Friday, January 21, 2011

Małe Instrumenty - Grają Chopina (2010)

In Poland many people treat Chopin as national treasure and as exclusive asset which we, Poles, are the only rightful owners. I am not entirely convinced to this point of view. In fact Chopin was of mixed Polish-French origin and he lived as typical international Boheme vagabond travelling throughout Europe. That he drew inspiration from Polish dances, culture, history and identified himself with struggle for our independence cannot make us blind that his music would not be possible without influence of French culture, Italian opera and German romanticism.
Why am I saying all that? As you probably know 2010 was international year of Chopin and in Poland there was a real flood of albums dedicated to this composer, especially all kinds of "jazzy" versions of his pieces. Having been listening to classical music since I was a kid I must say most of these recordings were not very interesting to me, in fact they made me angry because they proposed somehow simplified and standardized version of Chopin music, neither appealing to me from classical music point of view nor having this jazz music feature of being fresh and novel.
Fortunately there are exceptions to that and among so many recordings, album "Grają Chopina" (playing Chopin) by Małe Instrumenty (small instruments) band is among most interesting. An idea is crazy indeed: to play Chopin on different types of children's toy piano. But the effect is staggering! Chopin sounds like a total surprise, even when so well known pieces are played. Phenomenal performance by Paweł Romańczuk, leader of the group, and his companions Paweł Czepułkowski and Maciej Bączyk. Disc not to be missed by any lover of avantgarde and improvised music!  

   

3 comments:

  1. Is this the same Maciej Bączyk that was in Robotobibok?

    Thanks so much for this blog... it honestly is one of my favorite music blogs on the entire net...

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  2. Most excellent. I used to chat with him over e-mail back in the Robotobibok days, but haven't talked with him in a while. Has he had any other projects since Robotobibok, that you know of?

    I know two of the other members had the successful "Revisit" last year.

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