A TREASURE TROVE OF SPANISH AND POLISH GUITAR MUSIC
The name of Polish guitarist Łukasz Kuropaczewski (www.lukaszguitar.com) might only be familiar to guitar aficionados. Yet, the young Polish guitarist has appeared to great acclaim in concert and in recitals worldwide. This reviewer confesses he had neither heard his name nor that of Polish composer Alexandre Tansman, nor that of Antonio José, the Spaniard whom Maurice Ravel called “the greatest Spanish composer of our century.” So it is with grateful thanks to the good people at Tonar Records that we celebrate the arrival of this marvelous collection of pieces for the guitar by José, Tansman and the formidable Witold Lutoslawki played by Łukasz Kuropaczewski, a musician of the first order.
Playing with precision, delicacy and musicality, the young Polish guitar virtuoso in this, his seventh CD: Łukasz, dazzles with his interpretation of Antonio José’s five-movement Sonata para Guitarra, revealing for the first time to some of us the richness of this undiscovered gem.
Kuropaczewski continues his exploration of the repertory for his instrument with a charming five-movement suite titled Cavatina by his fellow countryman Alexandre Tansman, later bringing the CD to a memorable close with Tansman’s Suite in Modo Polonico, an engaging assemblage of seven short pieces in, as their collective title states, “the Polish manner.”
Ranging from the plaintive Kujawiak to an elegant Polonaise to a fast Mazurka, Tansman’s celebration of Polish music is a treasure trove of melodies and dance rhythms that evoke images of this composer’s homeland.
Poland is a fertile source of folk music, and in Witold Lutoslawki’s seven folk songs we are introduced to a delightful sampling that ranges from the hauntingly melancholic Ach, Moy Jasienko and W Polu Lipenka to the lively Hej, Old Krakowa Jade and the rousing Gaik. These miniatures are spiced throughout by Lutoslawski’s easy way with multi-tonality and his crisp dissonances, and along with those, the ever-present technical prowess and pure flair of Lukazs’s playing.
As is always the case with anything issued by TONAR (www.TonarMusic.com ) the visionary production by Asgerdur Sigurdardottir, the flawless re-mastering by Ed Tetreault, and the fascinating liner notes by Risa Carlson make this CD an invaluable addition to the musical library of any lover of music composed for the gentlest instrument of them all.
Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com October 24, 2017