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The Polish Ensemble, existing since 1994, presents a selection of traditional Polish folk songs and dances of remarkable beauty, today unknown to the wide audience. Aiming at the continuation and propagation of traditions from most distant past, the musicians of the group wish to base their repertoire on historic sources as well as on scientific documentation. For the same reasons, they also play only authentic folk instruments. Their music is both illuminating and aesthetically superb, as their performances combine artistry with playing manners typical of traditional musicians, including improvisation. The most characteristic instrument in Polish folk music is fiddle. Still, as it constitutes a fairly recent element in our folklore, Zespół Polski chose to reach for the ancient tradition of the so-called "knee instruments," played on with the use of nails. Therefore, among the instruments of the band one can find "fidel płocka," a 16th century stringed instrument excavated near the city of Płock, and "suka biłgorajska," known from late 19th century records. The six-stringed "fidel" was discovered in 1985. Its uniqueness lies in a rare type of bridge, with two legs of unequal length, as well as in its very conservative design suggesting the medieval origins of the instrument. The four-stringed "suka" was copied from iconographic sources, as no single specimen survived up to this day. "Suka" owned by Zespół Polski is the first correct reconstruction of this exceptionally decorative instrument, whose form lies somewhere between that of an ancient folk chordophone and that of a classical violin. Both "suka" and "fidel" are played in knee-position, by shortening the strings with one side of a nail. This technique of performing had disappeared by late 19th century, and its contemporary reconstruction was only possible due to the experience in playing Asian instruments gathered by Maria Pomianowska, the leader of the band and the author of its musical arrangements.

Concerts of the Polish Ensemble provide a unique opportunity to hear the sound of a tradition almost extinct. Other instruments used by the band are carved violin, pipes, bagpipe, hurdy-gurdy, dulcimer, basses and drums. Such a composition not only enables the musicians to perform the music of different regions, but also guarantees the authenticity of the band's sound. The main assumption made by Zespół Polski is that one should reach the roots of Polish and Slavic music in order to bring out and display its specificity, from 16th century, through the works of Frederic Chopin, to contemporary composers.

In 2004 the leader of the group produced her long-awaited solo recording, Suita Jedwabnego Szlaku (The Silk Trail Suite) , realized with the contribution of musicians from Japan, China, Australia and Poland. Thirteen compositions that make up the album are a 70-minute summary of the artist 20 years' searching for a musical element common for various cultures of the Euro-Asian continent.

"Muzyka Nizin" (Music of the Lowlands) - CD MTJ, 1995
"Oj, Chmielu" (Oh, Hops) - CD MTJ, 1996
"Kolędy polskie znane i zapomniane" (Polish Carols Known and Forgotten) - CD MTJ, 2001.

http://etno.serpent.pl/zespol_polski/index.html MP3



Warsaw Village Band
The Saint Nicholas Orchestra
Trebunie Tutki Group
Jorgi Quartet
Broda Group
Ensemble Polonais

prof.Jan Adamowski
Maria Baliszewska
prof. Jerzy Bartmiński
Małgorzata Jędruch
Tomasz Janas
Wojciech Ossowski

Folk Groups and Singers Festival in Kazimierz
Folk Music Festival of The Polish Radio "Nowa Tradycja"
International Folk Music Festival "Mikołajki Folkowe"
Folk Meeting "Z wiejskiego podwórza"

"The first and second existence of folklore" - prof. Anna Czekanowska
"Folk is longitudinal" - Marcin Skrzypek
"Music revival" - Magdalena Sobczak
"Names of folk" - Ewa Wróbel

more soon...


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