Alphabet - Witold Lutosławski

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Cafes

The work of a cafe musician was a way to earn one’s living and survive in the early 1940s during the German occupation. Initially, Lutosławski performed as an accompanist in cabaret ensembles. Later he and Andrzej Panufnik, his friend and fellow composer, created an extraordinary piano duo with a repertoire including their arrangements of great classics. These were the circumstances in which Lutosławski wrote his famous Variations on a Theme by Paganini, which remains a “hit” of chamber piano music to this day. The duo went down in the history of such Warsaw establishments as the Ziemiańska, U Aktorek and the Aria, where Lutosławski met his future wife, Danuta Bogusławska, who attended his recitals with her brother, the novelist Stanisław Dygat, who was Lutosławski’s friend.