Dvorak & Martinu: Piano Concertos / Kahanek

Album cover art for upc 099925423629
Catalog: SU4236-2
Format: CD


An extraordinary constellation of artists is one the major attributes of the new recording – a Czech conductor and a Czech soloist, and a German orchestra, who have a Czech sound in their DNA. All three of them enjoy great renown in both the European and global contexts. Symbolical is the selection of the album’s repertoire – the same world war that deprived the players of the German Philharmonic in Prague of their home and that in 1946 gave rise to the Bamberger Symphoniker in Germany, made Bohuslav Martinu leave his country and Europe itself. The composer wrote his Piano Concerto No. 4, “Incantation”, in New York in the twilight of his life, when it was evident that he would never return to his homeland. The connection between Ivo Kahánek and Martinu is profound indeed, with the pianist having played the Incantation at concert halls all over the world. The performance of the Incantation in Bamberg, captured on the present album, was lauded by the critics as revelatory. The studio recording of Antonín Dvorák’s Piano Concerto (based on Sviatoslav Richter’s account) ranks among the most remarkable returns to the composer’s original version of the work, forbearing the “effective and virtuoso improvements” carried out by its later arrangers. It showcases the tender and melodious music of Dvorák, who always strove to emphasise cordial expression, giving it preference to instrumental impression.

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