Saturday 23 March 2013

The genius of Lutosławski

Witold Lutosławski

The Philharmonia’s Woven Words series, celebrating the centenary of Polish composer Witold Lutosławski, came to an end on Thursday with a concert that included the haunting nocturnal orchestral song Les espaces du sommeil and the ferocious Fourth Symphony:

“Even without its concentrated and compelling narrative of mounting violence, Lutosławski’s Fourth would be remarkable for the sounds it conjures: rippling harp motifs, impossibly rich string textures and molten brassy climaxes. But it grips with its anguished momentum, seeming surprisingly close to the stark and enigmatic concerns of Shostakovich more brutalised symphonies. Its pull was only strengthened by the Philharmonia’s effortless and dazzlingly colourful playing and the force of Salonen’s no-holds-barred conducting. How can this remarkable symphony be such a concert hall rarity?”

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