Double Fugue for orchestra

Recording not available.

Opis materiału
  • Composer:Witold Lutosławski
  • Original title: Fuga podwójna na orkiestrę
  • year of completion: 1936
  • instrumentation: orchestra
  • Premiere: Orchestra of the Warsaw Conservatory, Walerian Bierdiajew – conductor
For his graduation exam at the Warsaw Conservatory, Lutosławski submitted music to two fragments of the funeral mass, Requiem aeternam and Lacrimosa, adding to them an orchestral Fugue. The composition must have been a display of skill in using a symphony orchestra and more complex polyphony. During a concert featuring the most talented Conservatory graduates in May 1937, the Fugue was performed alongside Stefan Kisielewski’s Overture and Zbigniew Turski’s Piano Concerto.

The score of the Fugue burned in the Warsaw Uprising, sharing the fate of nearly all the pre-war works composed by Lutosławski. The only traces of the work are found in two surviving reviews, which unfortunately are very general. Teodor Zalewski wrote in Muzyka Polska: “W. Lutosławski [...] presented his Fugue for symphony orchestra – a piece written a few years ago and containing plenty of marks of a school work. Yet it is undoubtedly written with taste and good use of the orchestra. The slightly anaemic theme is developed in an interesting manner, the texture is relatively modern, testifying to the young composer’s solid knowledge and subtle taste.” A critic for Warszawski Dziennik Narodowy, Piotr Rytel, wrote that “In Lutosławski I see a talented musician, who can show what he feels and thinks in the themes. He can thinks in sounds – and this means a lot. But in this very well-written and developed Fugue, with its pleasant and eloquent themes, Lutosławski does not reveal a spirit striving for higher ideals. The composer seems to surrender voluntarily, as it were, and follows a line set in advance.”