On the evening of Wednesday 11th of September I had the pleasure of hearing Polish composer guitarist Marek Pasieczny perform at the Auckland University School of Music theatre. Marek is in New Zealand on a short tour performing concerts and giving composition workshops in various centres.
I found Marek's performances and his wide range of original compositions both inspired and refreshing. The programme was made up of a good mix of audience friendly works (e.g. excerpts from "Travels 2011 miniatures for solo guitar") and examples of his musically challenging pieces such as "LUTOSLAWSKI: In Memoriam". I was impressed by the array of tonal effects and techniques Marek employed to help shape the performances, and this was not just effect for effect's sake but well considered, integral features of each composition.
Musicality, solid guitar technique, control, perfect timing and self confidence all go towards making a convincing performance and Marek has all these things in spades. His excellent spoken introductions provide helpful insights into his compositions and with perfectly judged good humour added to the mix, there was not a single dull moment in this concert.
One of the many highlights was a surprise world premiere performance of a famous New Zealand melody, arranged for solo guitar. This was quite remarkable and the best version I have ever heard of this very familiar tune. But I will not give away the surprise. You will have to attend the concert to find out more! Likewise the spectacular encore 'show piece' which was the audience's reward for their extended applause.
Marek Pasieczny is a highly accomplished, experienced and qualified composer who has written works for internationally acclaimed guitarists, e.g. 'Scintilla' for David Russell and 'Spiffy' for Anna Vidovich. Since 1986 Marek has produced a surprising array of compositions (details of which can be found via his web site) including suites for solo and guitar duet, various miniatures and 3 guitar concertos to name a few.
I urge anyone interested in guitar music to go along and support this remarkable musician from the Northern Hemisphere. The following are the details of Marek's remaining New Zealand concerts.
Sept 13 Concert 7.30 pm Hamilton Guitar Society, Lady Goodfellow Chapel, Waikato University.
Sept 15 Concert 7.30 pm New Plymouth Guitar Society, 4th Wall Theatre, 11 Baring Terrace, Strandon.
Sept 17 Wellington NZSM Master Class, Massey Theatrette 6-9pm
Sept 18 12-2pm Master Class
Sept 18 Wellington NZSM Composition Workshop (3.10-4.30pm)
Sept 19 Wellington Polish Embassy/NZSM Concert Massey Theatrette 7.30pm