Antoni Wit | Playlist
photo courtesy of Antoni Wit
It is with great pleasure that I present
this list of pieces by Lutosławski, Górecki, and Penderecki. Not only have I
recorded all of these works for Naxos (with hundreds of thousands of copies
sold), but I have also conducted their performances many times, and in such
culturally remote places as Brazil, Japan, and New Zealand, at that.
And it is not the awards I have received for these recordings, but their public performances that have always been the greatest source of joy to me. These performances would win enthusiastic receptions from audiences, who were often surprised that “contemporary music” — commonly regarded as a challenging art form — could speak to the listener so directly. It is also worth noting that the pieces I have selected were written in different eras; many of them are separated by over fifty years, even though they are the work of a single composer.
What this means is that a master (a title that applies to all three artists mentioned above), even when he changes his style deeply, as was the case with each of our composers, can speak to the hearts and imaginations of audiences, evoking admiration and the highest level of interest, though he may use distant means of expression and an different musical vocabulary. I have performed and recorded pieces in the presence of their composers. It is a very moving experience, but also an educational one. When we perform Beethoven, Brahms, or Dvořák, we cannot ask them what they think about our interpretation. We can, however, compare observations by outstanding living composers with what they wrote in their scores, and both provide excellent material for comparison.
Each of these three masters represents a radically different personality, and the pieces I have selected are sometimes equally distant from each other, which is why listening to them may offer very different and deep experiences. I wish the listeners no less!
- Little Suite for orchestra (dir. Jan Krenz) | Witold Lutosławski 00:11:15
- Concerto for Orchestra (dir. Witold Lutosławski) | Witold Lutosławski 00:30:36
- Funeral Music for string orchestra | Witold Lutosławski 00:14:17
- Three Poems of Henri Michaux for 20-voice mixed choir and orchestra (dir. W. Lutosławski) | Witold Lutosławski 00:21:23
- Livre pour orchestre | Witold Lutosławski 00:22:12
- Concerto for cello and orchestra (perf. A. Bauer) | Witold Lutosławski 00:25:58
- Symphony No. 3 “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” op. 36 | Henryk Mikołaj Górecki 00:55:34
- Beatus vir op. 38 | Henryk Mikołaj Górecki 00:28:32
- Harpsichord Concerto op. 40 | Henryk Mikołaj Górecki 00:09:37
- Concerto-Cantata Op. 65 | Henryk Mikołaj Górecki 00:18:36
- Kleines Requiem für eine Polka op. 66 | Henryk Mikołaj Górecki 00:23:34
- Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima | Krzysztof Penderecki 00:06:18
- St. Luke Passion | Krzysztof Penderecki 01:15:04
- Concerto grosso for 3 cellos and orchestra | Krzysztof Penderecki 00:33:30
- Symphony No. 3 | Krzysztof Penderecki 00:42:50
- Te Deum | Krzysztof Penderecki 00:35:19
- A Polish Requiem | Krzysztof Penderecki 01:39:35
- Credo for 5 soli, children’s choir, mixed choir and orchestra | Krzysztof Penderecki 00:48:33