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Zakharov Yu.

Plotness as priority factor of Witold Lutosławski’s artistic thinking (the symphonic works as an example)

The subject of the research is Witold Lutosławski’s view on the fundamental principles of sense-supposing in the modern instrumental music. This individual position was exposed in the Lutosławski’s conversations with I. Nikol’skaya and his lectures of the 1960s. The representative elements of Lutosławski’s artistic thinking to be examined by the author of the paper are pitchness in its interactions with intonation-thematic elaboration, and logics of large-scale forms construction based on change of “static” and “dynamic” musical events. In the composer’s opinion the most important bearers of music information in his works are interval structures and horizontal conjugations of tones. These assertions of conceptual order are illustrated by the author with the aid of analysis some transformations in harmony vertical line in the initial fragments of the Third and the Forth symphonies by Lutosławski. The following brief overview of Lutosławski’s the 1960s–1980s works furthers exposure of interaction gears between section dramaturgy and layers dramaturgy which are allotted the special composition-dramaturgical functions. Hence the role of plotness as peculiar universal of the instrumental works by Lutosławski is substantiated. This universal isn’t rest upon the semantic potential of some intonations, or leitmotifs, or themes but it realizes by intra-musical means. As the researcher thinks, exactly the term fabula (or akcja – by Lutosławski) likewise defines the varied changes to be fulfilled in the large-scale symphonic opuses by the famous Polish the 20th century composer. The named changes realize on the level of the sound space (for example transformations of vertical line to be made by the use of purposeful additions or alterations of the separate tones), and the level of artistic-process expansion connected with alternations and combinations of different types of music material.

Key words

Witold Lutosławski, modern harmony, pitch structure, intonation-thematic elaboration, musical dramaturgy, plot, akcja, semantics.

For citation

Zakharov Yu. Plotness as priority factor of Witold Lutosławski’s artistic thinking (the symphonic works as an example) // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2020. No. 4. Pp. 100–107.