Guitar Graffiti (2017)

Review 1

Here is another, fourth musical release by Mirosław Franczak from Tychy complemented with a CD recorded by Grzegorz Skiba. The composer of those charming miniatures with their variable and multicolored sound character is a renowned classical guitarist, winner of several important guitar competitions, who graduated with honors from Music Academy in Katowice. In 1991-1993 he spent a post graduate internship with Mexican government, obtaining a diploma with the highest marks. For several years he has been successfully writing pedagogical repertoire for solo guitar.

The collection of 28 captivating miniatures with alluring sound narrations is divided into three parts op. 23, 24, 25 and is characterized by emphasis on the guitar’s capabilities as an outstandingly melodic instrument. It’s sometimes lively, sometimes nostalgic musical jewel in the crown. Except for two, each fits on one A4 page. The author feels great in dance forms such as waltz, samba, krakowiak, gawot, oberek, as well as in others – humoresque, lullaby, serenade, ballade etc.

The composer gave all his works a lot of telling, illustrative titles – e.g. Enchanted guitar, Caprices of the Moon, Melody from the old days, Smile through tears, Arlequin’s games, About the Wawel Dragon, Yellow Cabriolet, Argentina, Melody without end (muted in the recording), which will certainly bring the young performers closer to form and additionally activate their imagination. Franczak is familiar with typical Latin forms – chorinho, son mexicano, tonada, samba etc.  or American blues, ragtime.

The pieces were created mostly in cross tones or without key signatures, the sixth string E on D was also used in the form of a virtuoso and lyrical dialogue, contrasting Latin caprice –“The Phone Rings”. Usually the form A – B – A1 was used, with D. C. al Fine, sometimes with a spectacular coda.

The album was recorded by Grzegorz Skiba, an acclaimed guitarist, also classically educated at the Academy of Music in Katowice, also a laureate of national and international competitions, currently the leader of his own instrumental formation that successfully plays flamenco music.

 At the end of this type of review it is often written: This collection perfectly fills a gap in the domestic market of pedagogical publications for children and young people, etc. . . And this time it is possible to write so, although it is true that the so-called market is already solidly saturated with the music proposals of Polish authors, which are successively published by ABsonic- Wrocław’s thriving publishing house led by a guitarist Grzegorz Templin – simultaneously stating that some of these proposals, arranged e. g. in a small suite, may also be an excellent complement to solo performances of professional guitarists or virtuosos from Poland and abroad (although this time no versions of e. g. English-language titles have been published).

Applause for composer, recording author, publisher – just use it! In fact, it is difficult for me to point out to the readers some particularly beautiful or valuable fragments from the whole 40-page collection – the whole is, as they say now – spot-on. Listening to the professional recordings of Skiba you can immediately choose to read particular miniatures.

My students are already listening to the Graffiti music offered here and they can’t decide which one to play – There is so much to choose from – as of wealth of different guitar variants of possibilities and nuances. We are waiting for the next publications by Mirosław Franczak. Maybe this time it will be some interesting, charming and demanding miniatures to play in a duet.

Krzysztof Nieborak, April 2018

Review 2

Another proposal by the outstanding guitarist, renowned teacher and composer Mirosław Franczak, whose musical pieces are very popular. The use of many different guitar techniques, as well as the composer’s commentary, brings  us closer  to the proper understanding of the musical content of miniatures.

I hope that the interesting, full of value compositions included in the presented collection are an appropriate stimulus for young adepts of musical art to stir the imagination and broaden the scope of knowledge. Each work contains the necessary information about the application, articulation, agogics, as well as important elements such as dynamics and colour.

In musical education, valuable compositions are one of the unquestionable conditions for its success. Without interesting, well- sounding and accessible songs, no child will have the pleasure of performing music. ABSONIC Publishing House proves that it has got a perfectly prepared plan in relation to issued publications for children. Music is a very important field of culture. As Aristotle once said – music influences the ennoblement of customs.

prof. Alina Gruszka