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Małgorzata Sarbak / Paweł Szymański: Dissociative Counterpoint Disorder

Release Date: 2016
Total Time: 56:42
CD | 16 page booklet | digipack

1. Dissociative Counterpoint Disorder 9:57

2. Through the Looking Glass... III 9:03

3-11. Les Poiriers en Pologne ou une Suite de Pièces Sentimentales de Clavecin faite par Mr Szymański

12. Partita III 15:13


Małgorzata Sarbak - harpsichords
The Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zsolt Nagy (12)

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Andrzej Chłopecki, the late critic and animator of the music scene, wrote extensively about Szymański's music as well as supporting the composer by means of his longtime role with the Warsaw Autumn festival. Chłopecki puts things thus: "the formal structure is beautiful while stylistic expression is calculated: for Szymański's music is a continual game." He then offers precedents in Johannes Ockeghem and Anton Webern, deducing that Szymański's "guiding principles would be speculation and constructivism." Rendering the loaded quality in the composer's works, Chłopecki adds that "the aim of Szymański's music is the creation of symbolic entities within abstract art forms."

During a discussion between the composer and musicologist Katarzyna Naliwajek-Mazurek about his harpsichord music, Szymański said he "acquainted myself with harpsichords very early, at fourteen or fifteen while attending music school. I was very close with Władysław Kłowsiewicz [now a renowned virtuoso], who had just started to learn harpsichord. I used to play the recorder and we played together, so the texture and sound qualities and some articulation tricks were very familiar. I've been really interested to write for harpsichord from time to time, first for the Limericks for violin and harpsichord."

Naliwajek-Mazurek finds the harpsichord "very inherent" in Szymański's musical language, which "has been the case over the decades." She states that in Szymański "both sides of the harpsichord are present [the historical and the contemporary] – it's the most ideally equilibriated vision of harpsichord in today's music." She specifies the historical side "that goes towards tradition yet is rejuvenated and written anew, not a replication but a fresh invention. Then there is his entirely new way of imagining harpsichord, construing its contemporary presence and personality as in Partita III. It's amazing how the instrument is treated from the point of view of timbre, with the harpsichord sonorities striking and beautiful – a completely new quality in so many aspects." 


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