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Jan Krzywicki: Alchemy

Lynn Klock , Susan Nowicki , Susan Narucki , Jan Krzywicki , none , Fredric T Cohen , Matthew Bengtson , Jeffrey Khaner , Charles Abramovic , Jason Vieaux , Hirono Oka , Rachel Ku , Yumi Kendall Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Price: $16.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Performer: Lynn Klock, Susan Nowicki, Susan Narucki, Fredric T Cohen, Matthew Bengtson, et al.
  • Conductor: none
  • Composer: Jan Krzywicki
  • Audio CD (December 1, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Albany Records
  • ASIN: B00631LU6I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,459 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fable for baritone saxophone and piano
2. Partita for oboe and piano
3. Alchemy for solo piano
4. Five Lyrics for flute and piano
5. In Evening's Shadow for soprano, guitar and string trio

Editorial Reviews

Jan Krzywicki (b. 1948) is active as a composer, conductor and educator. He has been commissioned by prestigious performers, and organizations such as the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Chestnut Brass Company, and performed across the United States by ensembles such as the Colorado Quartet, the Network for New Music, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Alea III, and others. He is the recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a Rockefeller Foundation residency (Bellagio, Italy), a Bogliasco Foundation residency (Bogliasco, Italy), ASCAP and Meet the Composer awards, and has been a Fellow at the MacDowell, Yaddo, Millay, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts artist colonies. As a conductor he has led chamber and orchestral groups in literature from the middle ages to the present, including a large number of premieres. Since 1990 he has been conductor of the contemporary ensemble Network for New Music. Krzywicki is a professor of music theory at Temple University. All the compositions on this recording were composed in 2000 or later and complement his first disc of chamber works on Albany Records (TROY337).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Musical Narratives of Jan Krzywicki's February 16, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Albany's release of recent works by Jan Krzywicki captures the unique and coherent voice of this Philadelphia composer at his best. The CD, titled Alchemy, highlights Krzywicki's expressive and intuitive writing for woodwinds, the wall of sounds he pulls out of the piano, and an impressive blend of soprano voice, string trio, and guitar. Krzywicki's highly individual style and musical language craft beautiful musical narratives out of mostly dissonant material that have a strong impact on the surface and leave you contemplating their implications.

I first became attracted to Krzywicki's music through learning and performing his piece Fable for baritone saxophone and piano. I was particularly taken with the narrative structure of Fable: the way the music drew itself out of a simple beginning and built through numerous twists in the story, finally reaching a conclusion that was both dramatic and takes time to mentally digest. As a performer, I was impressed and challenged with Krzywicki's meticulous attention to expressive detail, especially articulations, including ones that really gave the music an aggressive punch. The range of sounds demanded of the baritone saxophone, starting from nothing and going to the brink, made it one of those pieces I really had to put everything into emotionally and technically.

All the compositions on Alchemy deliver this same sort of impact. Partita for oboe and piano, the only piece with a formal title, maintains what I would call the narrative compositional approach Krzywicki handles so well. The five movements give different moods, from the improvisatory opening built out of simple ideas to the second and fourth movements' heavy rhythmic orientation. Thick intensities sometimes give way to barren moments.
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