January 25, 2013 would have been the 100th birthday of Witold Lutos?awski, one of the most influential musical minds of the 20th century. To celebrate this anniversary, Esa-Pekka Salonen - a fervid devotee and mentee of Lutos?awski - the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Sony Classical continue their long-established relationship by recording Lutos?awski's Symphony No. 1 live at Walt Disney Concert Hall this December.
This new recording of the First Symphony will complete the four Lutos?awski Symphonies recorded by Salonen and the orchestra; the recordings of the Second, Third and Fourth Symphonies appeared on various Sony releases from as early as 1986. An additional work, Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic, written by the composer in 1993, will also be newly re-recorded for this set. Lutos?awski The Symphonies will be available internationally on January 21, 2013 as a 2-CD set, as well as in digital format (US digital release date is January 22 and CD release date is March 12). The CD set will also include liner notes by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and noted Lutos?awski scholar Steven Stucky. The recordings of Lutos?awski's Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic and Symphony No. 1 are being generously underwritten by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, as part of the Polska Music program.
Esa-Pekka Salonen first met Lutos?awski in the mid-seventies in Helsinki, Finland, at the Sibelius Academy, where Lutos?awski was lecturing for the composition class. Of his works, Salonen has written, "[They] possess the beauty of a giant organism, like a tree, or maybe a forest. We are moved by the logic of the form and the inevitability of growth. We perceive the music in shapes and lines, overall characteristics of the musical texture, and contrasts between movement and static situations." Salonen will honor the Lutos?awski birthday with concerts around the globe, including a season-long project with the Philharmonia Orchestra called Woven Words: "Music Begins Where Words End," as well as performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A full schedule of Salonen conducting Lutos?awski’s work can be found at the end of this release.
In the last decade of his life, Witold Lutos?awski became closely associated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Most of his major pieces were presented in concert during that period by the orchestra, the Philharmonic Institute Orchestra, or the New Music Group, often with the composer conducting premiere performances. Highlights included the West Coast premiere of the Third Symphony on Salonen's debut concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1984 and the world premiere of the Fourth Symphony in February 1993, with Lutos?awski conducting. The Sony Classical recording of the Third Symphony by Salonen and the orchestra won a Grammy Award, a Cecilia Prize, a Koussevitzky Award, and the 1986 Gramophone Award for Best Contemporary Record. Salonen and the Philharmonic also recorded the Fourth Symphony twice, as well as the Second Symphony, Les espaces du sommeil (with baritone John Shirley-Quirk), the Piano Concerto (with soloist Paul Crossley), and Chantefleurs et Chantefables (with soprano Dawn Upshaw). They also recorded Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1994 - the first in a series of fanfares written by distinguished composers in celebration of the Philharmonic's 75th Anniversary Season - a work which also appears on this centennial release. At least 10 musicians in the ensemble have performed on all three of the earlier recordings featured in the upcoming set.
Esa-Pekka Salonen Conducts Lutos?awski:
November 30, December 1, 2, 2012 - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Philharmonic
BEETHOVEN: King Stephen Overture
LUTOS?AWSKI: Symphony No. 1
LUTOS?AWSKI: Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 2
December 7, 8, 9, 2012 - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Philharmonic
David Fray, piano
Gerald Finley, baritone
SALONEN: Nyx (West Coast premiere)
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto
LUTOS?AWSKI: Les Espaces du Sommeil
TCHAIKOVSKY: Francesca da Rimini
January 30, 2013?- London, United Kingdom
Krystian Zimerman, piano
LUTOS?AWSKI: Musique funèbre
LUTOS?AWSKI: Piano Concerto
RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé (complete)
February 7, 2013?- Tokyo, Japan
Leif Ove Andsnes, piano
LUTOS?AWSKI: Symphony No. 4
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7