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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Piotr Szewczyk, Bliss Point, Selected Chamber Works

How many excellent composers active today do you not know? Of course the answer for all of us is that we cannot know how many unknowns there are unless we already know them. One I am glad to know is Piotr Szewczyk. His album of Selected Chamber Works, Bliss Point (Navona 6093), brings to our ears some nine provocative examples of his art.

The violinist and composer is Polish-born, which explains the hard-to-spell name. The music does not sound so much Polish as modern-international in scope. There is a great rhythmic vitality and kinetic energy in this music.The modernistic thematic-harmonic bedrock of the music is in no sense vitiated by its rhythmic core. The whole gestalt of the music enchants and speaks with a specially singular voice that makes it all stand out.

Nine works in all, each with an instrumentation that seems wholly appropriate to the piece at hand. The combinations and permutations are considerable--oboe, violin, cello and piano; violin and viola; piano trio; string quartet; flute, clarinet, cello and piano; string trio; violin and piano; two violins; and violin, clarinet, cello and piano. Each has considerable individuality. Each is performed with zest and sympathetic understanding.

This one is memorable! Viva Piotr Szewczyk.

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