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Jan 16, 2013

Celebrating great Polish composer Witold Lutosławski's centennial - Krystian Zimerman

Earlier this week, I happened to see this poster of Singapore Symphony Orchestra season 2012/13, at the entrance of Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore during my short stay there for business trip.  I found out that Krystian Zimerman played piano concerto by Witold Lutosławski in the Singapore's hall on Jan.5, 2013. I then browsed the Internet and found that Zimerman will play this piece several times this year in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Polish composer's birth.



For example;
Jan. 20  with Luzerner Sinfonie Orchester, conductor; James Gaffigan @KKL Luzern Konzertsaal
Jan. 24  with Orchestre de Paris, conductor: Paavo Järvi @Salle Pleyel
Jan. 30  with Philharmania Orchestra, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen @Royal Festival Hall
Feb. 6,7,8 with Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, conductor David Zinman @Tonhalle Zürich
Feb. 14,15,16 with Berliner Philharmoniker, conductor Simon Rattle @Berliner Phliharmonie

Review of the performance at Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore, by Straits Times.

Witold Lutosławski (January 25, 1913 – February 7, 1994)


The piano concerto was dedicated by Lutosławski to Zimerman. Its world premiere was in Salzburg, done by the composer himself in August 1988. 

Some of the conductors/orchestras above-mentioned, Rafał Blechacz played with (or will play with); David Zinman in Feb, for example.  Zinman is now in Japan, conducting NHK Symphony Orchestra.  The performance was live-broadcast by NHK twice, including piano concerto No.2 by Brahms, soloist; Hélène Grimaud today. 

I remember Blechacz said in an interview with a Polish media given just after he recorded Chopin's two concertos with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra that in 2006 when he played Chopin's E-minor concerto with David Zinman and Tonhalle-Orchestra in Zürich, the maestro instructed the orchestra members to listen to Zimerman's legendary recording (1999),  Blechacz knew Zimerman's earlier recording, too and he said "they prove how a pianist matures during long years". 

"(....) My interpretation is more youthful in the positive sense of the word. I wanted to express myself. It is difficult to say what inspired me in Zimerman's performances. Certainly I was marked by the interpretation of both third movements by Rubinstein (.....)". (Rafał Blechacz, 2009)

at Hotel pod Orłem, July 2009


** I was fortunate to attend a concert in Tokyo in Nov. 2008 when Zimernan played this piece by Lutosławski with a Japanese Orchestra (conductor:Myung-Whun Chung)

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