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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


 

AVAILABILITY 

Rosa Classic
e-mail: info@rosamusic.cz 

 

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Pro (mladé) klavíristy [Music for (young) pianists]
Intermezzo Op.52 No.2 [2.07]
Mazurka in B minor Op.56 No.3 [2.15]
Album Leaves B109 (1880-88)
1. F sharp minor [0.57]
2. G minor [0.30]
E flat major [0.47]
Piano Piece in G major [2.01]
Legend [1.59]
Theme [1.10]
Two Little Pearls B156 (1887) 3.46]
Polka in E major B3 (1860) [2.08]
Silhouettes Op.8 B98 (1879) Nos.1, 2, 4 ,6 ,8 ,9 and 11 [13.18]
Humoresque B138 (1884) [2.41]
Eight Humoresques Op.101 B187 – No.7 in G flat major (1892-95) [2.39]
Poetic Tone Pictures Op.85 B161 (1889) Nos.4, 6, 9 and 13 [16.51]
Tempo di Marcia [2.46]
Presto in E flat major [1.09]
Lullaby [3.06]
Minuets Op.28 B58 (1876-77) [5.05]
Eight Waltzes Op.54 B101 (1880) - No.1 [3.26]
Four Eclogues Op.56 B103 (1880) – E major No.4 [5.31]
Presto in E minor [1.32]
Polka - Forget Me Not (1854) [1.05]
Tomáš Víšek (piano)
rec. Municipal Theatre, Turnov, Czech Republic, January, February 2005
ROSA CLASSIC RD 1318 [77.39]
 

 

Despite the disc’s title this is not, of course, a previously undiscovered example of Dvořák’s Album für Jugend. As Tomáš Víšek’s introductory paragraph makes clear, in his address to young pianists, these are pieces selected to be within the grasp of the young player and to suggest, through encountering them, other pieces from amongst the composer’s considerable oeuvre that he can pursue and play.

Recent times have seen a welcome number of recordings of the solo piano works and there have indeed been a least two traversals of the complete (or almost complete) set, on Naxos and Brilliant and both have been reviewed on this site. This Rosa Classic disc dips into the complete works, a selection process that must also surely reflect Víšek’s own interests and enthusiasms, especially for the Silhouettes and the Minuets. One should also note that he has personally finished the previously incomplete Legend as well as the Presto in E minor (in world premiere recordings) and reconstructed the Presto in E flat major (similarly in a world premiere recording, as is the Forget-Me-Not-Polka.)

Throughout we are no doubt as to his understanding of these miniatures to which he brings warmth of tone and a realism as regards their compact and lyrical status. He never seeks to inflate them, for example, above their natural state either through over pedalling or grandiose tone. In fact he plays the little Album Leaf in G minor with Chopinesque delicacy – surely rightly given the clear influence – and the Téma with delicate nobility: it was written for conservatoire students to write variations on. The Schubertian evocations in the second of the Two Little Pearls are nicely touched upon, whilst listeners will recognise the main motif of the First Symphony in the first of the Silhouettes.

Víšek proves a splendid advocate of the Humoresque in F sharp minor – the musical box delights and faux brave brio of which are enchantingly Schumannesque. No less so in the Poetic Tone Pictures, of which he plays four of thirteen. He’s especially successful in the Serenade – warmly done. The Presto in E flat major will be better known as one of Slavonic Dances – No.8 from Op.46 but even he can’t quite minimise the longeurs of the Eclogue in E major No.4.

Sound quality in the Municipal Theatre, Turnov, is fine without quite being outstanding and the notes, by the pianist himself, are very thorough and presented in Czech, English and German.

In short this is a most rewarding single disc selection for those unwilling to commit to the complete works on disc.

Jonathan Woolf    

AVAILABILITY 

Rosa Classic
e-mail: info@rosamusic.cz 

 

 



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