Lutosławski – Mala Suita


Nearing the end of his life, Polish composer Witold Lutosławski compared the writing of music to the fishing of the listener’s soul. Trying to reach for a string to stir deep in the listener. His own soul must have been hurt by the stirrings of history. He was born a year before the outbreak of the First World War, in a family that was part of the landed nobility. His father was active in the National Democratic Party, fighting for the very existence of Poland.

During the war, the family moved to Moscow, where they would still fight for independence. Father Jozef would be executed for it before the war was over. The family moved back to Poland to find their estates destroyed.

As a composer, Lutosławski always had his hands tied to his back by the government. That might have been the nazis during the Thirties and the Forties, followed by the communist government of Poland after. He later described it as having shoes that were a bit too tight. This makes interpreting his music difficult, as the question about the circumstances always comes to mind. A bit like Shostakovich I suppose.

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