Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Raczkowski & Kostka – Duo (2018)

Raczkowski & Kostka

Franciszek Raczkowski - piano
Mikołaj Kostka - violin

Duo

SJR 028





By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the Polish duo comprising of pianist/composer Franciszek Raczkowski and violinist/composer Mikołaj Kostka. The album presents twelve relatively short compositions, eleven of which are originals: six by Raczkowski, three by Kostka and two co-composed by them both and one is a John Cage composition. The music was beautifully recorded at the Studio Tokarnia and engineered by Jan Smoczyński.

The music is conceptually closer to contemporary Classical music than Jazz, but has obvious Jazz ties. It is also very delicate, minimalist and deeply lyrical and it seems that every single note earned its place in these compositions by deliberate contemplation. However, in spite of the sparingness and careful use of notes, the music is fully developed and bodied, creating a wonderful overall effect of coherent musical message being conveyed.

Of course in case of a duo, it is the dialogue that the two players are able to develop that matters the most. In this case the dialogue is wonderfully balanced and the soloing by one of the musicians is always excellently accompanied his partner, creating a continuous conversational mode. Kostka displays strong ties with Polish musical Folklore, which is not surprising as many players of his generation show deep love and respect of Polish musical sources, incorporating them in their music. He also joins the ranks of the revered Polish Jazz Violin School, which grows rapidly.

Both musicians display a mature approach to their instruments, with obvious talent and technical proficiency, which is always astonishing with the members of the young Polish generation of musicians. Complimented with the noticeable mutual understanding, respect and common musical goals, the duo is a wonderful example of a whole being much more that the sum of its ingredients. Although still very young, these musicians display a coherence, maturity and skillful appliance of their talents, which is usually only achieved at much later stage of musical careers.

Overall this is stunning debut, which deserves to be heard by as many music connoisseurs, way beyond the strict circle Jazz aficionados. It is a wondrous amalgam of Jazz, contemporary Classical music and Folklore, which is powerful in spite of its serene appearance. Absolutely not to be missed!

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