Cracow Duo

Kalinowski & Szlezer
cello & piano duo

The prestigious magazine The Strad wrote about the Cracow Duo: “Kalinowski and Szlezer, friends since childhood, have a wonderfully natural rapport and there is an arresting quality to their playing that gives life to the music.”

They studied together in Cracow and Paris. Musicians started to perform together as Cracow Duo almost fifteen years ago. Since that time they had received a high critical acclaim in Poland and abroad and gained sympathy of listeners. 

Curriculum Vitae

REVIEWS

 

It was a very individual interpretation, of great strength.

Von Gisela Schwarz, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 27 June 2017

 

 

The grand finale in Konserthusteatern became a dazzling display of musical virtuosity. The varied program, commonly making music in a relaxed atmosphere with musicians in master class! [...] Polish pianist Marek Szlezer proved that he is a brilliant pianist. His performance of the Chopin Polonaise in A flat major was marked by both the strength and the ease. His style was full of passion, which appeared even more clearly when he and the cellist Jan Kalinowski performed Astor Piazzolla's Grand Tango. It was a dazzling display of musicality and technical skills of both soloists.

Jane Betts, Blakinge Lans Tidning, August 2016

 

 

[...] The two outstanding instrumentalists from Cracow performed in the Casa de Fernández Blanco under the patronage of the Polish Embassy in Buenos Aires. [...] It was an evening illuminated by these two artists. Endowed with impeccable technique, rhythmic compatibility and beautiful phrasing they let us experience the cleverly chosen repertoire, composed with lightness. Jan Kalinowski has a velvety and rich sound that constantly dialogue with the piano, and Marek Szlezer understands it perfectly.

Francisco Troccoli, www.criticosmusicales.com, 7 May 2016

 

 

The concert has enchanted the audience thanks to the perfect playing of Jan Kalinowski and Marek Szlezer. [...] The universe, in which the piano and cello spoke to each other in perfect harmony. In this consistent dialogue emerged filigree virtuosity of both performers. Two friends had attracted attention with their executive experience and sensitivity to the content of the works they performed. Their extremely thoughtful musicianship and brilliant cooperation, focusing on each of the presented works made single one of them a moment of pleasure. […] Under their fingers the age-old music has came back to life, dabbed touching personality of genius. Waving sounds transformed into time became witnesses of a journey through the ages, from one epoch to another following a scheduled program, on the border of the worlds, in clean notes, transforming all the splendour of music in its beauty, suffering, and boisterousness. These feelings were only possible thanks to the genius of both of these artists.

Raouf Medelgi, Le Temps, 16 October 2014

 

 

I have to admit, that I had never heard something like that before, astonished with a discovery of expressivness of Shostakovitsch’s music, admiring Marek Szlezer and Jan Kalinowski I entered with them in a complicated world of Dmitrij Schostakovitsch.

Walentyna Żdanowicz  BELARUS N5, May 2013

 

 

Each following composition – by Zygmunt Stojowski, Władysław Zeleński, Henryk Pachulski, Dezyderiusz Danczowski, Maurycy Moszkowski, Ludomir Rogowski and arrangement of Prelude op.1 n.1 of Karol Szymanowski done by Grażyna Bacewicz – was coming closer to the goal. The program composed of emotional contrasts, alternation between lyrical and energetic vivacity, was stunning in two ways. Rarely we may hear the music of composers which were mentioned above. The Cracow Duo’s effort was not only scoped on perfect, spectacular and above-average emotional execution of these selected compositions but, first and foremost, it was an enterprise taken to interpret the pieces which have no registration which could serve as a pattern to follow. Cracow Duo has taken in its absolute possession the public’s attention, living it in lack and with wild need for at least one little while more to spend with the ghosts from Szymanowski’s era.

Maria Peryt, fineLIFE, April 2012

 

 

Marek Szlezer and Jan Kalinowski duo has presented itself formidably. Both gentelmen had caused listeners to enter in the preternatural state of mind, allowing them to forget about time and space, transfering them into the land of wonderful sounds, deep cello tone with fascinating light and pure sound, outstanding „pianos”, in other words into the world of Music written with really majuscular M. Jan Kalinowski had masterfully harmonized himself with his instrument, emitting from it the sound of outstanding beauty and touching bloom, and very melodious repertory had widely shown the artists’ capabilities. Marek Szlezer, the pianist, was not even a step behind a cellist – incredibly flexible, soft passages of the accompagnament were creating a unique, glamorous aura. Arietta by Ludomir Rogowski had particularly caught my attention with its lyricism and finesse, perfectly presented by that duo.

Marzena Pikulska, Polska Muza, March 2012

 

 

Artists play beautifully, I think they have in common understanding of the music and share a vision of their art. Moreover they are excellent virtuosos of their instruments, phenomenal mutual fitting of the musicians impressed me with precision.

Beata Górecka-Młyńczak, Hi Fi i Muzyka, August 2011

 

 

[…] But it is a Sonata for piano and cello that allows better to appreciate both performers. In this mature oeuvre, that exposures cello the most, the two musicians are giving their maestry not in a service of loud demonstration of virtuosity but contrary using it to leave space for each other. It is the principal valor of this duo, because it is much easier to shine then to let to forget. Or better, Szlezer and Kalinowski are having a subtle respect for each other. It is an art of discrecy that besides a fact that it renders justice to Chopin intentions brings us an intelligent and reflective reading of that Sonata.

                                                                              Bertrand Saint-Etienne, ResMusica, March 2011

 

 

[…] Jan Kalinowski and Marek Szlezer, friends since childhood, have a wonderfully natural rapport and there is an arresting quality to their playing that gives life to the music, even when its content is less than inspiring. 

Janet Banks, The Strad, January 2010

 

 

[…] The final act of the evening was Frederic Chopin’s Sonata in G minor. The remarkably beautiful and surprisingly mature performance was delivered by two young musicians from Cracow, performing under the name of Cracow Duo: cellist Jan Kalinowski and pianist Marek Szlezer.

The rendition of the Sonata was not only technically superb, as its exceptional musicality and depth have brought out romantic melancholy and “eternal longing”, which were especially prominent in the second movement.    

Marek Brzeźniak, Silesia No 61, April 2009

 

 

[…] Interpretation of Partita for cello and piano (1955) had full rights to be named an artistic creation. Tansman’s music,  dense and full of dramatic expression has found its ideal performers in Jan Kalinowski and Marek Szlezer.

Anna Woźniakowska, Ruch Muzyczny, January 2008

 

 

[…][...] Marek Szlezer is performing oftenly with cellist Jan Kalinowski. Both gentlemen has already managed to present together quite a lot of fine artistic creations. During this concert [...] they have very accurately and clearly showed to public the composers ideas, without omitting an individual touch in their interpretation [...] 

Maciej Jabłoński, Dziennik Polski, 12 May 2008

 

 

Cracow Duo, that is Jan Kalinowski cellist and Marek Szlezer pianist, assistant professors in Cracow Academy of Music, have played Sonatas by Ludomir Różycki, Karol Szymanowski (transcription of Violin Sonata) and Zygmunt Stojowski. I have made it in time to listen the Sonata in A major by Stojowski, composer that has turned out to be completely forgotten in our country. Young musicians are one of the few to reach for the polish music of XIX/XX century with a success, showing to all of us that we have really nothing to be ashamed of. The Sonata by Stojowski, well composed, interesting in its melodical and harmonical aspects, is moving for a listener and very demanding for both performers. It deserves to stay in our all to day concert repertory.

Jan Kalinowski and Marek Szlezer are two, completely different musical personalities that are outstandingly complementary. Rarely one can hear and observe such good cooperation onstage, such mutual understanding of a music performed. As an encore young artists have added also unknown to us, brilliant Fantaisie of Alexandre Tansman, and finished this beautiful evening with a touching interpretation of Largo from Chopin’s Cello Sonata op.65. 

Anna Woźniakowska, Dziennik Polski, March  2007

 

 

The big event of a festival was a final concert by Cracow Duo, Jan Kalinowski (cello) and Marek Szlezer (piano). 

Daniel Cichy, Ruch Muzyczny, July 2006

 

 

The Ministry of Culture, Dar Al-Assad for Culture and Arts, in cooperation with The Polish Embassy in Damascus, invited music lovers to a concert given by the Cracow Duo: Mr. Jan Kalinowski, Cello, and Mr. Marek Szlezer, Piano.

[…] The young artists concluded their fine concert by playing A. Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango. This is a grand concert piece of great vitality, bravura emotional ebullience and of virtuosity. It made a great climax. The audience gave a high ovation. Roses were presented to the artists. Thus ended one of the finest concerts in this season […] 

dr Sadek Pharaon, Syria Times, 12 April  2006

 

 

Sonata in G minor, that held has filled up the first part of the evening was a true eruption of virtuosity of two young artists - Jan Kalinowski and Marek Szlezer.

Virtuosos had fully completed and understood each other – Kalinowski seen as a subtle melodic player and Szlezer, more fascinated by the harmonical complexity.

Particularly the finale with its broad-flowing theme and large number of secondary melodic ideas was full of an incredible energy. In Trio elegiaque, those two outstanding virtuoso were joined by an as well talented Anna Majcherczyk – and again musicians had show us a mature chamber playing, not lacking of its juvenile enthusiasm. A very good concert, the great instrumentalists and an unforgettable evening.

Adrianna Ginał, Gazeta Krakowska, 4 April 2003