Review of POPULISTA PRESENTS RAPHAEL ROGIŃSKI PLAYS HENRY PURCELL (FEAT OLGA MYSŁOWSKA & SEBSTIAN WITKOWSKI), Bolt, 2017
Polish guitarist Raphael Rogiński presents the singular ability to compel me every time to review my convictions regarding the way of interpreting music. It had already happened with his album dedicated to the great J.S. Bach in 2009 and also with his excellent work on the music of Coltrane in 2015.
Raphael Rogiński is back with this new work entirely dedicated to the British Baroque composer Henry Purcell. About Purcell there are little certain biographical informations and his work has long been in the shadow of history, only recently his music has been rediscovered, re-evaluated and left a deep impression both in a composer like Britten and throwing a new light on the figures of late British composers.
In this CD Rogiński brings to a new level Purcell’s baroque music, as in the previous work dedicated to Bach, I wrote of a new level because the way to perform the music of the British composer by Rogiński could not exactly be defined as “exactly philological “: Rogiński instead of following a path that I would like to define as “classic” has chosen to reinvent these music giving them a mantle of contemporaneity. This thanks to the careful use of his prepared guitar and the collaboration of Olga Mystowska and Sebastian Witkowsky. The result is a record reminiscent of some prog and post rock sounds, the diaphanous voice of Olga Mystowska evokes atmospheres similar to those of the early works of the Sigur Ros that seem to join perfectly with Purcell’s baroque melodies. Here, perhaps this is the most interesting aspect of this record: that music and melodies of almost five hundred years ago sound so fresh and up-to-date. Purcell wrote and sang about loves, stories, wrote songs, talked about emotions. The great merit of Rogiński was to give them a new face.