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LUTOSLAWSKI, Witold (1913-1994)

COMPLETE PIANO MUSIC


  • Giorgio Koukl, piano
  • Virginia Rossetti, piano

Witold Lutoslawski’s few surviving apprentice works are suffused with the elegance of Ravel and the lush effusiveness of Szymanowski, and this is particularly true of the early Piano Sonata, heard here in Giorgio Koukl’s new and corrected edition based on the original manuscript. Further premières include the wistful A Kiss of Roxanne and the technically complex Invention. Including all of the folk-music tinted pedagogical miniatures, works for piano four hands and other occasional pieces, this is the most comprehensive edition of Lutoslawski’s works for solo piano ever recorded.

Tracklist

 
Piano Sonata (Paul Sacher Foundation manuscript) (1934) (00:30:00 )
1
I. Allegro * (00:12:59)
2
II. Adagio ma non troppo * (00:08:17)
3
III. Andante - Allegretto * (00:08:54)
 
Bukoliki (Bucolics) (1952) (00:06:00 )
4
I. Allegro vivace (00:01:13)
5
II. Allegretto sostenuto (00:01:10)
6
III. Allegro molto (00:00:47)
7
IV. Andantino (00:01:31)
8
V. Allegro marciale (00:01:26)
 
3 Pieces for the Young (1953) (00:05:00 )
9
No. 1. Four-finger excercise (00:00:57)
10
No. 2. An Air (00:01:47)
11
No. 3. March (00:01:38)
12
Pocałunek Roksany (A Kiss of Roxanne) () * (00:01:25)
13
Zimowy Walc (Winter Waltz) (pre-1954) * (00:02:52)
 
Melodie Ludowe (Folk Melodies) (1945) (00:12:00 )
14
No. 1. Ach mój Jasieńko (O, My Johnny) (00:00:31)
15
No. 2. Hej, od Krakowa jadę (Hey, I Come from Kraków) (00:00:43)
16
No. 3. Jest drożyna, jest (There is a path, there is) (00:00:50)
17
No. 4. Pastereczka (The Shepherd Girl) (00:00:57)
18
No. 5. Na jabłoni jabłko wisi (An Apple Hangs on the Apple-tree) (00:00:46)
19
No. 6. Od Sieradza płynie rzeka (A River Flows from Sieradz) (00:01:41)
20
No. 7. Panie Michale (Master Michael) (00:01:32)
21
No. 8. W polu lipeńka (The Lime-tree in the Field) (00:01:23)
22
No. 9. Zalotny (Flirting) (00:01:10)
23
No. 10. Gaik (The Grove) (00:00:33)
24
No. 11. Gąisor (The Gander) (00:00:50)
25
No. 12. Rektor (The Schoolmaster) (00:01:15)
 
2 Studies (1941) (00:04:00 )
26
No. 1. Allegro (00:02:13)
27
No. 2. Non troppo allegro (00:02:57)
28
Invention (undated, Paul Sacher Foundation manuscript) () * (00:01:14)
29
Invention (1968) (1968) (00:00:59)
30
Zasłyszana melodyjka (An Overheard Melody) (1957) (00:02:04)
31
Miniatura (original version for piano 4 hands, Paul Sacher Foundation manuscript) (1953) (00:02:09)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:08:43

The Artist

Giorgio Koukl is a pianist/harpsichordist and composer. He was born in Prague in 1953, and studied there at the State Music School and Conservatory. He continued his studies at both the Conservatories of Zürich and Milan, where he took part in the masterclasses of Nikita Magaloff, Jacques Février, and Stanislaus Neuhaus, and with Rudolf Firkušný, friend and advocate of Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů.
Virginia Rossetti Virginia Rossetti began her piano studies with Massimiliano Ferrati, later attending the ‘Antonio Buzzolla’ Conservatory in Adria where she graduated with honours. In May 2013 she obtained her Master of Performing Arts with distinction at the Hochschule für Musik in Basle with Filippo Gamba, and in 2014 at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Brussels with Aleksandar Madzar. She was recently awarded a Master in Pedagogy at the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana in the class of Anna Kravtchenko. She has attended masterclasses with important teachers including Konstantin Bogino and Elisabeth Leonskaja, and at the Sommerakademie Mozarteum in Salzburg with Sergio Perticaroli. She is a prize winner of several national and international piano competitions including Third Prize at the Premio Venezia 2009, reserved for the best graduates under the patronage of the Republic’s President, and the Premio Marizza in Trieste. Since 2011 she has been the pianist of the Lunaire Piano Trio with whom she has recorded live on I Concerti del Quirinale for Rai Radio 3.

The Composer

Witold Lutosławski

Witold Lutosławski was born on 25 January 1913. The years of World War One were spent in and around Moscow, where his father and uncle were executed by the Bolsheviks for alleged counter-revolutionary activities. Returning to Warsaw in 1919, Lutosławski studied the violin with a former pupil of Joachim and, from 1927, composition with Rimsky-Korsakov’s pupil Witold Maliszewski. In 1933 he abandoned his study of mathematics at Warsaw University to enter the Warsaw Conservatory. The première in 1939 of his Symphonic Variations marked his professional début as a composer, but World War Two curtailed plans for study in Paris. Taken prisoner as an officer cadet, he escaped and returned to Warsaw, spending the war years performing in ‘unofficial’ concerts and recitals, often with the composer Andrzej Panufnik.

After the war, Lutosławski was able to complete his long-delayed First Symphony (Naxos 8.554283). The Stalinist direction of post-war Polish society meant that composition was largely restricted to arrangements of folk-music and works for children, though the Concerto for Orchestra (Naxos 8.553779) shows how such accessibility could be harnessed to the virtuosity of the modern orchestra. The cultural thaw which set in after 1954 enabled him to experiment more freely; initially with serial procedures in Musique funèbre (Naxos 8.553202), then with chance techniques in the works from Jeux vénitiens (Naxos 8.554283) onwards. Major works of the period include the song-cycle Paroles tissées (Naxos 8.554283) for Peter Pears, and the Cello Concerto (Naxos 8.553625) for Mstislav Rostropovich.

A new emphasis on melodic elaboration is evident from the mid-1970s, beginning with the song sequence for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau Les espaces du sommeil (Naxos 8.553423). The Third Symphony (Naxos 8.553423), completed in 1983 after a decade’s gestation, and first performed by the Chicago Symphony and Georg Solti, quickly became the most performed symphony of the modern repertoire and sealed the composer’s reputation as a cultural figure of world renown, a standing maintained through to his last major work, the Fourth Symphony (Naxos 8.553202), first performed in Los Angeles in 1993. After a short illness, Lutosławski died on 7 February 1994, aged eighty-one.

Reviews

International Piano

“The many miniatures are exquisite, including a quirky Bukoliki and two world premiere recordings; Virginia Rossetti joins Koukl’s collection now leads the field, ahead of Corinna Simon’s ‘complete’ disc.” – International Piano

“Giorgio Koukl, a pianist I admire nearly as much as the great Michael Korstick—both have fabulous articulation, a superb touch, and get to the emotional heart of the music they perform...” – The Art Music Lounge