LUTOSLAWSKI - SYMPHONY NO 2
I composed the SECOND SYMPHONY during 1966 and 1967, some twenty years after my FIRST SYMPHONY. It consists of two movements and although it has nothing in common with the classical or neo-classical symphonies, I decided nonetheless to call it a symphony in the sense that it is written for a symphony orchestra in a large-scale closed form.
The first movement which is subtitled Hesitant comprises a succession of contreasting episodes which are generally fairly lively, punctuated by a recurring slow refrain. This movement merges into a the second which is called Direct and which is in its construction in direct contrast to the first. Although particular phrases or musical episodes can be distinguished here, they are subjugated to the forward motion (direct) which leads to the final conclusion. This contrast seems to me indispensablein a work lasting over half an hour.
The first performance of Direct was given in Hamburg in October 1966 by the Orchestra of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk, conducted by Pierre Boulez. The complete work was given its first performance in June 1967 in Katowice by the Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio and Television, conducted by myself.
© Witold Lutoslawski