Tomasz Zawierucha studied with Thomas Müller-Pering
and Monika Rost. Even while he was still a student, he was already winning
first prizes at competitions as diverse as the prestigious Tokyo International
Guitar Competition, the Concours International de Guitare Ville d’Antony
to the south of Paris and the Dundee International Guitar Competition.
Following his solo recital at Bunka Kaikan Recital Hall in Tokyo, the
Gendai Guitar magazine described him as "undoubtedly one of the most
interesting guitarists of his generation". His Tokyo recital was
followed by invitations to perform at leading festivals from the Stuttgart
International Classic Guitar Festival and Glasgow’s Big Guitar Weekend
to the Tokyo Guitar Festival and the Rencontres de la Guitare in Paris.
Tomasz Zawierucha has also given masterclasses and served on the jury
at many international guitar competitions. Among the artists with whom
he has appeared in chamber recitals are Thomas Müller-Pering, John
Dearman and Olaf Van Gonnissen. He has made radio recordings in Germany
(MDR and WDR), Italy (RT), Poland (PR2), Japan (NHK), France and Spain.
His two CDs, The Twilight Zone and Un tiempo fue Itálica famosa,
have been acclaimed by international reviewers in Guitar Art, The Times
and Record Geijutsu. Tomasz Zawierucha teaches the guitar at the Franz
Liszt University of Music Weimar and at the State Vorarlberg Conservatoire,
Austria. He is also a guest lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
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Tomasz Zawierucha plays Bach
Tomasz Zawierucha | Gitarre
|JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
(1685 – 1750)
No. 2 BWV 1004
|Suite BWV 995
Gavottes I & II
|Suite BWV 997
Gigue & Double
All Works are transcribed by Tomasz Zawierucha. His transcription
of the Partita No. 2 BWV 1004 is published by Chanterelle Verlag.
Of the dozen or so CDs that hit my doorstep earlier this week, three
are Bach-only releases and two others contain a significant Bach representation.
How many more have recently passed through the CG office and been
allocated to other reviewers is anybody's guess. So all credit to
Tomasz Zawierucha, who first rose to prominence following his Dundee
victory in 2004, for acknowledging the industrial scale of Bach on
the guitar with the words 'although there are already so many other
recordings of this infinitely multi-layered music, I have decided
to add my own version, perhaps in an attempt to test my own maturity
as a musician'. You can't argue with that, and all credit to Zawierucha
for showing such refreshing humility in an area where so many succumb
to verbal flatulence.
A slight ripple following the anacrusis at the start of BWV 1004
establishes Zawierucha as a subscriber to the view that it's desirable
to expand the harmonies implicit in the violin originals, a policy
he carries out most extensively in the Allemanda, Corrente and Giga.
This is an area where few sit on the fence, the fact that I no longer
hold any strong views either way being guaranteed to annoy every¬one.
But it would take an exceptionally hard-line member of the 'deliver
it straight' brigade to object to the noble and patrician accounts
Zawierucha serves up, the rich and resonant tone emanating from
his Masaki Sakurai guitar doing much to help the music on its way.
Particularly impressive is Zawierucha's handling of the fluttering
arpeggio figures in the central part of the Chaconne. Every guitarist
has his or her own way of meeting this technical challenge, but
Zawierucha's is one of the most neat and focused to come my way
in recent years. Equally successful are the two items formerly known
as 'lute suites', the harmonisations in the surviving sources meaning
that the issue of added basses no longer applies.
Quality Bach from a guitarist whose stated wish to put his own abilities
to the test has surely been met.
Classical Guitar Magazine
Soundboard has been graced with many beautiful Bach recordings in the
last year, and Tomasz Zawierucha Plays Bach is another fine effort. Zawierucha
begins with Partita No. 2 for violin, which, of course includes the "Chaconne".
He takes a fairly free approach to adding notes and lines implied in the
original, a choice of which I heartily approve. It is certainly always
tasteful and stays away from any anachronistic reharmonizations such as
Segovia utilized. (I do, however, like the Segovia "Chaconne",
but in a hyphenated-Bach way.) The four dance movements are performed
in exemplary fashion, with especially well-judged tempi, culminating in
a danceable "Gigue". It is not uncommon for allemandes and courantes
to devolve to a kind of uni-tempo sameness. His performance of the "Chaconne"
is fascinating. He adds basses discretely and ornaments freely, all the
while maintaining a tremendous forward thrust. His elaboration of the
arpeggios at the end of the first D minor section is done in a way new
to me. At any rate, it leads to a passionate climax before the major-mode
section gives us a time of repose preceding a dramatic ending. Zawierucha’s
performance of S. 995 (Lute Suite No. 3) is also excellent. He continues
the rhythmic freedom from the Partita, but, again, never in a way that
compromises structure or betrays technically-imposed choices. The "Prelude",
with its fantasia-style opening, is beautifully ornamented, leading into
a brisk fugato. Interestingly, the very sparse "Sarabande" is
left unembellished, allowing the guitarist’s exquisite sound and
inflection to illuminate the piece in a remarkably satisfying fashion.
S. 997 (Lute Suite No. 2) is performed with equal excellence. Throughout
the disc, Zawierucha’s methods of ornamentation are highly varied,
including melodic additions, cross-string trills, beautiful arpeggiation
of cadential chords, and double dotting. And this is not an exhaustive
list. It adds up to a Bach which is both profound and highly expressive.
If you like your Baroque music bland and uninflected, Zawierucha will
not be your cup of tea, but I liked it very much. Recorded sound by John
Taylor is exemplary […].
Soundboard Vol. XXXVIII, No. 2