Marek Szlezer's second album with Karol Szymanowski's music has just been released by DUX. The album includes all the Mazurkas (Op. 50 and Op. 62), Polish Dances and arrangements of Polish Songs as their specific contextual complement.

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I'm a fairly unusual case

Marek on the cover of the prestigious Piano News magazine! In the middle of the issue, among others interview with Marek - about music and more!

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Few pieces from the Polish Music Experience album recorded by Marek and Jan Kalinowski with the accompaniment of Sinfonietta Cracovia under the baton of Jurek Dybał are included on the album The Best of Polish Classical Music by Warner Music Group!

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Marek Szlezer - pianist

First and foremost there is Marek Szlezer, a young pianist blessed with a naturalness and warmth that void all ‘knowingnes’, all tricks of the trade. What breath and turbulence he achieves in the F minor Fantasie with such enviably unforced means. Always he finds a direct, unimpeded path to musical truth and eloquence. You may hear a more fervent or volatile Chopin (from, say, Cortot and Argerich respectively) but you will be hard-pressed to find one more musicianly. Everything is given time to breath and speak (‘to weep and sing and sigh’, to quote Liszt) and, listening to the central benediction at the hearts of the Marche Funebre and the Scherzo from the Op 35 Sonata, you can almost imagine Myra Hess (for Stephen Kovacevich ‘a virtuoso in sound’) hearing a pianist after her own heart. Never would she have felt inclined as she often did, contemplating rushed fences and telescoped phrases to cry out ‘Vive le sport!’

Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

Marek Szlezer proposes a wonderful interpretation, close as possible to the many shades with which Szymanowski decorates his scores.

Didier van Moere, Diapason

Marek Szlezer gives an impressive sample of the seldom heard here Early works for piano by Karol Szymanowski, playing them with full expressiveness. […] Szlezer proves with his album how exciting and expressive this music can be, in which 19th century fades away giving space for the burgeoning of a new era.

Jan Kampmeier, Klassik

Marek Szlezer, Polish pianist well-known for his magnificent interpretations of the Chopin's works, recreate these juvenile compositions by Szymanowski, captivating for its beauty and melodism, with expressiveness, extraordinary naturalness and unique atmosphere. The versions of him do not leave the listener indifferent.

Manuel Garcia Franco, Scherzo

The Polish pianist Marek Szlezer […] shows a very good feeling for the harmonic variety of the compositions. He also enriches the music both dynamically and agogically. Remy Franck, Pizzicato I really enjoyed this disc, I found the playing of Marek Szlezer to be excellent and more inspired [...] I for one would invest in any further discs of this pianist if he produced further discs of this composers music.

Stuart Sillitoe, MusicWeb international

A meticulous and pleasant interpretation performed by Marek Szlezer, who respects the score, but he does not forget in his play about a sensuality. Jérôme Angouillant, FNAC France Marek Szlezer hears them and plays in that way, prodigious of rhythms and accents, magnifying wild and shrugging beauties of this cycle […] It is giving justice to the most neglected aspect of piano genius of the author, but Szlezer also presents his great sound playing the Four Polish dances and to the most abstract two 1933 Mazurkas finds the tone both harsh and nostalgic.

Jean-Charles Hoffelé, ClicMag

Marek Szlezer is the laureate of many prestigious awards and at the same time one of the most frequently playing Polish pianists. We know him mainly from the excellent interpretations of Fryderyk Chopin's works. Recording the early work of Karol Szymanowski tempted the artist for several years. Listening to nine preludes, you can treat the album as a continuation of his Chopin fascinations. The album will also feature expressive etudes and short, though captivating with its beauty and melodies, variations on the Polish folk theme.

Marek Kalinowski, Gazeta Polska

[...] pianist Marek Szlezer performed with virtuosity Serenade Don Juan and 4 Mazurkas by composer from Atma, but, first of all, he performed beautiful, bold, post-chopin 2 Impressions and V Ballade in F-sharp minor by prematurely died pianist and composer Jadwiga Sarnecka (1877-1913).

Monika Partyk, Ruch Muzyczny

[…] this very convincingly performed recording that only grows dearer to my heart every time I spin it. Jens F. Laurson, Fanfare Marek Szlezer clearly reveres the great Chopin players of the past, and his performances are not diminished in the comparison.

Guy Aron, MusicWeb International

I was enchanted by the never-ending inventiveness of Szlezer’s interpretation; always pure and eloquent and never clangorous even in the most tumultuous passages(…)The concert was a delight from start to finish(…)Overall, I found the more contemplative pieces like the nocturnes and the mazurkas more satisfactory as it was in these gems that the type of interpretation in which Szlezer excels shows up the perfection of the composition.

Kenneth Tabona, The Sunday Times

Szlezer is excellent. Peter Graham Woolf, Musical Pointers Marek Szlezer wonderfully shows a flourish art of that keyboard master at the dawn of modernism. Johannes Saltzwedel, Kulturspiegel [...] Marek Szlezer’s expressive and confident performance [...] perfectly introduces into the polyphony and richness of these musical masterworks.

Thomas Rigail, ClassiqueInfo

What these young, born in Cracow in 1981, pianist has to give are the cleanest energy, the strength of youth and the genius of the unbridled talent [...] The real showcase card of Marek Szlezer are his concerts, giving the possibility to meet with the living, genuine art. Without sophisticated accretions. Art composed of the purest emotions, direct and simply sincere. Such a heart-to-hearts. [...]

Adrianna Ginał, Gazeta Krakowska

Marek Szlezer has all the qualities to attract audiences to concert halls. He has a good technique, great sensitivity, and rich imagination, he knows how to build a form, he operates music tensions aptly and – what is perhaps the most importantly in the life of entertainer – he has the gift of focusing listeners' attention on his play. He plays interesting. You might not agree with his interpretations, but you cannot get bored with them.

Anna Woźniakowska, Dziennik Polski

Can be heard in the recordings that the one who plays for us is the virtuoso with a large, romantic sound, the sensitive lyricist and the advertent rhetoric.

Małgorzata Komorowska, Ruch Muzyczny

In his interpretations of Chopin's masterpieces Marek Szlezer emphasizes especially their dramatic moment, he has the necessary impetus for doing so and the understanding for characteristic dynamics of Chopin’s music. His interpretations of mazurkas, subtle, though not without temperament also won the approval [...]

Aleksandra Konieczna, Silesia nr 65 (wydanie specjalne)

Krzysztof Meyer never had luck with the promotion of his music. That makes his music - although he is widely regarded as one of the most important composers of the turn of the century - not sufficiently appreciated either in the country or abroad. [...] Relatively little known are his works for piano solo. It is most fortunate that great pianist from Krakow, Marek Szlezer decided to bring them in a light.

Mieczysław Burski,

The last point of the program were two solos pieces Fryderyk Chopin "Ballad No. 3 in A-flat major" and "Polonaise in A-flat major" presented by Marek Szlezer. Both pieces are most popular of Chopin repertoire. Polonaise, known for its high degree of difficulty, showed the advantages of Marek’s play, which was both dynamic and elegant.

Emil Norden, Blakinge Lans Tidning

The grand finale in Konserthusteatern became a dazzling display of musical virtuosity. The varied program, commonly making music in a relaxed atmosphere with musicians of master level! [...] 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 performance was full of passion.

Jane Betts, Blakinge Lans Tidning