Lutoslawski, speaking in 1983:
We live in a certain kind of world, but creative artists live a sort of double life, because several hours a day they are in another world, in the world that has (apparently, at least) nothing in common with the external world in which we really live. I think that this ideal world is the world of our dreams, of our wishes, of our notion of ideal, and we spend quite a long time every day in this ideal world. And our task, our role, our mission, is to make this ideal world available for those who are not accessed to it … We have one psyche only. So both worlds in which we live have a certain influence on our psyche, and this psyche is the place where this ideal world is … So, probably the external world and our life experiences must intervene in a way in this ideal world … but it’s never conscious, never wanted. I’m speaking about myself, of course, and people to whom I’m similar.
Lutoslawski on the ‘Chain’ technique:
Over the last few years I have been working on a new type of musical form which consists of … structurally independent strands. Sections within each strand begin and end at different times. This is the premise on which the term “Chain” was selected.
Lutoslawski on his ad libitum style:
[in which the conductor presides over the material of the various instruments, directing the start and finish of each section, but not influencing the unfolding of the moment-to-moment texture]
There is no improvisation in my music. Everything that is to be played is notated in full detail and must be precisely realized by the performers. The sole, though basic, difference between the ad libitum (non-conducted) sections and sections noted in the traditional manner (divided into bars of designated meter) stems from the fact that in the former case, there is no overall scheme of subdividing time to guide the various players. In other words, each plays his part as if he were playing alone and does not coordinate with the other performers. The result is a distinctly “elastic” synthesis of complex, capricious rhythms, which cannot be produced by any other method.
The Birmingham Chamber Orchestra's performance of Lutoslawski's Chain 1 was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday 28 October 2008.
It was recorded at Dodderhill School as part of the Droitwich Festival 2008
birmingham chamber orchestra