REVIEWS OF CD’S: ‘PIECES OF A DREAM’ (G.GERSHWIN) AND ’FROM BACH TO BREGOVIC’
Miroslav Cupara is certainly a completely exceptional jazz pianist. In this country there have been very few pianists who have got to know so many works of world music literature so thoroughly, both through their education and by playing them. He has managed to merge this knowledge with his prime interest in jazz in a very original way. What I find personally fascinating, as a pianist as well as a professor, is his sense of tone, beautiful piano tone, which is extremely rare in jazz pianists whose performance is based on rhythm, non legato technique in which piano tone and nuances don’t matter at all. This is what makes him different from all the others. He is inspired by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Bregovic, H. Hanckock, C. Porter… but in a completely unusual way. He sometimes improvises on a given music theme, and sometimes he doesn’t, using the collage or mosaic technique in composing. Having played a part of a Bach fugue, a Debussy’s prelude or a mazurka by Chopin, he goes over to jazz, which contains not only improvisation, but a composition whole, where you will be able to discern some elements of the composition which inspired him. Pay particular attention to his beautiful piano tone, phrasing and nuances. They are something you definitely won’t hear in the performance of any other pianist, from this country or any other in the world.
Zika Jovanovic, professor, M.A.
I have dedicated all the compositions from this album to Goran Bregovic, the music idol of my early childhood. Various styles and genres, often fused into one compositional form, are largely permeated by, and composed under the influence of, the way of thinking and compositional techniques that Bregovic has been applying for so long with such great success. His talent, musicality, guitar phrasing, rhythmic agogica went over the borders of ex-YU region long ago and conquered the hearts of countless music lovers with different tastes all over the world. Of the numerous influences of different composers such as Bach, Chopin. Debussy, Hancock, Peterson, Evans, the influence of Bregovic is evident in my performance and composition. It flows through a large number of compositions on this album, as a style, a way of phrasing and a leitmotif.
Anyway, Brega has marked a period in the music history and left a myriad of brilliant compositions that will outlive both him and us.
Cupara Miroslav, prof. spec.
Clear compositional forms, technical precision, sense of improvisation, and soft and warm tone is what characterizes this music material. I am happy to be able to recommend this undoubtedly authentic CD by Miroslav Cupara.
Rade Radivojevic, composer
Some musicians really love their job and there are others who do their job conscientiously, professionally and who only occasionally feel a light excitement as a pigeon before mating. Miroslav Cupara belongs to the first group, the group of true musicians who love what they create as well as what they paraphrase or merely listen to – music is simply a bare necessity of life like the oxygen, water or love without which life is not worth living.
Miroslav Cupara is a seeker. He roams free in the music universe hunting for ideas. He adores Bach, but he also loves Bregovic, not because his name begins with a “B” but because according to Miroslav Cupara his romantic sensibility matches Chopin’s. To him, Debussy is actually a great “‘eccentric”, an impressionist, a non-conformist -in a word the first one with original ideas which are to be respected and inspired by.
The spaces Miroslav visits with his muses are far, wide and green-evergreen if you wish. Old melodies like “It’s only pepper moon”, “Candy”, “Body and Soul” and many others already recorded in the catalogue of eternal memory have acquired a new glory enwrapped in his style. Miroslav Cupara is a hard-working bee, playing music and making honey in his own way, swiftly, humorously and imaginatively. I wish him good luck with his CD.
Prof. FMU, composer
Genuine enthusiasm and professional competence together with a truly artistic feeling for historical styles of popular music and jazz are features witch make the young Belgrade pianist Miroslav Cupara excel in the visions of George Gershwin`s greatest hits.
Composer.Chief of the Composition and Orhestration
Department of the Belgrade`s Faculty of Music
In front of you there is an interesting CD with 12 jazz variations for piano of well known George Gershwin`s melodies with is the author of CD a young pianist Miroslav Cupara, named Pieces of a Dream. Miroslav has an excellent technique and a sense for improvisiation, witch enables him to indulge freely in his imagination and and to turn his “musical dream” into reality, a brilliant jazz rhapsody.
His idols are the best jazz pianist in the world such as Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson, although, considering the so-called “straight”style, he reminds me most of Erroll Garner.
I highly recommend this CD to all the admires of jazz as well as to the pianists of classical music who can reveal the secrets and beauties of jazz.
Nikola Rackov, MA
Professor at the Faculty of Music
25 Milosa Pocerca
Subject: Pianist Miroslav Cupara – proposal for the award for the best concert in the season 2015
A Portrait of the Artist
Miroslav Cupara, a pianist, master in chamber music at the Faculty of Music (professor Olivera Djurdjevic), known as the artist who combines genres in a refined way and who presents music „from Bach to Bregovic“. Over the course of his career, he has had numerous solistic concerts in elite concert spaces ( Kolarac, City Assembly, Russian home, Ethnographic Museum, Kolarac Musical Galery…).
He has toured many Yugoslav cities, performed in famous jazz clubs, cooperated with our leading jazz star Nada Pavlovic for years.
In discography, Cupara has left two impressive traces so far: „Pieces of dream“ (Gershwin’s music) and CD “From Bach to Bregovic“. As a longtime accompanist in the balet school “Lujo Davico“, Cupara wrote an autobiographical book- “Balet and I – in several images“ with an accompanying CD. Also, as a composer, he has done many balets and numerous applied music pieces for the needs of the theatre. Cupara has been a member of UMUS (Association of Musical Artists of Serbia) and the Composers of Serbia Association for years.
Proposal for the best concert of the season
On 6 July last year, in the cycle of UMUS concerts, Cupara performed in the hall of the Musical School „Stankovic“. He approached that programme with a great deal of thought and, with outstanding guests, he made effort to present his multigenre skills in the best way. His guests were: mezzo-soprano Tanja Obrenovic, violinist Dusica Blazenovic, Danijel Alivojvodic, the contrabass and Dusan Jankovic, the percussions. In the first part of the programme, Cupara performed in cooperation with a young violinist – very successfully and, in terms of programme, attractively.
In the second part of the concert – he performed as a solo pianist with extraordinary performing bravuras, combinig classical music and jazz, using very modern harmonious consonance, demonstrating all the knowledge he had got from the Faculty of Music. There were moments where his performance reminded of our unique giant-pianist Vladimir Vitas, and that is a great compliment for our pianist art.
In the third part of the recital, Cupara performed in cooperation with the contrabass and the percussions and the vocal of Tanja Obrenovic. That part of the programme really „raised the temperature“ in the full grandstand and led to ovations and bestowed additional performance.
Instead of conclusion
Miroslav Cupara is a unique phenomenon in our musical life. A highly educated musician from our most prestigious musical institution, has been going on the line between classical music and jazz from his earliest days. With his maturing, his art shows synthesis of these two directions and artistic symbiosis which produced a CD-„From Bach to Bregovic“. Everything said here, the artist showed very successfully in his recital on 6 June, presenting himself as the only Serbian pianist who, in concerts, deals with combining musical directions. He does this in a very sentient way, refinedly, with measure and the sense of balance, so it is a true pleasure to listen, in his concerts, his musical arabesques and bravuras of his colleagues.
BASED ON ALL I HAVE SAID, WITH EXQUISITE PLEASURE I PROPOSE TO THIS COMMITTEE MIROSLAV CUPARA AND HIS CONCERT FROM 6 JUNE FOR THE AWARD FOR THE BEST CONCERT IN SEASON 2015.
Professor NIKOLA RACKOV