×

Los Angeles Philharmonic

The world premiere of a significant orchestral composition by a renowned composer always creates a great deal of interest. This was certainly the case last week when Poland's preeminent composer Witold Lutoslawski conducted the debut performance of his Symphony No. 4.

The world premiere of a significant orchestral composition by a renowned composer always creates a great deal of interest. This was certainly the case last week when Poland’s preeminent composer Witold Lutoslawski conducted the debut performance of his Symphony No. 4.

Slight of frame, elegant in stature, and amazingly spry for his age (he recently turned 80), Lutoslawski led a full program of his own compositions. As well as the new symphony, he conducted performances of “Mi-parti” (from 1976) and the dramatic Cello Concerto (of 1970), with cellist Lynn Harrell as the featured soloist.

And while each performance was superbly crafted in its musicianship and temperament, and Harrell delivered a dynamic performance of the Cello Concerto, the focus of attention was clearly on the new symphony.

The Symphony No. 4, a little more than 21 minutes long, is designed for full orchestra, with emphasis on winds and brass, plus a battery of percussion instruments which include chimes, bells, vibraphone, xylophone, marimba and celesta.

Throughout the work Lutoslawski develops a rich harmonic language expressed in a wide variety of instrumental configurations. And while the work is essentially atonal, its sensibility is filled with a romantic lushness.

Only time will tell whether this new symphony is a great composition. But, for the L.A. Philharmonic, this concert represents a high point in their relationship with this unique composer.

Popular on Variety

Los Angeles Philharmonic

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion; 3,200 seats; $41 top

Production: The Los Angeles Philharmonic; music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen. Conducted by Witold Lutoslawski; cello soloist, Lynn Harrell. Performed and reviewed Feb. 5, 1993.

More Music

  • Atmosphere71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Show,

    Emmy Viewers Not 'Feelin' Good' About Bizarre Music Choices

    It was known ahead of time that the Emmy Awards planned to dispense with a traditional orchestra or pit band for the walk-up and bumper music. What wasn’t anticipated was that the music choices were being outsourced to a bar mitzvah DJ in Des Moines. Or, very possibly, it was a local who had found [...]

  • Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider'

    Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider' Gets a Concert/Screening Premiere at Radio City

    In a year full of major 50th anniversary commemorations — from Woodstock to the moon landing — why not one for “Easy Rider,” Dennis Hopper’s hippie-biker flick that was released on July 14, 1969? That was the idea when a rep for Peter Fonda, who starred in the film as the laid-back Captain America, reached out [...]

  • Rob Thomas Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar Joins Rob Thomas for 'Smooth' Performance (Watch)

    Who do you call when your pal Carlos Santana has plans on a Friday night? If you’re Rob Thomas, you recruit another famous friend, rocker Sammy Hagar, who turned up to help the singer close out the latest show of his Chip Tooth Smile tour with a performance of “Smooth” at the Fox Performing Arts [...]

  • US record producer The-Dream arrives for

    Top Music Publishers Come Together for Songs of Hope Honors

    The 15th annual Songs of Hope honors united songwriters, music industry insiders and more than a few preeminent doctors at producer Alex Da Kid’s Sherman Oaks compound on Thursday night. Jimmy Jam returned to host the event, which served as a fundraiser for the ever-vital City of Hope medical treatment center as well as a [...]

  • Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Takes Beatles' 'White Album'

    Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Gets Back to '68 by Touring Beatles' 'White Album'

    The 50th anniversary re-release of 1969’s “Abbey Road” may be just days away, but that doesn’t mean Beatles fans have been there and done that when it comes to celebrating ’68. Todd Rundgren, the Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz, Badfinger’s Joey Molland and several other name musicians of a certain vintage are teaming up to go out [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content