Not for You for soprano and piano

Recording not available.

Opis materiału
  • Composer:Witold Lutosławski
  • Original title: Nie dla Ciebie na sopran i fortepian
  • year of completion: 1981
  • instrumentation: soprano, piano
  • commission: Organizers of Mieczysław Tomaszewski's 60th birthday anniversary celebrations
  • Dedication: to Mieczysław Tomaszewski
  • text author: Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna
  • kind of text: literary
  • Text language: Polish
  • Premiere: Kraków, 09.12.1981, Elżbieta Szmytka – soprano, Halina Kochan – piano
  • Discography: "Witold Lutosławski Songs and Carols", Anna Radziejewska - mezzo-soprano, Mariusz Rutkowski - piano, DUX, 2013
Lutosławski was on friendly terms with the long-time director of the music publisher PWM Edition, the musicologist Mieczysław Tomaszewski. He composed a charming miniature for a concert celebrating his friend’s 60th birthday, in December 1981 – the song Not for You to words by Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna.

The poetic text is a teasing dedication that the composer skilfully emphasizes. His music discreetly accompanies an enumeration of what is “not for You – for me” that includes the lyrics “Breaking with a rainbow in the rain...”, “The nightingale lies most ...” and “The world is on fire and playing with colours...”. Tension gradually rises, only to find its release after many repetitions of a persistent refrain in an ending as surprising as that of Les espaces du sommeil: “But when a name is written in the sky, / it’s not me, it is You among the stars!”


This slight, occasional composition matches Lutosławski’s most significantworks in its structural precision. The soprano part and the accompaniment are based on a 12-tone series with a regular structure and characteristic sound; this restriction is maintained from the first note to the last. Not for You resembles Lutosławski children's songs as well as songs by Szymanowski and Stravinsky. It lacks, however, allusions to 19th-century songs that were the closest the dedicatee’s heart. Thus the “not for you” from Iłłakowiczówna’s poem finds in the composer’s art a deeper musical equivalent.