Lutoslawski Orchestral Works IV Tasmin Little
- Witold Lutoslawski (1913–1994): Symphony No. 1 (1941-47)
- 1I. Allegro giusto04:35
- 2II. Poco adagio10:21
- 3III. Allegretto misterioso04:28
- 4IV. Allegro vivace05:25
- Partita (1988)
- 5I. Allegro giusto04:22
- 6II. Ad libitum01:05
- Chain 2 (1984–85)
- 8IV. Ad libitum00:55
- 9V. Presto04:01
- Chain 2 (1984-85)
- 10I. Ad libitum04:20
- 11II. A battuta04:55
- 12III. Ad libitum05:45
- 13IV. A battuta - Ad libitum - A battuta04:26
- Preludia taneczne (1955)
- 14No. 1. Allegro molto00:57
- 15No. 2. Andantino02:35
- 16No. 3. Allegro giocoso01:16
- 17No. 4. Andante03:26
- 18No. 5. Allegro molto01:35
Info for Lutoslawski Orchestral Works IV
This is the fifth and now final volume in our survey of orchestral works by the Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski. Gramophone wrote of a previous volume in the series (CHAN 5106) that it ‘offers a broad view of Lutoslawski’s creative profile, which the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner fleshes out with playing that is as polished as it is animated, and alert to the individuality of Lutoslawski’s musical vocabulary and mode of expression’.
Lutoslawski wrote his Symphony No. 1 between 1941 and 1947, but interestingly it does not display any obvious signs of his trying to come to terms with the ordeal that befell his people. Quite the opposite, in fact. Lutoslawski himself described the symphony as bright and cheerful, ‘because that was the idea of the composition, which was conceived in the period of independence before the war, but brought into being during the terrible wartime and in far from idyllic post-war years’. At the time, one Polish colleague went so far as to call it ‘fauvist’, so wild and vibrant did it appear to the audiences at its first performance in April 1948.
Lutoslawski was a meticulous collector of folk materials in the first half of the 1950s, but for him, Dance Preludes was a ‘farewell to folklore’, even though he privately still explored folk tunes for several more years. Here the orchestra and conductor are joined by the clarinettist Michael Collins, an exclusive Chandos artist.
As his career developed in the more open environment that emerged after the ‘socialist-realist’ period, Lutoslawski began to receive international recognition, and with the Partita (1984, orchestrated 1988), for violin and orchestra, he presented a newly relaxed, more melodic compositional style to the public. The soloist is the exclusive Chandos artist Tasmin Little.
Chain 2 (1984 – 85) was premiered by Anne-Sophie Mutter on 31 January 1986 with Collegium Musicum, conducted by Paul Sacher to whom it was dedicated. On this recording Tasmin Little leads the orchestra through a succession of ideas, much as the soloist had done in the ‘Episodes’ movement of the Cello Concerto (recorded on CHAN 5106 with Paul Watkins).
“… The BBC is a great orchestra, recorded in superb sound … if you are looking for this piece [Symphony No 1] , it would be hard to top this. The Partita (1988) I an arrangement of the piece for violin and piano, scored with orchestra. The piece is generally devoid of the composer’s famous 60’s avant-gardisms…. Ms Little plays it skilfully and convincingly… The Dance Preludes (1955), for clarinet, percussion, harp, piano and strings, are built on folk materials. The outer dances are affable and the more introspective pieces quiet beautiful. To no one’s surprise, Mr Collins is exemplary… most listeners would not automatically associate much of this with the experimental language that made this composer famous, but new listeners unfamiliar with or offended by 60s wildness will find all of this stimulating and enjoyable.” (Allen Gimbel, American Record Guide)
'... Michael Collins is both incisive and poetic in a work whose brevity must be the only reason why it has not established itself in the modern repertoire - though it has been decently served on disc, with this account ranking among the finest... Any doubt as to Tasmin Little’s identification with this music is quickly banished as she responds with some of her most insightful as well as virtuosic playing on disc. The spacious yet immediate sound is on a par with earlier discs in the series...' (Richard Whitehouse, International Record Review)
Tasmin Little, violin (on Partita and Chain 2)
Michael Collins, clarinet (on Preludia taneczne)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner, conductor
Recorded at Watford Colosseum 2 and 3 April (Preludia taneczne, Symphony No. 1) and 3 July (other works) 2012
Engineered by Ralph Couzens
Produced by Brian Pidgeon
Tasmin has played with many of the world's greatest orchestras in a career that has taken her to every continent of the world. In addition to her regular solo performances, she has play/directed orchestras such as Royal Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, London Mozart Players, English Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Chamber, European Union Chamber Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia. In 2007/08 she joined the London Mozart Players as soloist and director in a tour of the UK which also featured her UK conducting debut.
As a concerto player, Tasmin's performances in the 2010/11 season took her twice back to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam where she performed violin concerti by Loevendie and Prokofiev. Other performances in 2010/11 include concerts in Australia, New Zealand and Slovenia, London’s South Bank Centre as well as a Festival at Kings Place, London, entitled 'Tasmin Little and Friends: Violin Journeys'.
In 2008, Tasmin made her sixteenth appearance at the BBC Promenade Concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, London, in a performance of the Concerto for Violin and Horn by Dame Ethyl Smyth. She continues to champion seldom-performed repertoire, and has received critical acclaim as one of the few violinists to have mastered Ligeti's challenging violin concerto. Her 2003 tour with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, during which she performed the concerto at the Proms, Berlin Philharmonie, the Salzburg Festival, New York's Carnegie Hall and Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, received unanimous critical acclaim ('the technical command was glorious' The Guardian; 'very beautiful' Berliner Morgenpost; 'a major violin talent' Philadelphia Inquirer; 'a formidable soloist' New York Times). In 2007 she returned to the work with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
In 2006, Tasmin was Artistic Director of her hugely successful 'Delius Inspired' Festival, which was broadcast for an entire week on BBC Radio 3 in July. An exciting range of events, ranging from orchestral concerts and chamber music to films and exhibitions, also reached 800 school children in an ambitious programme designed to widen interest in classical music for young people. She was Artistic Director of Spring Sounds Festival from 2008 until 2010.
Her discography reflects her wide-ranging repertoire and includes twenty-five recordings, ranging from Bruch and Brahms to Karlowicz and Arvo Pärt. In March 2009 she released the disc 'Partners in Time', her follow-up to The Naked Violin, and in Autumn 2010 her long-awaited recording of the Elgar violin concerto was released on the Chandos label to unanimous critical acclaim. The recording celebrated the 100th anniversary of the concerto’s premiere and included a re-creation of a special version of the accompanied cadenza.
Tasmin is an Ambassador for The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts, is a Fellow of the Guildhall of Music and Drama, is President of ESTA (European String Teachers Association), an Ambassador for Youth Music, and has received Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Bradford, Leicester, Hertfordshire and City of London. In 2009, she received a prestigious Gold Badge Award for services to music.
She plays a 1757 Guadagnini violin and has, on kind loan from the Royal Academy of Music, the 'Regent' Stradivarius of 1708.