Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Marcin Masecki: Scarlett

Marcin Masecki (piano)
Scarletti (For Tune; 2013)

There is always discussion among classical fans (new and traditional) about how many times can you record and hear the great pieces. How many times do you really need to hear or buy Mahler's 5th, Beethoven's 9th or Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9?

Usually my answer is--when you know it's a stellar re-interpretation. When a musician has taken it upon themselves to create it a new and make it their own. That's when you must own it. Well, we have come to that point with young Polish pianist, Marcin Masecki and his live release Scarlatti.

First, by taken on one of the few composers that you see/hear being interpreted--its a immensely refreshing. Most young musicians will automatically go for aforementioned composers. Masecki takes on a number of Scarletti piano pieces under the heading of Act I - Act IX. There is fierce perspective approach Masecki has with these piece. The attitude is invigorating and refreshing.

Act II, IV and Act VII are vibrant with lots of loud octaves and improvised segments that require intense concentration. The rolling notes are fun and haunting all at once. But as just as that excitement rises, Masecki delivers superb ability change directions and allow for more intimate moments of reflections. This is where you the listener become captivated by his skill on the instrument. The galloping nature of Act IV and VII are fruitful and entertaining and joyful on repeated listens.

Closing out the live recital are two Goldberg Variations that are both calming and temperate. Filled with improvised sections but still attached to its original bedrock, Masecki makes this a wonderful way to end his concert.

With Scarletti, Marcin Masecki fuses the expansion concepts of jazz into the strict confines of traditional classical. The burst of inspirations allows for a complete deconstruction of how both are perceived. So again--when is listening to the same piece enough? Never. When it's done superbly well like Scarletti. Highly Recommended!

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