Sunday, November 11, 2018

Vladyslav Sendecki/Atom String Quartet – Le Jardin Oublié/My Polish Heart (2018)

Vladyslav Sendecki/Atom String Quartet

Vladyslav Sendecki - piano
Dawid Lubowicz - violin
Mateusz Smoczyński - violin
Michał Zaborski - viola
Krzysztof Lenczowski - cello

Le Jardin Oublié/My Polish Heart


NEUKLANG 4198

By Adam Baruch

This is an album by the Polish (resident in Germany) pianist/composer Vladyslav Sendecki, who is accompanied by the highly esteemed Polish Atom String Quartet (violinists Mateusz Smoczyński and Dawid Lubowicz, violist Michał Zaborski and cellist Krzysztof Lenczowski). The album presents ten compositions, five of which are original composition by Sendecki, two were composed by his brother Stefan Sendecki, one was composed by Krzysztof Komeda, another one by Polish Classical composer Karol Szymanowski and finally one was composed by the German composer Wolf Kerschek. Three of the compositions were arranged by the great British composer/arranger Michael Gibbs.

The music focuses on relatively little known facet of Sendecki's activity and is mostly dedicated to contemporary Classical music, with relatively limited Jazz references. The piano/string quartet setting suits this musical direction ideally of course and the chamber atmosphere prevails throughout. The piano concerto "My Polish Heart" was composed especially by Kerschek for Sendecki and was performed by him with the NDR Big Band, of which he is the resident pianist. The intimate version of this wonderful piece present here includes only part of the entire composition, but reflects the spirit of the work perfectly. All the pieces on the album are full of the characteristic Polish melancholy and lyricism, which can be found in all Polish music regardless of the genre: Classical, Jazz, Rock or Folklore.

The most Jazz oriented piece on the album is of course the "Komeda Hommage", which is a medley of two Komeda's compositions, brilliantly combining the Jazz and Classical idioms thanks to the unique arrangement by Sendecki and the Atoms and taking a form of a beautiful suite.

This album requires very serious listening with attention to details and patience, as it offers a wealth of musical thrills in every aspect. The compositions, arrangements and performances are all loaded with deeply emotional content and are full of virtuosic performances, which are very difficult to be absorbed all at once. Each listening experience promises new discoveries of course. Overall this is a wonderful album full of great music, which offers a Jazz-Classical Fusion of the highest caliber. Lovers of Polish music, regardless of style and fashion, should be delighted by what this album has to offer.

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