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PERFORMING ARTS | Alla Breve

May 05, 1996|Daniel Cariaga

LUTOSLAWSKI: "Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic" (1993); Piano Concerto (1987); "Chantefleurs et Chantefables" (1990); Symphony No. 2 (1967). Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Paul Crossley, piano; Dawn Upshaw, soprano. Sony Classical SK 67189.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic, led bracingly by Esa-Pekka Salonen, brilliantly reveals four facets of Witold Lutoslawski's progressive and atonal style in this kaleidoscopic program.

Lutoslawski the gifted and imaginative instrumental writer comes to the fore in the 53-second fanfare.

In the multihued, accessible "Chantefleurs et Chantefables," with soprano Dawn Upshaw, the lush Lutoslawski colors words and describes delicate feelings exquisitely.

The composer as dissonant hard-liner emerges in the granitic / poetic Piano Concerto, the solo part handsomely and sensitively rendered by the virtuosic, probing Paul Crossley.

Finally, Lutoslawski as aleatoric creator of organized chaos is represented by the struggling and enigmatic Symphony No. 2, which turns into an exercise in contrasts, with the orchestra's normally aggressive, rousing and controlled loudness opposing a near-inaudibility that sounds for long stretches like the two-rooms-away warming up of a large symphonic body. Salonen and friends make it all engrossing.

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