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 Post subject: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:07 pm 
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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)

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:32 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:43 pm 
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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!

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:06 am 
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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....

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:08 am 
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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

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:47 am 
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Pianolady wrote:
Quote:
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....


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

Pianoman342 wrote:
Quote:
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 :)


Thank you, Riley! :D

Quote:
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.


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.

Quote:
I can't think of anything in particular to criticize at this time, and I did enjoy listening to them.


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! :)

Quote:
Thanks for sharing these performances,


Thanks for listening, Riley!

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:58 pm 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:37 am 
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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 !

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:28 pm 
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Andrew wrote:
Quote:
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.


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.)

Quote:
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.


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: ).

Quote:
Well performed and convincingly presented.


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


Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Masterful playing from both of you !


Thanks for that, Chris! :D

Quote:
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.


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.

Quote:
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).


Yeah, that´s also a funny thing IMO.

Quote:
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 !


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. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:59 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
For all the joy of 4-hand playing, it is great to play with someone who is not constantly in your way :lol:


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:

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


O.k., I will experiment a bit at it!

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:31 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Witold Lutoslawski: 5 Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Thank you, Eddy, for your appreciated feedback! :D

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