Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kuba Stankiewicz – Stankiewicz Plays Kilar (EP) (2013)

Kuba Stankiewicz - piano


By Adam Baruch

This EP is a brief glimpse at a work in progress, which hopefully will be completed very soon, which presents one of the best Polish Jazz pianists Kuba Stankiewicz playing his interpretations of music written by the great Polish contemporary Classical and Cinematic music composer Wojciech Kilar. The music is performed on solo piano, the most "naked" of all formats but also the most unlimited one.

Kilar, who is unfortunately less know outside of Poland than his contemporaries like Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Gorecki or Witold Lutoslawski, is by no means less important and neither is his wonderful musical legacy. His work as a composer of film scores is truly legendary and his music accompanies over 100 films by all major Polish directors, like Roman Polanski and Andrzej Wajda, and also those beyond Poland, both in Europe and the US (for example Francis For Coppola). Although a modernist, Kilar's music is full of romanticism and lyricism, and his sublime sense of melody is second to none.

Stankiewicz treats Kilar's music with a lot of respect and obvious love. The relaxed and delicate interpretations are full of charming moments, where the improvisations move out and return to the melodic theme. Stankiewicz has a wonderful touch on the piano, which sounds full-bodied and expressive even at a low volume. The overall effect is simply delightful.

Following decades of Polish Jazz musicians obsessively interpreting the music of Frederic Chopin, it's truly refreshing to hear some musicians turning the attention to other great Polish composers, like the sensational "Experiment: Penderecki" released recently by pianist Piotr Orzechowski. This music is very different, but also very interesting and no less challenging intellectually.

I look forward impatiently to hear the complete album soon and with Stankiewicz a priori the best of luck with this admirable project.

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