Composers / Witold Lutosławski / Places catalog


According to Witold Lutosławski, his musical imagination derived chiefly from the symphonies of two of the Viennese Classics: Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven. In Haydn’s symphonies, he considered the relations between the successive movements as exemplary, whilst in the symphonies of Beethoven he admired the ‘subtle ways in which the listener is led in a particular direction before some slight change is introduced, after which it turns out that we are heading in a completely different direction’.

He had a different attitude towards the ‘second Vienna school’, accusing it of turning its back on the listener and replacing ‘playing’ with its expectations with dogmas based on theoretical tenets. In actual fact, Arnold Schönberg became a rival to Lutosławski during his first contact with Viennese musicians. In 1956, at the festival of new music that would soon come to be known as the Warsaw Autumn, the Wiener Symphoniker performed Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra. The Symphoniker was conducted by Michael Gielen and the piano part was played by Alfred Brendel. The interpretation was far from perfect, but in any case the audience listened to the familiar work by its compatriot with only moderate interest, since the sensation of the programme was Schönberg’s Piano Concerto, not previously heard in Poland.

The Concerto for Orchestra fared much better in Vienna itself seven years later, when a recording of the work was submitted by Danish Radio to a competition organised by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. The composition and the recording were so highly regarded that they were given the main prize.

In 1973, the Wiener Symphoniker invited Lutosławski to a concert, in which he made his conducting debut in that city. Three years later, he again appeared at the Wiener Konzerthaus, which was just ten months younger than the composer, opened in the year of his birth (1913). On the evening of Thursday 8 April 1976, the audience included Krzysztof Meyer, who observed with considerable mirth the reactions of the music lover sitting next to him. The Viennese concert-goer listened to Jeux vénitiens and the Cello Concerto, in an excellent interpretation by Heinrich Schiff, with distinct interest and also satisfaction, as he did not fail to inform Meyer, but he could not understand why the composer, conducting those works, had not prepared for the concert and every so often put down his baton leaving the orchestra to its own devices. As one can easily surmise, that happened in the aleatory episodes, which were unfamiliar and incomprehensible to Konzerthaus patrons.

During the eighties, Lutosławski conducted concerts of his music in Vienna on three occasions, but with the radio orchestra.

Place Category
Aix-en-Provence Appearances
Aldeburgh Appearances
Amsterdam Appearances
Århus Education
Aspen Appearances
Austin Other
Baranów Sandomierski Other
Basel Other
Basztowa Street Performance spaces
Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts Other
BBC Orchestra and other ensembles Appearances
Belfast Other
Berea Performance spaces
Berlin Appearances
Białystok Education
Boston Appearances
Brisbane Other
Budapest Other
Calgary Education, Other
Cambridge Other
Celle Publishers / Bookshops
Chicago Appearances
Cincinnati Other
Cleveland Appearances
Cologne Other
Copenhagen Appearances
Cracow Philharmonic Performance spaces
Dartington Education
Donaueschingen Other
Dresden Other
Drozdowo Flats
Düsseldorf Appearances
Edinburgh Other
Evian Appearances
Filmography Radio / TV
Florence Appearances
Geneva Appearances
Glasgow Other
Graz Other
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Hagen Other, Performance spaces
Hamburg Other
Hanover (New Hampshire) Other
Helsinki Education
Herkulessaal Appearances, Performance spaces
Houston Other
Huddersfield Appearances
Indianapolis Other
Jagiellonian University Education
Katowice Other
Kazimierz nad Wisłą Other
Komorów Flats
Łagów Other
Lancaster Appearances
La Rochelle Appearances
Leeds Appearances
Leipzig Education, Performance spaces, Publishers / Bookshops
Lisbon Appearances
Liverpool Appearances
Łomża Education
London Sinfonietta Performance spaces
Los Angeles Appearances
Louisville (Kentucky) Other
Lublin Appearances
Lucerne Other
Madrid Appearances
Manchester Appearances
Mikołajki Other
Milan Appearances
Montreal Appearances
Moscow Appearances
Munich Philharmonic Appearances, Performance spaces
New York Appearances
Odense Education, Performance spaces
Olsztyn Education
Opio (near Grasse) Flats
Oslo Other
Paris Appearances
Pittsburgh Appearances
Poznań Other
Prague Appearances
PWM EDITION Publishers / Bookshops
Riga Performance spaces
Rome Other
Rotterdam Appearances
Royal Albert Hall Appearances, Performance spaces
Royal Philharmonic Society Appearances
Saint Paul (Minnesota) Other
Salzburg Other
San Francisco Appearances
Strasbourg Appearances
Stockholm Appearances
Sydney Appearances
Szczecin Other
Tanglewood Education, Other
Tokyo Appearances
Toronto Education
Toruń Education
Venice Performance spaces
Vienna Performance spaces
Villars-sur-Ollon Other
Warsaw Appearances, Flats, Other, Performance spaces
Washington Appearances
Wawel Appearances
Wehr near Rheinfelden Other
Wrocław Other, Performance spaces
Wzdów Other
Zagreb Performance spaces
Zegrze Other
Zurich Performance spaces