Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Violin Concerto
Danse Symphonique for large orchestra
Clarinet Concerto
Present string duo
String Quartet No. 1

Composer (violin)/South Bohemia Chamber PO/Vladimir Valek (violin concerto)
Prague RSO/composer (Danse) Ludmilla Peterkova (cl)/New Vlach Quartet/Jacub Waldman (double bass) (clarinet concerto) Jana Vlachova (violin)/Mikael Ericsson (cello) (Present) New Vlach Quartet (string quartet)
rec 1997 Czech Radio studio and Ceske Budejovice CAMPION RRCD1343 [65.27]

Kukal was born in Prague and studied there at the conservatoire under Joseph Vlach. His violin concerto is similar in scale to the Glazunov, Rak and Kabalevsky concertos. It is not at all obtuse or musically forbidding. The first movement's tumbling harum-scarum Hungarian frenzy is continued in the finale (touched with Shostakovich's wand) from which it is separated by an andante in which I caught refrains from Janacek (in more idyllic mood) and Holst's concerto for two violins. The composer is the salty-slick violin soloist. Danse Symphonique stamps and struts like Janacek's Taras (one persistent figure very close indeed to the Janacek work) and Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony. It has the tungsten-carbide pointillism of a Shostakovich ballet. The clarinet concerto preens and displays like a gun-metal automaton bird in accents already asserted by the violin concerto - letting up seemingly for a central serenade in a lichen-hung woodland. These works all date from the 1980s and 1990s and are bound to appeal. The rapid-fire chase of the duo (adding valuably to the repertoire already dominated by the Kodaly duo) contrasts with some poignantly flighted music standing in direct line to the Smetana Quartet No. 1. I rate the duo very highly indeed. I urge you to try this music which, with the composer as soloist in the concerto and as violinist in the quartet (peppery satire - Shostakovich again) and clarinet concerto and as conductor in the Danse, could hardly be presented more authoritatively.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers :

Concert and Show tickets


Musicians accessories

Click here to visit

Return to Index