Piano Works

Album cover art for upc 099925432423
Catalog: SU4324-2

Jan Bartos

What do Bedřich Smetana and Miloslav Kabeláč have in common that they feature on Jan Bartoš’s new album? Both of them were distinguished composers, conductors and pianists. Both of them created modern and timeless music for piano, which, however, remains overshadowed by their symphonic works. Smetana was writing his cycle Rêves (1875) at the time when he was completing Šárka and From Bohemian Fields and Groves, perhaps the most remarkable of the six tone poems comprising Má vlast. Kabeláč was composing the two piano cycles, Op. 30 and Op. 38, while also focusing on Mystery of Time, his symphonic magnum opus, which in recent years has been discovered by some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, in Berlin, Cleveland, London and elsewhere. Kabeláč’s life serves as a prime example of the fates that befell the Czech humanists, artists and intellectuals from the 1930s to the 1970s amid the turbulent historical events. While his music garnered success worldwide, he was silenced by the Communist regime in his homeland. Kabelác’s style evolved from complex to simple, thus in many respects ushering in the accession of post-modernism and minimalism. As attested to by his cycle Motifs from Exotic Lands, he was boldly inspired by non-European traditional music. Following on from critically acclaimed Leoš Janáček (Gramophone Editor’s Choice) and Vítězslav Novák albums, Jan Bartoš is now presenting Kabeláč and Smetana in live recordings made at the Dvořák Hall of Prague’s Rudolfinum. Jan Bartoš presents to the world little-known Czech piano gems.

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