> Leos Janacek [JW]: Classical Reviews- February 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Leos JANACEK (1854-1928)
Pohadka *
Presto in E minor *
Violin Sonata +
Capriccio #
Concertino #
From the Street 1 X 1905
In the mists
On the overgrown path
Three Moravian Dances
Mikhail Rudy, piano
Gary Hoffman, cello *
Pierre Amoyal, violin +
Soloists from lOrchestre de lOpera National de Paris conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras #
Recorded Salle Ravel, Opera-Bastille June 1995 (Pohadka, Presto, Violin Sonata, Capriccio, Concertino) and Eglise du Liban, Paris March 1990 (From the Street, In the mists. Reminiscence, On the overgrown path, Three Moravian Dances)
EMI 7243 5 74843 2 9 [2 CDs 151.21]

Not a disc easily to be overlooked. I'd not previously heard Rudy's Janacek recordings, to my considerable disadvantage it appears, as he undertakes the burden of responsibilities on this double fforte disc and does so whether as soloist or chamber player with interpretive insight and great executive skill. In the solo works points of comparison with Rudolf Firkusny, perhaps Janacek's greatest post-War interpreter, are intriguing and instructive. In the Sonata From the Street I X 1905 and On the overgrown path the Czech pianist is more jagged, fleet, quicksilver, and Rudy more internalised, introspective. If Firkusny's qualities may be seen as more centrally Janacekian in impulse and his is an unavoidable name discographically and historically, Rudy is nevertheless persuasive on his own terms. In the Piano Sonata, for example, his relative pliancy contrasts strongly with Firkusny's abrasiveness. Rudy is equally successful in the chamber works where Amoyal and Hoffman offer decisively committed performances and in the concerted works with Mackerras. The conductor's sense of the dramatic flexibility of Janacek's syntax is everywhere in evidence. Textural problems abound in this repertoire but are marvellously correlated into a convincing whole. Rudy is a Janacek interpreter of authority. Strongly recommended.

Jonathan Woolf




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