Review Agata & Wojciech Szymczewski, RWCMD by James Ellis

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

In an afternoon of light delights the sibling brilliance of Agata & Wojciech Szymczewski delighted the audience at the Royal Welsh. This was very much the definition of the ‘Polish miniature’, fairly light music though not without the weight of it’s country’s history and culture.

The Legend and Kujawiak of Wieniawski is pretty famous, certainly the most familiar music on the programme. I still remain unsure about the true value of Chopin (this will land me in trouble), though hearing his Mazurka in A minor remained a pleasure. To see this brother and sister play feels like an honour, Agata on violin remains such a force the instrument seems to capture to her every whim. It is as if she was born to play the violin and every second with her proves her gusto and passion for her nation’s music. On piano, Wojciech also offers some fabulous insights, his accompaniment never wains in his intimacy with his sister. Though these pieces are very much chances to show off the violin proper, Wojciech makes a perfect companion for the journey.

New discoveries in the Polish repertoire would see work by Bacewicz and Adam Wroński, which delighted in openness and charming nature of the writing. The air is very Polish, some whispers of the country’s great folk music culture passed through. The essence of the fiddle lived in this brief concert. The Cradle Song of Szymanowski proved a much more ‘modern’ affair, the traditions still invited and present, though the drabness of it’s features might turn some off. Still, it had a beauty of its own, distilled and abstract, a piece that’s demands some effort and attention.

We’d welcome back these siblings anytime to Cardiff.

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