Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic -
Witold Lutosławski

The last in the series of Lutosławski's fanfares was written in 1993 as a gift for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, an ensemble that in February of that year had performed the premiere of the composer's Symphony no. 4 under his baton.

The Fanfare opens with a sonorous chord played by the brass and presented in a shimmering ad libitum texture. By analogy with the "icy" chord of Mi­parti's wind section, this chord can be described as "bitter," the fragment's characteristic bitterness provided by a strongly emphasised tritone interval. The initial chord is subsequently "reduced" to a single, loudly chanted note. Approximately halfway through the work, the procedure is reversed, and the sonorous note is a starting point for the construction of increasingly expansive sonic structures. At the climax of this process, and of the Fanfare, the initial "bitter" chord returns. Its sonorous repetitions, interspersed with timpani chords, close the piece.

Lutosławski did not participate in the premiere of the Fanfare, which took place during his trip to Canada and Japan. It is di cult to determine whether the recording of 4 November 1993 reached the composer and whether he had an opportunity to listen to his latest work - around that time, Lutosławski was diagnosed with an incurable illness, which defeated him several months later, in February 1994. Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic is the last composition Lutosławski completed.

Marcin Krajewski

Translation: Anna Kijak (Internet music collection of the National Film Archive - Audiovisual Institute)