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The Nochat’s Dance
rec. Recpublica Studio, Lubrza, Poland
DUX 1491 [50.14]

A disc of no great substance - but perfectly pleasant - makes reviewing quite difficult. There are genuine pleasures to be had, but little is added to the sum of human musical awareness. It is much easier to deal with the truly admirable or the dreadful.

Antoni Wojnar is a young Polish composer and percussionist, with a background in both classical percussion and jazz. Principal compositions – and arrangements – are for film and theatre. The present disc is an extended suite, subtitled ‘A Modern Fairy Tale’, designed as a tribute to the late Andrzej Branicki, who taught at the Frederic Chopin Musical School in Warsaw for many years.

Wojnar’s music is tuneful if undemanding and not very memorable. Little stayed in my mind after several playings, and yet nothing jarred and there was pleasant variety, especially in tracks such as those involving dance rhythms – the opening title piece, ‘Professor’s Tango’, ‘Bossa’, ‘Carousel’, ‘Waltz of Joy’ stand out as confident examples. Wojnar is skilled in capturing a mood, and the final ‘Marimba Lullaby’ is rather touching. This title is a clue to much of the music – tonal, tuneful but ultimately unadventurous, with a lot of marimbas. There is variation in the instrumentation for each track. For example, ‘The Nochat’s Dance’, ‘Journey,’ ‘Bossa’, ‘Waltz of Joy’ and ‘Expectation’ use a string quartet as well as piano and plenty of those marimbas.

Recording quality is very fine, with individual instruments carefully and precisely captured. Notes - in English – are adequate but could be more precise in detail. Packaging eschews the jewel-case for a prettily illustrated cardboard folder.

In short, then, there is contentment to be had in this innocuous and well-meant disc, but – for this listener at least – it lacks the distinction to rise above good background music.

Michael Wilkinson

Contents & Performers
The Nochat’s Dance [3.49]
Journey [3.10]
Phoenix [3.36]
She [3.31]
Memory [3.08]
I Love You [3.10]
City [3.51]
Professor’s Tango [3.58]
Bossa [2.53]
Evening Meeting [3.15]
Carousel [4.33]
Waltz of Joy [2.52]
Expectation [3.58]
Farewell [2.21]
Marimba Lullaby [1.52]
Antoni Wojnar (piano, drums, glockenspiel, marimba)
Basia Pospieszalska (vocal)
Monika Maciejawska (vocal)
Agnieszka Koszewska (vocal)
Stanisław Skoczyński (marimba)
Olga Przybył (marimba, vibraphone)
Zofia Przybył (marimba)
Anna Górna (marimba, vibraphone)
Łukasz Piotrowski (marimba)
Marek Wroński (violin)
Oriana Masternak (violin)
Olga Owczynnikow (violin)
Wojciech Koprowski (violin)
Maria Dutka (viola)
Magdalena Krawczyk (viola)
Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska (cello)
Malwina Jakubowska (cello)
Ignacy Jan Wiśniewski (piano)
Dominik Kisiel (piano)
Dominik Kisiel (piano)
Mateusz Jaremko (guitar)
Maciej Sadowski (double bass)
Piotr Szajrych (double bass)

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