Monday, December 10, 2012

Piotr Orzechowski – Experiment: Penderecki (2012)

Piotr Orzechowski - piano

DECCA 028948101023








By Adam Baruch

This is a stunning debut album by Polish Jazz pianist Piotr Orzechowski (a.k.a. Pianohooligan), a twenty two years old prodigy, who managed to take the local scene by storm and win respect and admiration even from the top echelons of the "serious" classical Masters, like the celebrated Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the world's greatest contemporary classical composers.

Orzechowski recorded and privately released a demo album a year earlier, which featured his solo piano performances of his compositions, as well as his interpretations of several classical compositions. He took this idea even further with this project, his formal debut release, by presenting a series of solo piano interpretations of music composed by Penderecki, after approaching the Maestro and receiving his blessing and cooperation.

The resulting music is a triumphant amalgamation of Penderecki's lofty music and Orzechowski's earthy improvisations, mixing elements of romanticism, Jazz, avant-garde and classical modernism. There is an element of youthful rebellion and attitude in Orzechowski approach, as evident by the amount of freedom he allows himself while interpreting Penderecki's music, which although modernist and even avant-garde, is after all formalized by being composed in a most precise manner. I'm especially glad to see the Maestro approving this approach, which shows his open-mindedness and love of musical diversity.

This music is way beyond virtuosity, although of course the artist is a bona fide virtuoso; it is first and foremost about creating art, using whatever gift that was bestowed upon you, and Orzechowski is indeed blessed by many gifts. There is his vision and imagination, which made him to conceive such project in the first place, an incredible courage to deal with an iconic figure like Penderecki, the commitment to carry the project out and the aptitude to actually pull it through. All this, mind you, by a twenty two years old human being in a world where others of his age spend their lives twiddling cell phones.

Personally this album is a beacon of hope for people like me, who see what they consider as Culture disappearing into a black void. This is not only culture, but an artistic "haute couture" which deserves to be admired and almost religiously followed. Performed on acoustic and electric (Rhodes) piano, the music was beautifully recorded in Switzerland and eventually released on the prestigious classical Decca label, owned by Universal, a clear sign of recognition of Orzechowski's incredible talents. I'd guess he is one of the youngest, if not the youngest artists ever, who recorded for the label.

I have been lucky and honored to be privy to this music from the moment it was created a few months ago when it was sent to me by the artists, asking for my opinion. I forwarded him my warmest support and encouraged him to seek the proper home for his music, which he eventually found. Hopefully this release will trigger international attention and recognition, which this album and its creator so much deserve. A masterpiece!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...