Piano Concerto

Album cover art for upc 099925428426
Label: SUPRAPHON
Catalog: SU4284-2
Format:

BARTOS PRAGUE RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA HRUSA

The greatest Czech composers – Dvorák, Smetana, Janácek, Suk, Martinu ... And anyone else? Yes, Vítezslav Novák! Who was he? A pupil of Dvorák’s, later on one of the most distinguished music creators and teachers on the domestic scene. A Post-Romantic and the first of the generation of Modernists profoundly inspired by Moravian folk music. This year’s 150th anniversary of Novák’s birth affords the opportunity to take a closer look at his oeuvre – and to rediscover that which has been overlooked. The idea of making the first studio recording of the Piano Concerto, a remarkable early work by the 25-year-old Novák, was enthusiastically endorsed by the superb Czech pianist Jan Bartoš. Due to its intimate nature, At Dusk, Op. 13, a cycle of miniatures for solo piano, inspired by J. S. Machar’s poetry, stands in contrast to the concerto’s virtuosic stylization. The tone poem Toman and the Wood Nymph may be deemed the most ambitious of Novák’s symphonic works. As the composer himself put it, he strove to express an “uncontrollable torrent of wild passion”, referring to the piece as an “orgy of sound” and the ballad as a “depiction of woman’s demonic power over man”. Jakub Hruša, a globally renowned contemporary conductor, invites us to rediscover Novák’s music: “We are obliged to perform it. His music is so profound and far-reaching that we simply cannot ignore it and let it gather dust in archives and remain buried in music history textbooks.”

Price: $28.98