Ladislav KUBÍK  (b.1946)
Sinfonietta No. 1 for nineteen instruments (1998) [9:31]
Concerto No. 3 for piano, orchestra and electronics (To the Memory of Bohuslav Martinů) (2010) [20:38]
Sinfonietta No. 3 Gong for mezzo, mixed choir, orchestra and electronics (2008) [15:56]
Ensemble 21/Jakob Hrůša (1); Read Gainsford (piano), Brno PO/Alexander Jiménez (Concerto 3); Jadwiga Rappé (mezzo), Kühn Mixed Choir/Marek Vorliček, Prague Radio SO/Jan Kučera
rec. Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum, 14 Apr 2005 (Sinfonietta 1); 16 Mar 2008 (Sinfonietta 3); 24-25 May 2010 (Concerto 3)
world premiere recordings
NEOS 11011 [46:26]
This short playing CD presents three orchestral works by Ladislav Kubík. Two of them include an electronic strand and all show how Kubík has espoused the way of dissonant lyricism.  

Sinfonietta No. 1
is a work in which sourly irritable soloistic display is dominant yet segues into dreamy soft focus dissonance (4:10). Percussion rasps and rattles, side-drum and orchestral piano make their impact in a work that also fits the Concerto for Orchestra specification. The music is transparently laid out and much of it strikes one as Webern-like in its clarity of aural layout - everything is caringly calculated. It ends in musing beauty admitting of hope-bereft intimacy.
The Concerto No. 3 for piano, orchestra and electronics includes four Martinů quotations: two from piano concerto 5, one from the fourth and one from the Fantaisies Symphoniques. These appear as slightly processed/skewed recordings of parts of the reference works. The first movement is potently doom-laden with belligerent remorseless drums. The second is more reflective-idyllic with some noticeably Martinů-style writing for the strings (2:58). The piano glimmers and muses in feline dissonance. It's not hard listening. War dance rhythmic assaults and ravening brass criss-cross harsh piano dissonances in the finale. This finds its heart’s home in peace (2:10) before yet more of the ruthless blitzing. Gainsford and his collaborators prove elite advocates. There are no half-measures whether in aggression or in the touchingly still Martinů-soused glow of the final pages lost in the stars.
Sinfonietta No. 3 Gong is in three movements. The first of these frames glimmering beauty with urgent paranoiac brass-calls and drum attacks. The other two movements set the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. Rappé's statuesque yet smokingly volatile voice alternates between operatic effusion and oratory. This is mixed with a gong and swishing noises from the electronic apparatus. The style is defiantly Schoenbergian in the manner of Moses and Aron. The last movement mixes choir and solo voice.

For Gong and Ein Gott vermags the words are printed in German only in the usual cleanly presented Neos booklet.
For exploratory souls able to accommodate Kubík's free-thinking dissonance as well as its potent engagement with hysteria and poetry.
Rob Barnett
For exploratory souls: free-thinking dissonance and potent engagement with hysteria and poetry.