TAN DUN: MARTIAL ARTS CYCLE
The remastered DVD album of Tan Dun's Martial Arts Cycle was released in China on 5/25/2021. It features Tan Dun's Piano Sonata and chamber music, with pianist Magdalena Baczewska, violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing, and cellist Jing Zhao.
Hip-Hopsichord by Gene Pritsker combines the virtuosity of harpsichord playing with electronic hip-hop/techno/r&b/drum&bass rhythms. The composer uses the word Samplestra to describe the electronic music that is completely notated.
“Deliciously different sonic adventure.”
“An excellent excursion.”
“Most enjoyable listen.”
Music for Dreams
Chill Hop Remix
MUSIC FOR DREAMS CHILLHOP REMIX was created by Magdalena in collaboration with Gene Pritsker,. The album is a sequel to the best-selling collection, Music for Dreams, created together with the Bluesleep® medical team, researching and treating sleep disorders. This time, the classical piano favorites are remixed in a ChillHop style. The idea is to transport the listener to a state of peace, tranquility, and relaxation with the soothing sounds of lo-fi hip-hop, inspired by classical piano favorites; reimagined for the 21st-century audience. Dr. Stern of Bluesleep makes a guest appearance in the Ravel duet.
Contemporary Fusion Reviews: "Fascinating artist."
"Serene magical healing music that inspires the imagination and gives the listener new ways of seeing their dreams."
"Daring and exceptional."
"Awesome music: technology meets genius."
"A stunning achievement...!"
"Pure excellence. Love it."
"Imaginative & organic art, and given that the source material is indisputably brilliant classical music, one very special brew, indeed!"
"Different, special, moving and terrific. Loved the concept."
"Absolutely beautiful work, elegant, and original."
Music for Dreams, vol. 3
In MUSIC FOR DREAMS, Vo.l 3, the hypnotic qualities of the music are emphasized in this new compilation of piano classics. Baczewska purposely minimizes fluctuations in tempo, volume, and style to help promote the transition from wakefulness to sleep.
A Tribute to Glenn Gould
This record features J. S. Bach's Goldberg Variations & Richard Strauss' Piano Sonata Op. 5: the first and last piano works recorded by the legendary pianist Glenn Gould.
American Record Guide: "An uncommonly good recording."
The Gramophone: “Beautiful and intimately scaled."
Adam Rozlach, Polish Radio: "Baczewska is a very sensitive pianist, perfectly comfortable with Bach's difficult musical matter. I am impressed by her imagination with which she communicates the vastness of this music. Her playing is warm, allowing intimacy with the music and its interpretation."
Musikalifeiten: "Baczewska occupies a special place in the large company of interpreters of Bach's Goldberg variations (...) Her playing is sensitive, nuanced and imaginative (...) She plays the theme in all innocence and simplicity, has an excellent technique, shows spiritual depth. The chosen tempi feel right, there is some rhythmic freedom, the ornaments are discreet, and the whole has an element of diversity and contrast."
Debussy on 5th Avenue
DEBUSSY ON 5th AVENUE was produced during the pandemic, in lockdown. It features the celebrated cycles for piano solo by Claude Debussy: Estampes and two books of Images. Why 5th Avenue? The album was produced using the Yamaha Disklavier technology. The recording took place at the Yamaha Piano Salon on New York City's 5th Avenue.
"Baczewska reads the mind of the composer."
"A stimulating journey."
"A beacon of technically flawless achievement."
"Baczewska is an interesting presence in the piano world."
"Pioneering work in a new medium."
"Like a seasoned actor, [Baczewska] continues to sustain an evocative mood throughout."
"Baczewska’s intelligent musicianship is always apparent."
Tan Dun's Martial Arts Cycle: Sonatas and Trio
Martial Arts Cycle for Piano, Violin, and Violoncello
Magdalena Baczewska, piano; Eldblørg Hemsing, violin; Jing Zhao, violoncello
The Washington Post: "An epic multimedia production, full of big-screen amotions and unabashed melodrama."
The New York Times: "A mix of Hollywood grandeur and primal, percussive vitality."
Ta Kung Pao: " [Martial Arts Cycle] is Tan Dun's understanding of Eastern and Western cultures, his grand tribute to the Chinese culture and to humanistic ideas."
Music for Dreams, vol. 2
MUSIC FOR DREAMS, Vol. 2 was recorded with the intention of inducing a deep and restorative sleep for both adults and children. Volume I was clinically tested and shown to decrease sleep latency time in children by up to 50% (this is the time it takes to fall asleep from the time that lights are turned out).
Musikalifeiten" "For the program of Music for Dreams, vol. 2, Baczewska chose a number of music fragments that she interprets in her own, consciously deviating way, in order to make a further contribution to helping to get into dreamland. Worth trying."
In Search of Bach's Cantabile (book)
The past generations of performance educators have stressed the smooth sequence of tones as the basis of cantabile style. This notion has infiltrated most of the music literature. The author revisits the influence of the art of ancient oratory on vocal and instrumental music. Sources of the discussion include writings of Plato, Quintilian, and Cicero, as well as treatises on the subject of rhetoric. Other materials include a sampling of the music literature of the Baroque with special focus on the music of J. S. Bach. The reader is introduced to aspects of articulation constituting a cantabile performance, the vocal potential of keyboard instruments, and means of creating an intelligible discourse on a keyboard. The implication is that singing and playing not only require a smooth sequence of tones, but also demand a deep commitment to meaning and clarity of communication. This work should help the reader achieve a more thorough understanding of the message conveyed in music, and should be useful to music students and teachers alike.
“One of the most innovative, even radical classical keyboardists in the U.S.”
“Columbia University professor by day, musical sorceress by night.”
“A modern, even dangerous edge to her playing which lifts this album far beyond the humdrum.”
“Baczewska presents the subsequent variations like a series of mystifying card tricks. What, the listener may ask, will she have next up her black leather sleeve?”
“Pianist and composer seem to be working together.”
“Elegant in a youthful sort of way, with an indefinable modern sensibility.”
“It will make [the listeners] sit up and pay notice.”
"What Matters" Single
Contemporary Fusion Review:
“Delicious musical dissent”... "harpsichord? on a rap song? You’ll be amazed at just how well it works on this gem.”
Magdalena Baczewska appears in Gene Pritsker's piece What Matters, written for the Protest album, in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Sophie Dunér - voice,
Magdalena Stern-Baczewska - harpsichord,
Gene Pritsker - rap,
Simon Springer - Drums
“One of the things I like about Gene Pritsker's music, and about his attitude in general, is that he never forces an emotion. Perhaps one of the advantages of being a genius—and Gene certainly is—is that his stuff just happens.’ … “the word “risk” sums up what Gene Pritsker's eclecticism is about. What is art without taking chances?” … “5 stars”
Raymond Tuttle - Fanfare Magazine 2020
Magdalena Baczewska plays Chopin and Szymanowski
American Record Guide: "Richness, grace, and sensitivity (...) finely woven, ease of execution, rich lyricism (...) excellent interpretive knowledge of Bach and the Baroque period appears in her clean lines and balanced, lyrical Szymanowski and Chopin"
Classical Music Guide Online: "Warm, gracious and expressive (...) She understands the idioms of these composers so well, and never takes a false step stylistically. She produces a big, bronze tone and plays everything with ideas and color. Ms. Baczewska has excellent technique but doesn’t need to 'show off.'"
Musikalifeiten: "imagination and spontaneity (...) aristocratic character, free from pretentiousness or banality, and after a beautifully played slow introduction, the Grande Polonaise sounds proud and heroic (...) A fascinating program performed on high level."
David Dubal on Reflections from the Keyboard: "Wonderfully lyrical, beautifully shaped."
Philippe Entremont: "Simply admirable! (...) I have never heard better playing since Rubinstein!"
Adam Rozlach, Polish Radio: "Played with a breath of Romanticism, beautiful sound, and thoughtfulness. Sensuous, sensitive, delicate and lyrical, yet not limiting the climactic power."
Classical Music: "Magdalena Baczewska is a magnificent Chopin player! She does not play this music in the manner of Rubinstein, Friedman, Horowitz or anyone else. She has her own unique voice, and stylistically never falters. Her rubato is always natural, and she brings out wonderful changes of color during modulations. She never has the need to “shout,” or bang, yet always brings off high points successfully. This pianist’s technique is always there, her sound always beautiful and unforced, and her idiomatic understanding of this music is complete."
Music for Dreams, vol. 1
MUSIC FOR DREAMS was recorded to help transport your body to a restful and deep sleep. The album is a marriage of music and medicine. The peaceful sounds will help regulate your breathing and heart rate, and induce a healthy and regenerative sleep.
Musikalifeiten: "Do not expect the pianist to play these pieces according to the normal rules; the interpretations are adapted to the goal: combating insomnia and that makes them extra interesting for once. Even those who do not want to fall asleep will, by the way, be delighted by this beautifully played program featuring a variety of pieces."