Martinu: Chamber Music With Viola
Alexander Besa (viola), Bohuslav Matoušek (violin), Petra Besa (piano), Ludmila Peterková (clarinet), Jan Talich (violin), Jirí Bárta (violoncello), Jana Boušková (harp) & Karel Košárek (piano)
Martinu: Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola (Duo No. 1), H. 313 Duo for Violin and Viola No. 2, H. 331 Sonata for Viola & Piano, H. 355 Musique de Chambre No. 1
While Bohuslav Martinu dedicated himself to the violin and its brilliant tone from the very beginning of his oeuvre, the viola doesn’t appear until his later years, (all of the pieces on this album dating from the period 1947–59). It is as if he found in the viola, with its dark timbres, its ability to be harsh and rhythmic as well as sweet and lyrical, an instrument to express his feelings and sufferings in the last part of his life. A Mozartian joy and temperament flash through the lyrical moods, nostalgia and “Czech” fervor of the folk-music motives, like reminders of his unbridled youth through memories of the homeland to which he was no longer able to return. The transparent structure of the Three Madrigals and Duet No. 2 gives way to the ardent song of the Sonata for Viola, while in the Chamber Music the viola is just a gossamer strand in the broad color palette of the combinations of all the instruments in the sextet. Violist Alexander Besa is an excellent soloist, chamber player and orchestral musician (Camerata Bern et al.) with a number of recordings and awards to his name. The album features, without exaggeration, the best Czech musicians of the younger generation. The lyrical viola, dark and brilliant, joyful and mournful in the later works of Bohuslav Martinu.