Jazz with MACV: Krzysztof Herdzin

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Period Instrument Orchestra Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense

Krzysztof Herdzin – pianoforte / musical arrangment


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano concert XVII G-dur KV 453
Krzysztof Herdzin – Chopiniana con delizia

Jazz and historical instruments? Mozart, Chopin and improvisations? Why not? In the XVIII and XIX centuries, everything was possible, what mattered was virtuosity and imagination. The concerts, fantasies and variations were written to present the author’s composing and performing artistry to the audience. Mozart knew what he could do. Not to mention Chopin.

Today, music has its own rules, and in fact it is best when left completely free. Thanks to this, we can listen to such recordings. Mozart wrote Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major KV 453 in 1784. As the rumour has it, the theme of the final variations was prompted by… a starling. Anyway, the finale turned out to be beautiful, taking the audience, as throughout the concert, to the world of opera and themes that live their own lives.

Krzysztof Herdzin, playing the old Pleyel piano, follows Mozart’s footsteps, yet he’s leaving his contemporary marks. To not to forget from where does he come… His improvised cadences have something of the elegance and style of jazz classics: broken chords, ragtime unsettlement, Gershwinish games – then modulations and bam, we are back to Mozart. Herdzin winks at us, saying: “Keep calm, everything is under control”.

“Chopiniana con delizia” was created in 2009 on the request of the accordionist Hubert Giziewski. It was originally written for two accordions, a clarinet and a string orchestra. Here we get a string version with a piano in the lead role. If, in Mozart’s cadences, Herdzin only flirted with the past, then now he has both feet on the ground. He is a brilliant jazzman who builds contemporary fantasy on Chopin topics. His erudition knows no limits: once mazurka, next time étude. Please guess – one or two notes.

Herdzin combines Chopin’s motifs into a brilliant three-part deluxe cycle. Sometimes he is inspired by the rhythm and other times by a motif of just a few notes. Chopin, who liked to improvise, would have been delighted. The old MACV instruments give the whole softness and sweetness. Con delizia!

Jacek Hawryluk

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