Szymanski's chiaroscuro

TOMASZ CYZ | chief editor of Ruch Muzyczny | 10/2016

(… )The harpsichordist [Malgorzata Sarbak] of a magnificent imagination and skills, a phenomenal musicality; she can filter the ultralogical music of Szymanski through her extraterrestial emotionality. Perhaps that's the reason why we move in time (is that baroque or contemporaneity?), we levitate and spin with this metallic sounds in the supersonic expanses. Dissociative Counterpoint Disorder is something between a compulsive play - a dialogue with the past broken now and then – and a silence. It's also the expression of an enourmous sense of humor (both the composer and the performer) but with enourmous seriousness at once, which the music for the surconvensionalist P Sz was, is and always will be. All that is played by Sarbak with an absolute perfection. Ruthlessly. In her rendition, Through the looking glass...III seems to sweep all other inerpreations, other pieces off our collective memory. (…)

This year's most interesting Polish music CD

DARIUSZ WASILEWSKI | Audio Lifestyle, the audiophile magazine | 10/2016

Three years ago we were thrilled to pieces with the Bach Partitas recorded for an independent label Lado ABC by the extraordinarly talented harpsichordist Malgorzata Sarbak, and now we have a reason to delight ourselves with the production much more ambitious, and remarkably succesfull – a monographic disc presenting the harpsichord output of the Polish contemporary composer, Paweł Szymański. (...) The renditions of Malgorzata Sarbak, for whom Szymanski wrote the title piece Dissociative Couterpoint Disorder, ideally transmit the composer's vision – her playing is light, full of grace, very confident and in this timeless style, that Szymanski is looking for in his harpsichord pieces.

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Szymanski in his convention

EWA CICHOŃ | Ruch Muzyczny | 01/2015

The premiere of every Paweł Szymański work is a significant event. The foyer chamber at Teatr Studio was packed, which is rather rare at similar concerts of contemporary music. It may have been not only the new piece that drew the audience, but also the rising harpsichord star, Małgorzata Sarbak, genially rendering the music of J.S. Bach and harpsichord works by Szymański.

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Mozart krumm und wild

HEINZ LINDUSCHKA | „Main-Echo" | 07/2014

(…) der Sulzbacher Tangentenflügel des Regensburgers Christoph Friedrich Schmahl von 1790 der polnischen Cembalistin und Fortepianistin Malgorzata Sarbak die Möglichkeit bot, ihr ausdruckstarkes Spiel perfekt zur Geltung zu bringen. Solistisch brillierte sie vor allem in der facettenreichen Mozartsonate nach der Pause, als sie mit dem warmen, intensiven Klang des Flügels alle Klangfarben und Tempi der Sätze spielerisch leicht ausgestaltete.

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Intimate communion with Bach’s work

PIRath | "Pizzicato" | Nr 238; 12/2013

Grade: ♪♪♪♪♪ | One is very agreeably surprised from the opening notes of the prelude from the first Partita; mildness and depth of sound reveal the excellence of both the musician and her instrument. Right away, a calm sentiment and serenity settles in, which affords the guarantee of a musician very sure, not looking for the effect of shining from the stage but transmitting with mastery all the secret essence of this grandiose oeuvre by Bach. This intimate communion with Bach’s work never falters across the three CDs that contain the six Partitas.

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The Six Partitas on three CDs is a debut one can only dream of

Ewa Obniska | Płytomania, Polish Radio Program II

[…] her playing is tremendously emotional and this is the great asset of this release […] extremely fresh, adroit, dramatic […], excellent technical disposition, superb skills of harpsichord playing and technique in all aspects […] dances are played dashingly, with temperament and with that kind of vital force that is thrilling […].

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Interview with Małgorzata Sarbak

TOBIAS FISCHER | tokafi.com | 10/2013

When it comes to Bach, Małgorzata Sarbak doesn't believe in coincidences. In the booklet to her recently released 3CD-boxset of the composer's partitas, harking back to a famous quote by German poet and Bach-contemporary Christian Schubart, she refers to Bach as an 'original genius', describing his music as an exquisite riddle for the brain – in which everything has been expertly planned, organised and designed and to which our body "may give us clues by surrendering to rhythms". Certainly, her own rendition of the partitas re-kindles this riddle, managing to sound fresh and respectful, energetic and detailed, contemplative and physical all at once. The album is the result of many years of performing the piece in public, of myriads of post-concert conversations with listeners and of finally realising that she might have, inside of her, a personal vision of a collection of pieces about which everything already seemed to have been said. It was integral to this vision to not only treat each individual partita as a story onto itself, but to bring out the intricate relationship between the different chapters, to unearth the hidden path that turns the music into a mesmerising trip rather than just a collection of technically challenging pieces. Little wonder, then, that the packaging of the release mirrors this holistic approach, coming in a smart, interleaved digipack featuring perfectly contemporary photography and insightful liner notes. Other artists might have delegated these aspects to the label and ended up with yet another exchangeable, forgettable release. But when it comes to recording the music that is closest to her heart, Małgorzata Sarbak won't let anything up to chance.

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Bach and the harpsichordist's virtuosity

WITOLD PAPROCKI | Ruch Muzyczny | 10/2013

The diversity of the Bach Galanterien – those forty miniature gems – can be discerned due to the suggestive and distinct interpretation of the harpsichordist. Małgorzata Sarbak's view over the first volume of Clavier-Ubung is as virtuosic as it is refined, searching with great discernment for the essence of the composer’s intention. The Partitas, from her perspective, offer a tremendous dose of amusement, but that invaluable one touching not only the senses but also the mind and soul.

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