Witold Lutoslawski - Orchestral Works Vol.3 (1997)
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Witold Lutosfawski started regular study of the piano at the age of six and the violin when he was thirteen. He did not become a concert violinist, but he was a concert pianist. Witold Maliszewski, professor at the Warsaw Conservatory, who deeply influenced the young Lutostawski's musical thought, gave him lessons in composition, after his future pupil had presented him with the Poem for piano, written at the age of fifteen. When he was seventeen he wrote, under his teacher's supervision, his Dance of the Chimera for piano, the first work of his to receive public performance. As with a series of other pieces, written since1922, when Lutostawski was only nine, the two compositions mentioned were destroyed in 1944 during the Warsaw rising. The flames spared, however, the Piano Sonata of 1934 and the two-piano Wariacje na temat Paganiniego (Variations on a Theme of Paganini) of 1941. The post-war years brought other works for piano, Melodie ludowe (Folk Melodies) in 1946 and Bukoliki (Bucolics) in 1952 and some pedagogical pieces. The piano, the role of which in Lutostawski's chamber and orchestral works was often important, only appeared as a solo instrument in the Piano Concerto of 1988, except for the Variations on a Theme of Paganini, a composition for piano and orchestra, after the two-piano Variations, one of the most popular works in the piano duo repertoire and one of the most frequently performed of Lutostawski's compositions.