Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cracow Guitar Quartet

There are only a few great guitar quartets - Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and the Sante Fe Guitar Quartet come to mind. After viewing today's featured video of Libertango, I would add the Cracow Guitar Quartet to that short list. The challenge to such quartets is precision and balance. There are a lot of fingers which need to be coordinated and very little ability to signal intent. It almost requires extrasensory perception (or a lot of practice) to be perfectly synchronized as this Cracow group is. The problem of balance is also a challenge - many groups have one or two dominant players which ultimately leads to solos with accompaniment, not true quartet music. No problem with that in Cracow, these musicians are all equally superb. This is a group which transcends their local roots and deserves more international exposure.

The quartet consists of Jadwiga Wołek, Joanna Baran, Łukasz Dobrowolski, and Oskar Kozłowski. This is a young group just getting started. They have no recordings yet but they have posted a number of pieces from their repertoire on their website. You can also find several more videos of their performances on their YouTube channel. In 2009, the group's excellence was recognized with the first prize award at the 12th International Guitar Competition in Ile De Ré in France. Based on the performance in this video, it was well deserved.

I hope we will hear more from this young quartet in the future. If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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