Like Monica, not really my cup of tea, and my only previous experience of Lutoslawski was performing a rather hastily put-together second piano part in the Paganini Variations, but nonetheless I found these pieces interesting to listen to.
I think, the music by Lutoslawski (and may be all freetonal or even more modern music) is a matter of habituation and understanding of and coming into the special structures of the compositions. So, me, too, I often find pieces by Lutoslawski or other music of 20th century just interesting at first, but if play them myself for a longer time I begin more and more to like them. (That´s just my personal experience.)
It struck me that there was some capricious humour and fun to be found in the faster ones, while the Andantino in particular (my favourite of the five) was rather wistful.
Yes, I agree. The third and the fifth movement are extremely funny und we had so much fun to play them! We sometimes have laughed about one or the other musical idea (or mistakes we have made while practising
Well performed and convincingly presented.
Thank you for that, Andrew, and for listening.
Masterful playing from both of you !
Thanks for that, Chris!
I like the introspective items (2 and 4) much better than the faster ones, as they seem to be closer to their roots. The faster ones seem a bit hyperactive and artificially cheerful to me, in the vain of Martinu or Francaix.
I think, there also are polish folk melodies in the 3rd and 5th movement and they are absolutely funny from my view. I think, one can enjoy these pieces only with a good portion of humour. But I also like the more contemplative movements, of course.
Much nice detail in your part, like the little 'burps' in the beginning of the second dance (reminded be of Bartok's Nigth Music a bit).
Yeah, that´s also a funny thing IMO.
The only thing I would wish for is a less closed and dry sound picture, where especially the clarinet was allowed a bit more bloom (I had the same reservation about the Poulenc). On the other hand, you achieve exceptional clarity here, and the ensemble playing is impeccable, I heard some runs that were spot-on together. It does not sound especially hard to play, but to achieve this level of ensemble must have taken a lot of careful practicing. Kudos !
I personally have a certain reservation here about too much pedal respective reverb in these pieces and especially for modern music I like the very clear (and dry) Gould-sound (though I always have used pedal when described in the score, btw). Articulation and "spelling" of the musical ideas are immensely important in that kind of music. (It´s like doing a good speech, the clearer you speak the better is your speech.) But these are only my personal ideas of interpretation, of course.
Thanks for your praise
, but I have to admit, that we only have met one afternoon before we made the recordings. (It was nearly one week before the autumn holidays have begun.) So, may be we just had a lucky day.