Monday, May 26, 2008


Listen to ETUDE OP 25 NUMBER 4 by Leszek Możdżer.

Hello and Happy Memorial Day! John here. Bill has graciously turned over the keys to the blog to me for the next few days, and I hope not to let either him or you down. With that in mind, I'd like to peek into a corner of my music collection that I rarely have an opportunity to share, and present some tunes from Poland. I've spent quite a bit of time on that block and, always a sucker for cover art or crazy names, I've kissed a lot of toads, but found a few princes.

As for today... In a land with no shortage of national heroes, Frédéric Chopin casts a long shadow. He has been idolized, nationalized, and standardized. Airports, vodka, trains, and other things have all latched onto the brand. Perhaps because of this heavy identification with, or rather claiming of, a romantic composer whose piano works are admired around the world, the piano is Important To The Nation. Hence, it's de rigeur for pianists who do not recite Chopin normally to make the Chopin handshake album.

Jazz composer and star Leszek Możdżer did just that with his "Chopin Impressions" album, which opens with today's track. The original Etude 25 lends itself well to cover versions: contemplative minor key, good harmony...a dual hand octave barn burner. But Możdżer tempts fate by weaving a few bars of Charlie Parker into the mix. A nice new blend of old and older, or so I think.

Photo: hay stack.



bill said...

Happy Memorial Day from Oklahoma. Nice start John, enjoy the blogging!

John said...

Hey thanks Bill! Takes a bit to get used to, but it's plenty enjoyable. Hope it shows!