Thursday, July 13, 2017

Grzech Piotrowski – Lech Czech i Rus Symphony (2017)

Grzech Piotrowski

Grzech Piotrowski - saxophone
Marcin Wasilewski - piano
Krzysztof Lenczowski - cello
Mateusz Smoczyński - violin
Ghostman - vocal
and others

Lech Czech i Rus Symphony


By Adam Baruch

This is the eighth album by Polish saxophonist/composer Grzech Piotrowski, which is his most ambitious project by far. It involves a large international instrumental ensemble he leads, called World Orchestra, a symphony orchestra (National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra a.k.a. NOSPR), National Folk Instrument Orchestra from Kiev and two choirs (Choir Pro Forma from Poland and Choir Ars Brunensis form Czech Republic), altogether a mindboggling amount of players and musical complexity, recorded live at the magnificent NOSPR concert hall in Katowice. Piotrowski deserves the highest respect just for putting this gargantuan project together and for pulling it off.

The music is a wonderful Jazz-Classical Fusion with strong ties to Slavic folklore, which of course is the subject matter of the entire enterprise. The legend about the three brothers that started the Slavic Nations (Poles, Czechs and Rus') gives the point of reference and points out that despite historic developments the Slavic people share common ancestry and above all common Cultural values.

The Classical Music nerds would probably debate the "symphony" part of the work's title, as the thirteen-part composition is probably more a suite that a symphony, but overall the scope and the scale are definitely of symphonic proportions. The melodic motifs keep flowing one after another, arranged for many different vocal and instrumental setups and featuring many solo parts, some of which are partly improvised. The mood keeps changing from somber melancholic, typical Slavic melodies to highly expressive up-tempo dance-like frenzy, keeping the listener at his toes for the entire duration.

This album is a proof that seemingly impossible undertakings can be realized by people of great talent and strong will. The most important message this music emphasizes is the universal unity of music, which freely crosses genres, languages, epochs and National borders. This music is accessible to every person on this planet, which is a very rare quality. Overall this album is a wonderful journey into the Slavic Culture, full of brilliant melodies and excellently performed by all the participants. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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