can’t) coexist, this is 55 seconds of charming Modernism to prove you wrong". Announcing the award, the German Record Critics’ Association calls it "a seminal recording that brings Lutosławski’s music – in all its facets – to light".
Lutosławski: The Symphonies includes Symphonies No. 2, 3 and 4 (re-editions) as well as new recording of Symphony No. 1 begun by Lutosławski in Nazi-occupied Warsaw in 1941 and only completed after the end of the second world war. WQXR reports that Salonen was "given leave by his current label (Deutsche Grammophon) to finish the cycle, for Sony", "his long-term marinating in the Lutosławski juices makes his version of this under-heard symphony easily the best currently available" the author adds. The Guardian's Andrew Clements comments Salonen's performace by saying that he "marshalls and balances the neoclassical textures" of the piece. Writing for WQWR Seth Colter Walls talks about Symphony No. 1,
It is quite unlike the later works. It’s full of Stravinsky-esque motivic pileups and neoclassical-informed moments of bouncy fanfare. Though a four-movement work in a somewhat traditional vein, some of Lutosławski later-codified structural innovations – like the psych-out climax followed by a brief, quiet coda – are already in tip-top working order here. But it lacks some of the things that we think of when we think of Lutosławski, such as his aleatoric moments, or the mercurial darkness he often created by toggling between sparse chamber moments and cluster-chord tutti blarings. As a result, it's been less recorded by orchestras and conductors.
2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the esteemed German Record Critics’ Award. Initially sponsored by the Federal Association of the Phonographic Industry, since 1980 the Award is given by the German Record Critics’ Award Association. Comprising around 145 music critics, writers, musicologists and editors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the Award Association is supported by the Minister of State for Culture and Media. Looking to award outstanding productions, the Award Association was established “to set the most rigorous standards for supreme achievement and quality in the field of music recording.” It is one of the few music prizes not geared towards sales figures or media attention, but rather a pure recognition artistic achievement. Lutosławski: The Symphonies, a celebration of Lutosławski’s career, is a deserving musical triumph.
The album was supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of Polska Music programme.
Edited by Alena Aniskiewicz, additional information added by MJ 09.08.2013, sources: ArtsFuse