Book ReviewsFeaturedJanuary 2021

Book Review: Infinity Project Circular Breathing by Natalia Jarzabek

Natalia Jarząbek graduated with a great distinction from the Academy of Music in Kraków in the class of Prof. Dr h.c. Barbara Świątek – Żelazna and was a student of Hochschule für Musik in Weimar in the class of Prof. Wally Hase. She also graduated from the Jagiellonian University with master degree in mathematics. Currently she is currently a principal flutist of the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra and PHD student at her Alma Mater.

Natalia Jarząbek has embarked on an impressive project.  She has researched circular breathing and wrote an 80 page book for flutists called, Infinity. Circular Breathing as well as a 40 page Exercise Workbook with etudes, exercises and works to practice Circular Breathing.  She wrote the book together with her professor Barbara Świątek-Żelazna from the Academy of Music in Krakow.  The book is written in two languages, English and Polish.  There are recorded exercises with audio and video as well.  Jarzabek has presented many lessons and lectures about her methodology. Jarząbek and Świątek-Żelazna are happy to say that it is really effective and works well with the flutists' embouchure.  The book is very comprehensive and  includes the history of circular breathing, methods of circulating while playing the flute, and a collection of examples from music literature.  Another integral part of the book is the Infinity CD, a musical re-capitulation of the ideas contained in the book.

The Infinity. Circular Breathing book walks you through various methods of breathing including using the Kathy Blocki Pneumo Pro.  Then, the book continues by suggesting trying circular breathing on a high C trill.  Next, the book suggests various exercises including interval leaps, long tones, and articulation.  The book offers several circular breathing possibilities from the Baroque, Romantic, Impressionism, 20th and 21st centuries.  There a are even orchestral excerpt exercises which include Afternoon of a Faun and Leonore Overture No. 3.

The Infinity. Circular Breathing book is a must for anyone interested in adding Circular Breathing to their flute playing tool box.  The book is extremely thorough and concise.  High praise goes to Natalia Jarząbek and her professor, Barbara Świątek-Żelazna for compiling such a superb book;  congratulations for this magnificent work, for putting together such a wonderfully comprehensive, well-written, and easy to follow, book on Circular Breathing.  


Review by Viviana Guzman



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