"Hits from the Silver Screen" Filharmonia Narodowa

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"Hits from the Silver Screen"
Krzesimir Dębski, photo: artist's archive

As a contemporary artist Krzesimir Dębski belongs to that now vanishing breed of composers who, so the old anecdote goes, can compose both a symphony and a song. There is nothing unseemly about this juxtaposition. On the contrary, it testifies both to his solid craft and his wild imagination, two tools which are as important for a musician as all the other instruments in the orchestra. And then there is also the fact that Krzesimir Dębski really enjoys what he does. He has maintained an open-minded approach to music since the very beginning of his career. The world of cinema has come to know him as a jazzman. Today, his discography of film music encompasses over 100 titles, among which are films of many genres. He visited the set of Jerzy Hoffman’s Ogniem i mieczem (With Fire and Sword) before deciding to base his ideas on authentic borderland music and revive the genre of the dumka – a wistful and yearning musical ballad – in Polish popular culture. In the soundtrack to W pustyni i w puszczy (In Desert and Wilderness), the expanded ensemble was accompanied by an impressive set of instruments. All this so that the viewer could get a genuine sense of Africa. On the other hand, his music focuses on melodies – especially, on the beautiful main fairy-tale theme. Meanwhile, the most important area of music for Krzesimir Dębski, and one which has ensured that his works have remained dynamic, exciting and pioneering, is invariably contemporary music. In fact, his goal is the intermingling of genres. In his every-day work as an arranger, conductor and producer he is constantly monitoring the relationship between “popular” and “high-brow” music, slipping contemporary works into the recordings and concerts of film music (which he often conducts). Krzesimir Dębski describes the world he conjures up in his music in the following way:

 “I have written Arabic and African music, music for Sicilian mafiosi, Irish fishermen, Vikings, Cossacks, Celts, Druze, Slavic warriors, ugly and wicked men, fallen women, and even mischievous children. This process has involved many jokes along the way. I have also waged wars and fought many bloody battles. And all of this has been just pretend. I hope the sounds have been genuine.”

Magda Miśka-Jackowska