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Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    The original version of this work, for Clarinet and Piano, was written in 1954 in response to a commission from the publishers, Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne, for an easy work for student performers. The five movements are based on folk songs from Northern Poland. Lutoslawski also wrote a second version one year later, in 1955, for clarinet and orchestra. The first performance of this version was given at the 1963 Aldeburgh Festival by Gervase de Peyer and the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Britten.

    Here my colleague, Michael Schönfelder (clarinet) and me (piano), we perform the original version. (I think, it´s a reasonable addition for this site, since we only have two etudes by Lutoslawski until now.)

    Lutoslawski - Dance Preludes 1: Allegro molto
    Lutoslawski - Dance Preludes 2: Andantino
    Lutoslawski - Dance Preludes 3: Allegro giocoso
    Lutoslawski - Dance Preludes 4: Andante
    Lutoslawski - Dance Preludes 5: Allegro molto




    Here are the video-links:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gZhrpGJ ... ideo_title (1st movement: Allegro molto)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDDa9UoW ... ideo_title (2nd movement: Andantino)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG4J4Kq_ ... ideo_title (3rd movement: Allegro giocoso)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAqGtKcj ... ideo_title (4th movement: Andante)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFSn4stu ... ideo_title (5th movement: Allegro molto-piu tranquillo-Presto)
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    These are up, Andreas. It has taken me over a half-hour to do so because I had to do it twice. You put a 'y' on the end of Lutoslawski and on the site we spell it with an 'i' and so I had to do everything all over again. :x Therefore, I do not have time to listen carefully to your music - I only made sure there was a beginning and an end. This music is not my cup of tea anyway, but what I heard sounded like you and your partner play well together.

    Chris - please delete the five Lutoslawsky (with a y) files from the server.
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for having put these up, Monica and I´m sorry, that you have had trouble because of my writing of "Lutoslawski" with an "y" at the end, though I think, I already have seen written his name like this, so that it wouldn´t have been too bad to let the name with an "y" at the end.
    But again, thank you for your effort!
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I know you didn't do it intentionally, Andreas. I just wish members would first look at the way a composer's name is spelled on the site before they submit recordings. It would save me precious time....
     
  5. pianoman342

    pianoman342 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andreas,

    I was able to listen to your recordings, nice playing! I quite enjoyed the energy that you and your duet partner put into the set. Quite appropriate as these are dances :)

    I haven't heard much of Lutoslawksi, but admittedly some of these pieces sound like some of the music from the Poulenc Clarinet Sonata you posted sometime back. Maybe it's just that I am remembering from those recordings the sound textures of a Piano playing with Clarinet, but beyond that the harmonic rhythm seems quick to my ears. I can't think of anything in particular to criticize at this time, and I did enjoy listening to them.

    Thanks for sharing these performances,

    ~Riley

    and now that Monica says this I'll have to remember for future recordings to reference the site for correct composer names
     
  6. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianolady wrote:
    Of course, you are right, I will better myself! :) And once more sorry for my neglect!

    Pianoman342 wrote:
    Thank you, Riley! :D

    Indeed, there is some similarity between Poulenc and Lutoslawski, but there are also many differences. Poulenc has more neoromanticism in his music whereas Lutoslawski is still a bit more "modern" in sound, has still some more dissonances and especially the many polyrhythmic structures are a feature of him. You don´t find them in Poulencs sonata. There always are changes of measures and the clarinetist has other measures than the pianist very often in the Lutoslawski-pieces. And Lutoslawski in first line is inspired by Polish folk tunes, which is not the case with Poulenc.

    Well, the only thing one could criticize is, that I leave out one or two notes in the Presto-Coda of the last movement and at the end of the third movement I play e´´´ instead of e´´ by accident, but otherwise these pieces are at least played noteperfectly. Of course, interpretation like always is a matter of taste and may be one or the other could have a critic concerning it. But, of course, I´m glad, that you enjoyed our performance! :)

    Thanks for listening, Riley!
     
  7. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    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. 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. Well performed and convincingly presented.
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Masterful playing from both of you ! 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.
    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).
    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 !
     
  9. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Andrew wrote:
    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.)

    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 :wink: ).

    Thank you for that, Andrew, and for listening. :)


    Techneut wrote:
    Thanks for that, Chris! :D

    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.

    Yeah, that´s also a funny thing IMO.

    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 :D , 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. :)
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Lucky day, hehe yes, that would explain.
    For all the joy of 4-hand playing, it is great to play with someone who is not constantly in your way :lol:

    Ok, I see your argument of clarity above all. I don't think just a little more reverb/ambiance would spoil that, though.
     
  11. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Techneut wrote:
    What a truth in your words, Chris. :lol: But from time to time I have just more fun to stumble upon another person fingers! :lol:

    O.k., I will experiment a bit at it!
     
  12. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    Andreas,
    You and Mr. Schönfelder have done a great job with these. What a pleasure to listen to! This is both fine music and an excellent performance. Your ensemble was superb. Thanks.
     
  13. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Eddy, for your appreciated feedback! :D
     

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