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Lutoslawski Concerto For Orchestra Score Pdf Download


Lutosławski's Concerto for Orchestra: A Masterpiece of Polish Music




Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994) was one of the most prominent Polish composers of the 20th century. His music is characterized by a distinctive style that combines elements of folk music, neoclassicism, serialism, aleatoricism, and sonorism. Among his many works, the Concerto for Orchestra (1950-1954) is one of his most celebrated and frequently performed pieces. It is a brilliant showcase of Lutosławski's orchestral technique, musical imagination, and expressive power.


Background and Inspiration




Lutosławski composed the Concerto for Orchestra during a difficult period in Polish history. After World War II, Poland was under the communist regime, which imposed strict censorship and ideological control over artistic activities. Lutosławski, like many other Polish composers, had to adapt to the new political and cultural situation, and find ways to express his artistic vision without compromising his integrity or risking persecution.


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One of the strategies that Lutosławski adopted was to draw inspiration from Polish folk music, which was considered acceptable by the authorities as a source of national identity and pride. Lutosławski collected and studied hundreds of folk melodies from various regions of Poland, and used them as thematic material for his compositions. He did not quote them literally, but transformed them according to his own musical language and style.


The Concerto for Orchestra was commissioned by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra in 1950, as part of a series of works celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Copernicus. Lutosławski chose to write a concerto for orchestra, a genre that originated in the Baroque era and was revived in the 20th century by composers such as Bartók and Hindemith. A concerto for orchestra is a symphonic work that features various solo instruments or groups of instruments within the orchestra, highlighting their individual characteristics and virtuosity.


Structure and Analysis




The Concerto for Orchestra consists of three movements: Intrada, Capriccio notturno e Arioso, and Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale. The movements are played without interruption, forming a continuous musical flow. The work lasts about 30 minutes.


Intrada




The first movement, Intrada, is a festive and energetic introduction that sets the tone for the whole work. It begins with a fanfare-like motif played by the brass section, followed by a lively theme based on a folk melody from Mazovia (a region in central Poland). The theme is passed around different instruments and sections of the orchestra, creating a polyphonic texture and a sense of dialogue. The movement ends with a recapitulation of the fanfare motif and a climactic coda.


Capriccio notturno e Arioso




The second movement, Capriccio notturno e Arioso, is a contrast to the first movement in terms of mood and tempo. It is divided into two sections: a nocturnal capriccio (a whimsical and playful piece) and an expressive arioso (a lyrical and vocal-like piece). The capriccio features a theme based on a folk melody from Kurpie (a region in northeastern Poland), played by the solo violin. The theme is accompanied by delicate and shimmering sounds from the harp, celesta, piano, and percussion. The theme undergoes various transformations and variations, creating a kaleidoscopic effect. The capriccio is interrupted by the arioso, which introduces a new theme based on a folk melody from Podhale (a region in southern Poland), played by the solo oboe. The theme is repeated by other woodwind instruments and strings, creating an emotional climax. The movement ends with a return to the capriccio material and a quiet fade-out.


Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale




The third movement, Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale, is the longest and most complex movement of the work. It is also divided into three sections: a passacaglia (a piece based on a repeated bass line or harmonic progression), a toccata (a fast and virtuosic piece), and a corale (a piece based on a chorale or hymn tune). The passacaglia features a theme based on a folk melody from Kujawy (a region in central Poland), played by the double basses. The theme consists of eight bars, each with four notes. The theme is repeated 25 times throughout the section, with different variations and accompaniments each time. The variations range from simple to complex, from calm to agitated, from monophonic to polyphonic, from consonant to dissonant, and from tonal to atonal. The passacaglia builds up tension and momentum, leading to the toccata. The toccata is a dazzling display of orchestral virtuosity, featuring fast and rhythmic motifs, syncopations, and cross-rhythms. The toccata is based on two themes: one derived from the passacaglia theme, and one based on a folk melody from Mazowsze (a region in central Poland). The themes are developed and combined in various ways, creating a dynamic and exciting texture. The toccata reaches a frenzied climax, followed by a sudden silence. The silence is broken by the corale, which introduces a new theme based on a folk melody from Silesia (a region in southwestern Poland), played by the brass section. The theme is solemn and majestic, resembling a hymn or a march. The theme is repeated four times, each time with different harmonizations and orchestrations. The corale is joined by the passacaglia theme and the toccata motifs, creating a rich and powerful sonority. The movement ends with a triumphant coda, in which all the themes are combined and resolved in a major chord.


Conclusion




Lutosławski's Concerto for Orchestra is a masterpiece of Polish music, and a testament to the composer's skill, creativity, and originality. It is a work that celebrates the diversity and richness of Polish folk music, as well as the beauty and potential of the symphony orchestra. It is a work that reflects the composer's personal and artistic struggles, as well as his hopes and aspirations. It is a work that appeals to both the intellect and the emotion, and that challenges and rewards the listener with its musical depth and brilliance.


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