MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928)
Piano Sonata in E flat minor 1:X From the Street (1905) [13:30]
On An Overgrown Path - Cycle of piano pieces: Books 1 and 2 (1901-08) [47:13]
Reminiscence (1928) [1:08]
In the Mist - four piano pieces: (1912) [15:42]
Slávka Pĕchočová (piano)
rec. Prague Martinů Concert Hall, September - November 2009.
PRAGA DSD250266 [77:33]

Experience Classicsonline

Exactly this same programme was recorded by British pianist, Charles Owen, for Somm (SOMMCD028) in 2002. This review will use that earlier recording as a comparator.

Janáček’s description for his 1905 Piano Sonata - Street Scene 1.X 1905 - refers to the killing of a workman during a citizens’ clash, in Brno on October 1st 1905, over a proposal to build a university. It clearly had a profound effect on Janáček for the composer prefaced the score with a short poem that included the lines, ‘... He came only to plead for a university ... And was killed by cruel murderers.’ Both Owen and Pĕchočová realise the alternating anger and tenderness and the closing wistfulness of the opening ‘Presentiments’. The second movement, ‘The Death’, with the same material given to the two hands and moving in one or two octaves apart, utters shocked numbing repetitions. This is so revealing: communicating bitterness and almost uncontrollable anger. On balance Owen seems to get to the heart of the tragedy of this Sonata that much more effectively.

The pieces that comprise Book 1 of On an Overgrown Path have descriptive titles (their meaning sometimes ambiguous) but the five that comprise Book 2 have only music markings. A clue to the music comes from some commentators whose view of the work is ‘a reminiscence of Janáček’s daughter, Olga, who, his only child to survive infancy, had fallen ill and died just short of her 21st birthday. Pĕchočová’s reading of the opening ‘Our Evenings’ lacks Owen’s contrast of mood and colour. Her interpretation did not move me so much; perhaps her fingering was just that bit too heavy for such a title - tenderness was lacking. Yet her ‘A Leaf Gone with the Wind’ haunted even if the pauses seemed a little long. But then Pĕchočová’s ‘Come With Us’ seemed colourless, lacking in any form of expression in comparison to Owen whereas her ‘The Madonna of Frýdek’ was beautifully realised. ‘They Chattered Like Swallows’ was a nice vision, jolly and childlike. After a sombre beginning, ‘Words Fail’, alternated a lovely lilting with strong forceful chords while ‘Good night’ hesitates, suggesting pent-up anxiety, then relief. In ‘Unutterable Anguish’ Pĕchočová demonstrates this anguish only too well. ‘In Tears’ we are left wondering: are these tears of joy or sorrow; we are left guessing because of the varying rhythms and moods. Finally, alternate fortissimo flourishes and quiet gentleness inform ‘The Little Owl Has Not (YET?) Flown Away’.

The Andante and Allegretto the two opening movements of Book 2 On an Overgrown Path are similar in style, reflective, anxious and angry in turn. The Paralipomenas are all so similar too. There is often evidence of thematic linking and frequently Moravian folk-dance rhythms. The little Reminiscences are quite charming and lyrical. Pĕchočová’s reveries are beguiling enough.

Finally the four-segment In the Mists mixes secular and liturgical influences. There is evidence of Janáček’s fondness for native speech-rhythms as well as more fragile images suggesting, perhaps, Vespers heard in distant, evening twilight. Pĕchočová rises well to the challenges of this often complex music. It displays frequent mood-changes from lyrical and thoughtful and gentle and tender to anger and confusion.

As much as I enjoyed this new recording I felt that Pĕchočová’s readings lacked the conviction, colour and expression Charles Owen brought to these lovely works.

Grace Lace 

Full tracklist
Piano Sonata in E flat minor 1:x:1905 ‘From the Street’ (1905) [13:30]
‘ Presentiment’ [5:55] and ‘The Death’ [7:28]
On An Overgrown Path Cycle of piano pieces 91901-08)
Book 1 [29:47]: ‘Our evenings’ [3:22]; ‘A Leaf Gone with the Wind’ [3:05], ‘Come With Us’ [1:16]; ‘The Holy Virgin of Frýdek’ [3:37]; ‘They Chattered Like Little Swallows’ [2:22]; ‘Words Fail!’ [1:58]; ‘Good Night!’ [3:00]; Unutterable Anguish [3:36]; ‘In tears’ [3:17]; ‘The Little Owl Has Flown Away’ [3:33].
Book 2 [16:49]: Andante [3:00]; Allegro [3:40]; Paralipomenas (i) più mosso [2:25]; (ii) vivo [2:38]; (iii) allegro [5:03]
Reminiscence (1928) [1:08]
In the Mist four piano pieces: (1912) [15:42]: Andante [3:31]; Molto adagio [4:48]; Andantino [2:38]; presto [4:27] 



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.