Music Reviews

Adam Bałdych & Leszek Możdżer


Adam Bałdych & Leszek Możdżer Passacaglia review


Formats available: Download, CD, Vinyl

The music on Passacaglia features only three instruments, with Adam Bałdych playing violin as well as a renaissance violin, while Leszek Możdżer tinkles the ivories of a grand piano. The sound (aided by what must be some oversampling) is panoramic and both wide and deep, it’s as if you have been invited to a performance for one played in a large concert hall with exceptionally good acoustics.

Arguably the most famous Polish musician, Leszek Możdżer is something of a jazz hero and a star: his albums have reached the top of the charts and his Mozdzer+ concerts with guests such as John Scofield and Marcus Miller have cemented his claim to fame. This album is proof that it ain’t only jazz that his talent should be celebrated for.

His musical partner, Adam Bałdych, has achieved a unique degree of improvisational and stylistic freedom on the violin. Ten years ago, the German broadsheet FAZ called him “technically the greatest living violinist in jazz”. His talent was revealed on Iro Rantala’s Anyone With A Heart  reviewed on the Ear a few years ago.

Passacaglia is an opportunity for both to display a breadth and depth of talent and mastery that while encompassing some jazz, includes the giant tapestry of European folk, ancient classical music, modern classics and Irish-American folks tunes.

In many ways the album could be considered a journey once taken by Dvorak and Smetana who created music that celebrated cultural nuances. Think of this as the 21st century Slavonic Dances with an assortment of beautiful and very captivating twists. Passacaglia is a musical delight from start to finish. Very highly recommended.

Reuben Klein

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