The night of the longhairs — Leszek Możdżer plays Komeda at Purcell Room

The concert I attended most recently was also the most exciting one. If you’re neither a fan of jazz nor Polish, the name of Leszek Możdżer won’t tell you much. But it should. And here’s why.

Although I recognised his name and work for a while, the first time I properly enjoyed his music was after he recorded his first brilliant album — The Time with Lars Danielsson and Zohar Fresc.

Leszek Możdżer in Royal Festival Hall's Purcell Room

I’m not going to discuss the technicalities of his performance here. Or the way he managed to transform his instrument into a small orchestra using all sorts of objects directly on the strings (in which he reminded me a lot of Tommy Emmanuel). What counts the most is the effect he had on everyone in the auditorium.

He played arrangements from his latest album Komeda, being a brilliant tribute to equally brilliant Polish composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda, whom you may recognise from Roman Polański’s movies soundtracks. Although this kind of music may not be everyone’s cup of tea and difficult to listen at times, it creates that unique, serene atmosphere around you, I can only compare to moments after reaching a mountain summit, with not a single human being nearby, just sitting there, observing how amazing — sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent, but always in perfect harmony — is everything around you. Occasionally it’s also reminds me of a subtle game of chemistry women and men have been playing since the beginning of time — never predictable, never painted in pink colour, but completely irresistible, no matter of the cost.

I live for these moments because they offer me something I can’t experience anywhere else — a genuine, undisturbed contemplation about everything that happens in my life. And surprisingly, in a fully packed Purcell Room of Royal Festival Hall, Możdżer managed to offer me exactly that, for which I’m very thankful.

In the end he was given the longest ovation I have ever been a part of. He had to come back on stage 4 times (!) and 4 times he performed a composition that was awarded with even more clapping. I don’t think RFH was expecting that, otherwise they would definitely raise the ticket prices and made sure it was happening in the main auditorium(;

What was a very nice surprise after the concert, and a true bow towards his fans, was a chance to shake his hand and get an autograph. I’m glad that although he already is an accomplished artist, he stays a humble longhair (yay!), who simply loves sharing his passion with other people.

Leszek Możdżer and me

But enough if this. I’m leaving you with one of the compositions from Leszek’s album, which I encourage you to buy, and if you care to learn more about him and his work, jump straight away to his official website.

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