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Cat. No. CHAN 10688 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10688 - Lutoslawski: Vocal Works
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Available From: 15 August 2011
Lutoslawski: Vocal Works

The BBC Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner, music director of English National Opera and an exclusive Chandos artist, presents Volume 2 of their Polish Music series; a disc dedicated to vocal works by Witold Lutoslawski. They are joined by the soloists Lucy Crowe, Toby Spence, and Christopher Purves in looking at some of the composer’s earlier works for voice and orchestra as well as three major works written after 1960: Paroles tissées, Les Espaces du sommeil and Chantefleurs et Chantefables.

Among the earlier pieces, Lacrimosa is the only surviving fragment of an intended Requiem and the only sacred work in Lutoslawski’s output. In complete contrast, the Silesian Triptych was written at the height of the post-war Soviet doctrine that called for music that connected with the broad masses. In this folk-based work, Lutoslawski takes three Silesian songs about the trials of love, giving them sparkle as well as depth to lift them above the mundanity of everyday life. Both works here feature the soprano soloist Lucy Crowe.

When Poland finally emerged from the cultural oppression of the post-war decade, its music scene flourished. For Lutoslawski, it was a time for personal development. In the first half of the 1960s his music had a raw energy, but by 1965 it had developed a much more subtle tone. Paroles tissées, in which the tenor soloist here is Toby Spence, simply accompanied by strings, harp, and piano, was the first work really to show this new subtlety in his works. Les Espaces du sommeil, with the baritone soloist Christopher Purves, is another prime example of the new lyrical quality that came to colour many of Lutoslawski’s later orchestral works.

Chantefleurs et Chantefables is made up of nine charming and humourous songs which, inspired by the collection of childrens’ poems by the surrealist Robert Desnos, explores the vivid imagery and bright colours of the natural world through the innocent eyes of a child. 

Reviews

"...The soloists on this album, especially Lucy Crowe, who seems born to sing the music, are all wonderful, and Edward Gardner elevates the performance tradition of Lutoslawski’s music to a new level. Superb music, superbly performed and recorded makes a most desirable release."

Steven Ritter - AudiophileAudition.com - 28 September 2012

“How wonderful that Lutoslawski’s vocal works are given readings of urgency and beauty in this recording. Edward Gardner is generating a fine reputation for himself in the United Kingdom ... I can attest to his keen ear and his innate musicality, both traits that manifest in no uncertain terms on the present disc ...”
Colin Clarke – Fanfare – March/April2012
 

“...This is a valuable collection, beautifully performed and worthy of your time. Don’t hesitate to pick it up.”
Gimbel – American Record Guide – January-February 2012 

             “Record of the Month”
“At the end of 2010 I nominated the first volume in this series as my Record of the Month. If anything, this one is even finer... Magnificent music, superbly performed by an all-British team, and with outstanding Chandos sound and presentation to match.”
William Hedley – MusicWeb-International.com – 6 December 2011


              ***** (Exceptional)
Giuseppe Rossi - Musica - November 2011

“...With the best lineup of soloists around and the BBC Symphony Orchestra on top form, this was always going to be soething special, but it exceeds even my expectations ... Total immersion Lutoslawski – really magical.”
Dominy Clements – Musicweb International.com – 1 November 2011

                     Editor’s Choice
“...This has the feeling of an award-winner about it, a release with ‘play me again’ etched in the material of each performance.” ***** 
Andrew Stewart – Classic FM magazine - November  2011

 

              Performance ****      Recording ****
“... An attractively varied, highly accomplished release.”
John Allison – BBC Music magazine – November 2011

 

    *****
Andrew Clements - The Guardian - 2 September 2011

“This is a superb follow-up to the CD of the same composer’s orchestral music released by Chandos a year ago ... With music ranging from youth to old age, the disc adds up to a fascinating traversal of Lutoslawski’s style.” *****
Andrew Clark – Financial Times – 27 August 2011
        

 

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