Concerto for Orchestra

The image that Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra (1954) evokes in my mind, as I listen, is similar to one I envison when I listen to Bartok’s heartfelt and powerful Concerto (1944). Inspired and somehow cut of the same cloth, which is my immediate impression, they both communicate something primary to the human condition. Home, heart, memory and the passage of time, love, learning, loss and longing, friendships, and family. Those things paradoxically certain and also inexpressible are in the psyce of everyman. They color the memory of a time now past. A way of thinking once forgotten but now remembered through sound.-MP

“I AM OFTEN INCLUDED AMONG THE AVANT-GARDE AND THIS GIVES ME PLEASURE. BUT ON REFLECTION THE PLEASURE IS SOMEWHAT SUPERFICIAL” -Lutoslawski

While Lutoslawski has made important contributions to the development of modern music, particularly in the domains of post-tonal, twelve-note sonorities and rhythmic textures based on “limited aleatorism”, he has consistently looked to the masters of the symphonic era, such as Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms, for his understanding of large-scale closed forms.

(from “Considerations of Symphonic Form in the Music of Lutoslawski” by James Harley)

“Throughout the Stalinist period, as he occupied himself with functional music, Lutoslawski made frequent use of Polish folk music. Such modally rooted material is featured prominently throughout the Concerto. In addition, the relatively simple harmonic language and the restricted density of contrapuntal textures ensures widespread accessibility”.

(from “Considerations of Symphonic Form in the Music of Lutoslawski” by James Harley)

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