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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Grazyna Bacewicz, Peter Jablonski Plays Bacewicz Piano Works


The gradually unfolding appreciation of Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) continues apace, at least here in the States. There is another enlightening release I have been catching up with lately with no small amount of...delight I guess the word is. It is an album masterfully navigated by Peter Jablonski, entitled Peter Jablonski Plays Grazyna Bacewicz Piano Works (Ondine ODE 1899).

It affirms further that Bacewicz is a genuine voice of last century Polish Modernism in some compelling, advanced harmonic and melodic ways, another way to get beyond the late Romantic gush of pianism to be heard in somebody like Scriabin. I don't mean to over simplify but she manages to sound a clarion call to Eastern European musicways, a bidding to express the present in her very own way, not to lose sight of folk roots and necessarily then to open to the alternation and conjoining of the complex with the simple. But in ever inventive flow with a remarkable ease and fluidity.

So as we gradually absorb and appreciate it all, we get to hear her "Concert Krakowiak" (1949), "Ten Concert Etudes" (1956-57), "Two Etudes On Double Notes" (1955), "Piano Sonata No. 1" (1949) and "Piano Sonata No. 2" (1953).

All these works have undiluted presence and Peter Jablonski brings each one to life with care, enthusiasm, feeling, and formfulness. 

I heartily recommend this one for reasons that I hope are clear. Jablonski triumphs and helps us appreciate the ultra-musical pianism of Bacewicz at her best.

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