Adam Kośmieja music from the album Infinity. Adam Kośmieja plays Canto Ostinato (premiere, Warner 2023)
Bartek Wąsik music from the album Daydreamer (Mystic 2022)
Attention! Due to the use of the surround sound system the best listening experience will be guaranteed in the middle of the first sector – in the stalls and the amphitheater.
At night, time slows down and seems different. In music, we can experience that kind of change when listening to pieces representing the trends jointly referred to as minimalism: ones comprising long, almost invariant sounds or using loops of short sections of music. Canto ostinato (1976) by Simeon ten Holt is one of the most famous compositions of that kind.
Canto Ostinato has no defined running time. The score includes 106 short, melodic (canto means “song”) episodes that can be repeated at the performers’ discretion. Originally, the piece was written for four pianos, but nowadays, it is usually performed by chamber ensembles. How does it sound with a single piano and pre-recorded sections? Adam Kośmieja, a pianist renowned for taking up unusual challenges, decided to find out. The result will be heard for the first time during La Folle Journée de Varsovie. Canto ostinato, as Kośmieja himself puts it, “is a musical journey evoking numerous sensations: from near-meditation and flowing, soothing sounds through eruptions of emotions, (…) the odd piquant accents and irregular rhythmic energy (…) to a beautiful melody that takes long to discover, but leaves a lasting impression”.
For the leitmotif of his debut solo album, pianist, arranger and composer Bartek Wąsik chose the music by Radiohead. He picked twelve tracks from the band’s discography and reworked them with piano solo in mind. When playing someone else’s music, we always bring our own emotions and experience into it, especially if it is music we can really relate to, as is the case with Bartek Wąsik and Radiohead. “These songs make me tingle, leave me restless”, explains the musician. “They evoke a world of connotations I wanted to share with the audience”.
The idea for the album came to Wąsik gradually as he played for himself in seclusion during the pandemic and performed the repertoire created at home afterwards. And it is not just a collection of simple piano arrangements. Some of the songs have been very much extended, sometimes with the use of means peculiar to virtuoso performances. In a way, the mood of some of the new arrangements seems to defy the original. What is even more important is that together the rearranged tracks form a new whole, a story: beginning with Everything in Its Right Place and ending with Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Dominika Micał, “Ruch Muzyczny”