• Witold Lutosławski
  • Symphony No. 3 [3.Symfonia] (1983)

  • Chester Music Ltd (Worldwide except Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, China, countries of former Czechoslovakia, Croatia, former territories of Yugoslavia, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Romania, Hungary and countries of former USSR)

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).

  • 3(2pic)3(ca)3(Ebcl:bcl)3(cbn)4441timp.4perc2hp.pf4hnd.celstr
  • 28 min

Programme Note

My Symphony No. 3 was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra who as long ago as 1972 had asked me to write a work for them. Shortly after that, I wrote some sketches for the Symphony but only in January 1983 did I complete the score. The Premiere was given by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Georg Solti on 29 September 1983 in Chicago.

The work consists of two movements, preceded by a short introduction and followed by an epilogue and a coda. It is played without a break. The first movement comprises three episodes, of which the first is the fastest, the second slower and the third is the slowest. The basic tempo remains the same and the differences of speed are realised by the lengthening of the rhythmical units. Each episode is followed by a short, slow intermezzo. It is based on a group of toccata-like themes contrasting with a rather singing one: a series of differentiated tuttis leads to a climax of the whole work. Then comes the last movement, based on a slow singing theme and a sequence of short dramatic recitatives played by the string group. A short and very fast coda ends the piece.

© Witold Lutoslawski

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Symphony No. 3

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