Kompleta is a full length (double LP) suite for strings, voice and electronics, and makes for a remarkable listening experience. It is the first major work of Stefan Wesolowski, a Polish composer scarcely out of his teens when this piece was written. Remastered and reissued by the Ici d’ailleurs label
7/10 Robin Staff review, 14 July 2015
Initially composed for performance in 2006, Stefan Wesolowski’s ‘Kompleta’ showed off a young composer in the throes of a neo-classical awakening. Looking at the record’s cover is perhaps the most fitting explanation of Wesolowski’s infatuation: a church littered with scaffolding rising high into its ceiling, suggesting both a reverence for sacred music and a new way of bridging towards it. ‘Kompleta’ is a sombre and celestial record, but one with the modern motivations of Avro Part and Adam Witzie subjugating its history.
This record of nine suites traverses ambience on live and electronic instruments (yawning, glitching drones and ascendent string sections), plus operatic narratives weaved in Polish by two articulate vocalists. If Max Richter and Kara Lis-Coverdale had a friend in the choir, I’m pretty sure their trio would sound like this: gorgeous, antiquated and somehow futurist at the same time. The record’s flow is its clincher, though: “Psalmodia” feels intimately connected with the three pieces that have come before it, the instrumentation feeling barely modulated, merely intensified, for each passage of story being told.
Music isn’t a universal language, so there’s something lost in the lyrics written for Wesolowski’s composition -- especially as his singers permeate the record over long stretches, the music sounding at times like a backgrounded threnody for their stories. As such, there’s something lost in translation for those who don’t speak Polish -- what we’re left with is a beautiful and often terrifying record that’s as sorrowful as Henyrk Gorecki’s work and as thoughtful as A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s. This one’s for the classical droners.
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- Kompleta by Stefan Wesolowski
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