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Showing posts from January, 2013

Lutosławski Centenary Concert Warsaw 25 January 2013 - Anne-Sophie Mutter performs works dedicated to her

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The noble and fastidious face of  the Polish composer Witold  Lutosławski  25 January 1913 -  7 February 1994  It was during my earliest remarkable encounters with Poland and working in Warsaw in the early 1990s that I first encountered the music of Witold Lutosławski. Already ill with cancer and frail, in his last public performance he conducted his Fourth Symphony at the 1993 Warsaw Autumn Festival. I have never forgotten this profound musical experience.  During this concert I was accelerated back to my rather unusual reverse exposure to classical music. In the 1960s, long before I was at all familiar with the conventional classical repertoire, I had attended concerts, listened to recordings and studied the fascinating 'avant-garde' (so-called at that time) scores of only  living composers such as Pierre Boulez, Henri Pousseur, Iannis Xenakis, Mauricio Kagel, Cornelius Cardew, Krzysztof Penderecki, Luciano Berio, Luigi Nono and John Cage. In 1968 I spent months i

'Regardless of Risk' - My Motoring Days in Classic Cars

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In Napoleonic mode at the Castle at Liw, Poland, on the former Lithuanian frontier 1993       1975 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow This great and underestimated touring car was featured in the adventurous cultural and motoring rally around Poland I participated in the summer of 1993. I recounted the saga in one chapter of my book A Country in the Moon: Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland (Granta, London 2009) The castle of the Dukes of Mazovia dates from 1420 and on the right the small baroque country house (now a museum) was added in 1780. The adjacent water meadows are delightfully picturesque. I have now owned this car for 30 years In Palmiry Forest near Warsaw, summer pic-nic  2012   1949   MG TC In more tragic times this forest was the Polish and Jewish killing field for the Nazis just outside Warsaw . Many brilliant Polish and Jewish middle-class professionals, sportsmen, engineers and priests were executed here. It is hard to expunge the historical horror of