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Classical Music Daily, June 2019

Lintu and his players manage to find all the answers to the composer’s inner struggles with unequalled ardency and supreme ensemble playing, and repeated listening will bear its fruits. Sound and notes are first rate. © 2019 Classical Music Daily

Phillip Scott
Fanfare, May 2019

Lintu treats the work not as an immature piece by a Modernist but as a typical symphony of its time, giving it propulsive momentum and a goal-oriented sense of purpose. The composer once cited Albert Roussel as an early influence: Lintu finds the common thread in momentum and energy. That energy remained part of Lutosławski’s armory… Read complete review

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, March 2019

…The piece [Symphony 1] is optimistic and vivacious… It’s extremely well played by this fine Scandinavian orchestra.

The final symphony is absorbing… It’s beautifully played and recorded. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Steven Kruger
Fanfare, March 2019

Hannu Lintu is an ideal interpreter of the music, more transparent than Esa-Pekka Salonen, more energetic than Antoni Wit, and more penetrating and less glib than Edward Gardner with the BBC SO on Chandos, which is the Finnish Radio Symphony’s only modern sonic rival in this repertoire. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Andrew Achenbach
Classical Ear, February 2019

Written between 1941 and 1947, Witold Lutosławski’s strongly communicative and impressively concise First Symphony makes quite a splash in this admirable new recording from Helsinki. The composer cited Albert Roussel as a major early influence, and it’s not hard to detect the example of the Frenchman’s magnificent Third Symphony of 1930 (both works can boast a particularly powerful and emotionally intense slow movement). Hannu Lintu does the piece absolutely proud, securing playing of painstaking polish, infectious commitment and impressive sheen from his Finnish RSO forces. It’s followed by comparably lucid, scrupulously prepared readings of the deftly aleatoric Jeux vénitiens and the swansong, one-movement Fourth Symphony, the latter every bit the interpretative equal of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s pioneering version with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Sony. Excellent booklet-notes courtesy of Kimmo Korhonen and demonstration-worthy SACD sonics. As should be abundantly clear by now, this is a very fine issue indeed. Fingers crossed for a companion release containing Lutosławski’s Second and Third symphonies. © 2019 Classical Ear, February 2019

Conductor Hannu Lintu is an excellent advocate of Lutoslawski’s music. Hannu Lintu recently won the Gramophone Award for his recording of the Bartók Violin Concertos together with Christian Tetzlaff and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. © 2019 Read complete review

BBC Music Magazine, February 2019

Lintu shows himself alert to the greater melodic dimension that had by this time reasserted itself as an important part of the composer’s musical language. Recorded in brilliant sound, this disc makes an unbeatable introduction to Lutosławski’s world. © 2019 BBC Music Magazine

Richard Whitehouse
Gramophone, February 2019

Superbly recorded and comprehensively annotated, Lintu’s versions are worth considering, with hopefully a release of the Second and Third Symphonies to come. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, January 2019

I must say that this is music any serious Modernist should prize. It is another look at what the Modern symphony can be and is! Highly recommended! © 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Richard Hanlon
MusicWeb International, January 2019

There are superb discs of Ligeti and Berio, as well as a fine performance of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie and, as on the present disc, it’s Lintu’s ear for detail that really stands out, detail that emerges less clinically and perhaps more holistically than in many competing recordings of this repertoire.

Lintu and his Finnish orchestra wrest every drop of beauty and defiance from this magnificent work. It completes an unmissable album. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2018

I hope this outstanding release is the first in a complete recording of the Lutoslawski symphonies from Hannu Lintu and his excellent Finnish orchestra. That the Polish composer could compose his outgoing and often brilliantly coloured First Symphony in Warsaw while the dreadful events of the Second World War were taking place around him demonstrates his determination to become a highly regarded musician. In four movements, and completed in 1947, It is scored for a large orchestra, and there are moments when the music takes on a dark and sinister mood, particularly in the second movement, but that is offset by the quirky aspects of the third, and a fast moving finale, eventually closing with a noisy repost to the proceeding uneasy peace. The Fourth came forty-five years later, and it is possible to divide it into two movements that are played without a break. Though he continued in a tonal mode, he had moved towards atonality, with melodic fragments flitting into the scenario like ghosts from an age long past. They are disturbed by high impact dissonance, the score’s conclusion highlighted by the percussion department. Between these two works Lutoslawski created interest among experimentalists, his Jeux Venitiens created as an essay in the use of free expression within a framework of conventionally written music. It’s title implies nothing more than the place of its intended premiere in the Venice Biennial of 1961. It is a matter of taste as to whether this part of his career appeals to you. The sound engineering in the studio sessions is superb in dynamic range, clarity and definition. Strongly recommended. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, November 2018

Witold Lutoslawski, in his own highly independent fashion, reinvented the symphony to reflect 20th century Poland. There’s only about a dozen recordings of these two symphonies available right now, and this new Ondine recording with conductor Hannu Lintu is easily an instant recommendation. © 2018 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review

The Northern Echo, November 2018

Witold Lutoslawski is hailed as one of the 20th century’s greatest composers. HE is also a remarkable symphonist… A must for devotees. © 2018 The Northern Echo

The Sunday Times, London, November 2018

These works are like the before and after of Lutoslawski’s great innovating moment—his extension of limited rhythmic and pitch freedoms to performers, starting with the 12-minute Jeux vénitiens (1961), included here, and defining his middle career. © 2018 The Sunday Times, London

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