BBC Symphony Orchestra
Lucy Crowe (soprano) Toby Spence (tenor) Christopher Purves (baritone)
The major works here rank among Lutoslawski's finest. Paroles Tisées, composed for tenor Peter Pears in 1964, surrounds the settings of poems by Jean-Francois Chabrun with shifting webs of sound, conjured from just strings, harp and piano. The orchestral forces for Les Espaces du Sommeil of 1975, composed to a text by Robert Desnos and dedicated to the baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, are more substantial though equally refined. Chatefleurs et Chantefables for soprano and orchestra is later and different again, a series of tiny epigrammatic settings inhabiting a child-like surrealist wold, which Lutoslawski illuminates with wonderful precision.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 9/1/2011
Lutoslawski's Chantefleurs et Chantefables is one of his best-loved scores. It makes a fitting climax to this programme of music for solo voice and orchestra, the second disc in Edward Gardner's Lutoslawski series. Premiered at the Proms in 1991, Lutoslawski's penultimate work consists of nine miniatures conjuring up animals and plants from a child's perspective, and the BBC SO's performances here sparkle brilliantly. Lucy Crowe deploys an impressive palette of soprano colours. [...] from the composer's socialist realist period we hear the Silesian Triptych, haunting pieces that show how he used folk material to non-propagandistic effect. [...] By 1965, when he wrote Paroles Tisées for Peter Pears, Lutoslawski was already drawing back from a 12-tone period, and there is lyricism under the surface of these extremely delicate songs. Toby Spence is on mellifluous form here, and Christopher Purves is no less subtle in the nocturnal cycles Les espaces du sommeil. An attractively varied, highly accomplished release.
John Allison, BBC Music Magazine, 11/1/2011