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Witold Lutosławski

Publisher: Chester Music

Novelette (1979)
Commissioned by National Symphony Orchestra
Work Notes
Chester Music is the publisher of this work in all territories except Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, China, countries of the former Czechoslovakia, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Romania, Hungary and the whole territory of the former USSR, where the copyright is held by Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (PWM).
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd (Polish Works)
Category
Orchestra
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
1979
Duration
18 Minutes


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Programme Note
Witold Lutosławski Novelette (1979)
LUTOSLAWSKI – NOVELETTE


Novelette owes its existence to Mstislav Rostropovich. When he was appointed Musical Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, he asked me to write a work for him to conduct with his new orchestra. This was not in fact the first occasion on which I composed a piece at the suggestion of this great artist; in the 1960s he had spurred me on to write a cello concerto. Composed very much with him in mind and dedicated to him, it was subsequently commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society in London, at one of whose concerts he gave the World Premiere.

Novelette is in five movements and despite the work’s almost miniature character, its total duration is eighteen minutes. As has happened in some of my other works, the last movement is more substantial than those which precede it, forming a kind of counterbalance to them. The titles of the movements are ‘Announcements’, ‘Three Events’ and ‘Conclusion’. The first movement is so-called because in it I present as it were samples of the ‘events’ which follow. The three are contrasting in character, the slow middle one being ‘buffo’ and the third one being a fast and sparkling scherzando. The ‘Conclusion’ consists largely of a slow heterophonic cantilena of two groups of violins with the accompaniment of other instruments playing ‘ad libitum’.

© Witold Lutoslawski


  • Ensemble
    Guildhall School of Music and Drama Symphony Orchestra
    Soloist(s)
    L. Hopkins, cello
    Conductor
    Witold Lutoslawski / W. Michniewski
    Somm Recordings:
  • Ensemble
    BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Soloist(s)
    K. Zimmerman, piano
    Conductor
    Witold Lutoslawski
    Deutsche Grammophon:
  • Ensemble
    Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Soloist(s)
    A. Bauer, cello
    Conductor
    Antoni Wit
    Naxos:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 03 OCT 2019
    Anna Karenina | Choreography by Christian Spuck
    München, Germany
    Bayerisches Staatsorchester München
    Solisten und Ensemble des Bayerischen Staatsballetts; Adrian Oetiker, piano; Robertas Servenikas, conductor

    Other Dates:
    19,25 November 2017; 1 December 2017; 23 March 2018; 22 April 2018; 10 May 2018; 15,30 June 2018; 1,3,13 October 2018; 6 November 2018; 18 April; 17,19 May; 4,6,12 October - München, Germany
    25,26 May - Ludwigshafen, Germany

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