Hearing Witold Lutoslawski's Third Symphony for the first time, one cannot help but say "Yes. This is exactly how a postwar symphony should sound." Begun in 1972 and finished after several interruptions in 1983, the work is a four-movement-in-one symphony of tremendous cogency, incredible power, and overwhelming intensity. From its magnificent opening brass and tympani tattoo across its mighty orchestral peaks and valleys to its final glittering climax, Lutoslawski's Third is consistently impressive, always surprising, and wholly compelling. In this fantastic 1995 recording with Tadaaki Otaka leading the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Third sounds every bit as fine a work as it is. The Welsh orchestra plays with complete dedication and Otaka seems far beneath the skin of the music. Coupled with the world-premiere recording of Lutoslawski's beguiling song cycle Chantefleurs et Chantefables sung by Canadian soprano Valdine Anderson and accompanied by Otaka and the Welsh musicians, this disc deserves to be heard by every fan of postwar orchestral music, especially in BIS' crisp, deep, and very detailed sound.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Chantefleurs et Chantefables (Songflowers and songfables), for soprano & orchestra|