A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to record, Rafał Augustyn‘s Miroirs, for five performers (1995) alongside colleagues Władysław Kosendiak (saxophone), Wojciech Buliński (percussion), Janusz Musiał (double bass) and Krzysztof Książek (piano).
The composition’s complexity, due in part to constant changes in meter as well as demanding technical proficiency from each player, made the recording very challenging.
The piece is divided into three short intense movements.
The first movement is based on a theme that is kept from developing by continuous interruptions in the other voices. Towards the conclusion, a moment of respite manifests itself and the music becomes static and even peaceful, but this state of tranquility is swiftly broken by further intrusions.
The second movement consists of the reading of a text by the composer, in Esperanto. The effect evokes the experience of attending a lecture about something not fully understood. Fanfares, chorals and repeated patterns in the piano part accompany the text as it gradually disappears.
The opening of the third movement reminds me of the opening of the last movement of Witold Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra. The music builds in complexity and volume ultimately leading to a danceable section of multi-meter rhythms and a melody invariably played in canon.
The recording is available in its entirety on Spotify by clicking on the embedded player and logging-in.