Reviews

A violin which gives itself to passion and the love of music

Dariusz Pawłowski
d.pawlowski@dziennik.lodz.pl

Anna Wandtke and her soul, artistic and entrapped in sound

Music


The violin – one of the most enchanting instruments created by man, which can be cruel and ruthlessly expose (or outright destroy) the skills of any young person who made the choice to devote their life to it. However, when it finds itself in the right hands, every single time they glow with a new, wondrous light. In Poland, the violin has just found its new virtuoso, whose talent is enjoyed by numerous fans of music.

Anna Wandtke is a graduate of the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk, where she was able to hone her skills under the tutelage of Krystyna Jurecka. Later on she graduated from the Hochschule fuer Musik in Mannheim, Germany, in the class of Valery Gradow. She recently released her newest album, “Violin Soul”, under the label of the esteemed DUX record company. On said album, she presents herself as an astonishingly versatile, sensitive and subtle artist, who captivates the listener with her thoughtfulness for sound. One can find some fine-tuned detail, yet the main focus lies in expression and its strength, as well as emotionality coupled with the complexity of musical enunciations.

What is prominent all throughout the album is the personality of the artist, who has invited her listeners on a private journey in search of the eponymous “violin soul”. Having taken the form of a recital with an extraordinarily varied programme, the album features compositions inspired by Mediterranean poetry and folklore, vigorous czardases, lyrical compositions and even film scores  – all coming together. The record’s main figure presents this programme in the accompaniment of choice musicians, who form The New Art Ensemble founded by Wandtke and her husband, as well as guest appearances, including that of the amazing virtuoso, the Romani-Hungarian violinist Roby Lakatos.

On the whole, the album is enchanting not only thanks to its powerful impression and energy, but also its impressive confidence in directing individual musical sequences, and the absolute devotion towards the chosen interpretation. It is something characteristic of truly gifted virtuosos. The record, even despite its slight imperfections resulting from the artist’s still developing expertise, continually entices the listener to replay it over and over again. A wonderful, passionate adventure.

DUX has also published such records as “Musica in forma di rosa” by Dariusz Przybylski and “A Tribute to Benny Goodman”. Plenty of well-produced, beautiful music.

Anna Wandtke is a laureate of numerous violin and chamber music competitions, both in Poland and abroad. A few years ago, she became a lecturer at the Academy of Music in Gdansk.

ANNA WANDTKE, Violin Soul, special guest Roby Lakatos, DUX

 

 

Anna Wandtke – Violin Soul – DUX
Dionizy Piątkowski – Era Jazzu

Anna Wandtke is an extraordinarily talented violinist, who has been taking the world’s stages by storm and will soon become an amazing cultural ambassador. Her newest album, “Violin Soul”, produced for the prestigious publishing company DUX, serves as prime evidence of that. The album, crafted deliberately with a broad repertoire in mind, is at the same time a graceful recital made in association with the outstanding musicians of The New Art Ensemble, and also includes guest appearances by other phenomenal artists. The amazing virtuoso, the Romani-Hungarian violinist Roby Lakatos also features on the album, as do accordionist Klaudiusz Baran and the versatile jazz saxophonist Grzech Piotrowski.

Anna Wandtke graduated (and presently also teaches) at the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk. She also graduated with honors from the Hochschule fur Musik in Mannheim, Germany. She is a laureate of numerous violin and chamber music competitions, both in Poland and abroad. During her solo career, she performed with many orchestras within Poland and outside of it. On her tours around Europe she also plays recitals. As a chamber musician, between 2004 and 2005 she collaborated with SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserlautern, where she recorded for the SWR 2 radio station. Between 2002 and 2010 she was a member of the international UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, led by James Levine, and performed along artists such as: James Levine, Kurt Masur, Paavo Jarvi, Chick Corea, Gidon Kremer, Vadim Repin, Mscislaw Rostropowicz, Evgeny Kissin, Maxim Vengerow, Nigel Kennedy and others associated with the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon record label. Since 2005 she is a member of Maxim Vengerow’s chamber music orchestra. The band collaborated with the famous record label EMI. She is also a member of Tytus Wojnowicz’s Ensemble de Narol and the co-founder of the incredible group, The New Art Ensemble.

Anna Wandtke is an amazingly talented and versatile artist, admired for her truly distinctive musical personality. The grace and brazenness of her interpretations of compositions from various cultures (Manuel de Falla, Gabriel Faure, Pablo Sarasate) and styles have much in common with the suite of John Williams from the famed “Schindler’s List”. An interesting and diverse album, where compositions inspired by Mediterranean poetry and folklore, vigorous czardases, lyrical compositions and even film scores can all come together.

The charm of a violin soul

Piotr Iwicki – Polskie Radio

ALBUM \ The incredibly alluring album titled “Violin Soul” was created by Anna Wandtke, a talented and versatile artist, admired for her truly distinctive musical personality.

As she herself admits, this album is meant to invite her listeners on a private journey in search of the eponymous “violin soul”. Having taken the form of a recital with an extraordinarily varied programme, the album features such compositions as those of Manuel de Falla and Gabriel Fauré, inspired by Spanish folklore and Italian poetry, as well as Pablo Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen” – famed and wonderfully spectacular in its beauty, it is a signature and melodic piece, based on a well-known czardas. But the violin also embodies musical lyricism, pastels and soothing, which correspond outstandingly well with times of golden leaves and the autumn atmosphere. That is exactly the more pensive side of violin music represented in “Meditation” from the opera “Thaïs” by Jules Massenet and in the moody transcriptions of John William’s film score from “Schindler’s List”. The whole composition is crowned by Vittoria Monti’s “Czardas”. The album’s appeal also stems from the appearance of choice musicians, with whom Wandtke created the record. Mentioning the famous violin virtuoso Roby Lakatos and the stylish accompaniment of The New Art Ensemble ought to be enticing enough. The album also features artists such as Klaudiusz Baran (accordion), Grzech Piotrowski (saxophones, duduk) and pianist Miroslaw Feldgebel. I was lucky enough to witness a similar recital with Wandtke, accompanied by virtually the same names in the Witold Lutoslawski concert studio and let me just say: it’s very impressive!

 

 

Zofia Stopińska – Crescendo

On our page, we recently posted a photo of violinist Anna Wandtke, happily holding her newest album CD in her hand. I got my own copy yesterday, listened through to it and encourage you to do the same.

As the author writes: “The album ANNA WANDTKE – VIOLIN SOUL is a very personal creation. It was my dream to record it with close friends, and I did just that.”

Anna Wandtke attended musical schools in Gdansk. The most important step in her education were her studies at the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk in the class of professor Krystyna Jurecka, and later on in the class of professor Valery Gradow in Mannheim, Germany. Anna Wandtke considers her collaboration of several years with the UBS Verbier Festival in Switzerland to be her most treasured experience, where she had the opportunity to work with renowned artists such as: James Levine, Valeri Giergiev, Kurt Masur, Mischa Maisky, Evgeny Kissin, Joshua Bell, Yurii Bashmet, and others. Currently, Anna Wandtke plays recitals, performs as a soloist with orchestras and, together with her husband Sebastian Wypych, is a member of The New Art Ensemble.

The album “Anna Wandtke – Violin Soul” is an extraordinary compilation of famous and unknown pieces. It shows all the different faces of the violin, and the instrument’s soul. We also have yet more evidence that the violin is not just Czardas’s virtuosity, but also Spanish temperament or the glamorous charm of cantilena. It is also a kind of personal catalogue of an incredible and versatile artist; it is all of the music in her heart. Anna Wandtke proves how the violin can be made to sing beautifully and speak of passion, feeling and emotion and does not refrain from showing her masterful technique.

 

 

www.audio.com.pl

Member of several titled orchestras, violinist Anna Wandtke-Wypych recorded her debut album, featuring her signature pieces. Roby Lakatos, the famous Hungarian virtuoso of Romani descent, makes a guest appearance on the album. The artist is accompanied by a violin quartet, The New Art Ensemble, as well as double bassist Sebastian Wypych, pianists: Miroslaw Feldgebel and Agnieszka Panasiuk, accordionist Klaudiusz Baran, jazz saxophonist Grzech Piotrowski (also playing the duduk), and the singing and reciting voice of Magdalena Navarrete. It is precisely her vocals in “Six Spanish Songs” (1914) by Manuel de Falla which will astound fans of the classics. The author of the album decided to familiarise a broader audience with the music of classic composers, which inspired the choice to select a voice associated with the popular Spanish and Latimn American repertoires.

But, it is the virtuosity and passion of Anna Wandtke that focuses the listener’s attention. She performs “Six Spanish Songs” with a flamenco-like expression, with the accompaniment of Anna Iberszer’s castanets and Piotrowski’s saxophone. Jules Massenet’s “Meditation” is a heart-wrenching fragment of the “Thaïs” opera. Echoes of czardas can be heard in Pablo Sarasate’s composition, which is an opportunity for the violinist to showcase her virtuosity, just as in the finale – Vittoria Monti’s “Czardas”.

 

 

Robert Ratajczak

Incredible violinist Anna Wandtke decided to expose the various aspects and the soul of the violin. On “Violin Soul” we can find very distinct pieces, such as a series of Manuel de Falla’s Spanish songs, an element from the “Thaïs” opera by Jules Massenet, John Williams’s music from “Schindler’s list”, or the encore piece, the famous “Czardas” by Vittori Monti. Many guests took part in the recording, among which are Hungarian violin virtuoso Roby Lakatos, the New Art Ensemble quartet, or saxophonist Grzech Piotrowski.

Despite the vastly different styles, the album is thought out and neatly compiled. Thanks to her distinct, original interpretations, Anna Wandtke brazenly uncovers the eponymous “violin soul” before us. The broad spectrum of the repertoire underlines the artist’s versatility, as she takes as much of a bold approach to the styles of flamenco, Romani music and opera themes, as she does to jazz or film music. She amazes with her clean sound, her technique, and purity of intonation.

It was indeed difficult to put this album away.

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