29 April 2023

One for Poland

This one was Mark Jurkiewicz, this time at Goodwin.  We learnt more of Mark's history, the partition of Poland and the political relevance of Chopin's waltzes and more.  Political relevance of a waltz?  It seems hard to conceive of, but these were different days, and to talk of Poland as a country was a death sentence and to play a Polonnaise in Paris was a political statement.  It's with this background and fifteen years in Poland and studies at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy in Warsaw that we place Mark and his performances.  So this has profundity and historical reference.  He played four mazurkas then two waltzes then a Tarantella and Andante Spaniato and Grande Waltz Brillante.  Then and encore of another waltz.  I had played these waltzes as a kid but nothing like this: intense, driven, fast and varied tempos, loud and dynamic, hugely practised and informed.  Mark has made me understand then love Chopin, and I can only say thanks for that.

Mark Jurkiewicz (piano) played Chopin at Goodwin.

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