Bohuslav Martinů - Sinfonietta La Jolla for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, H. 328 00:19:36
1. Poco allegro 00:05:53
2. Largo. Andante moderato 00:07:54
3. Allegro 00:05:45
Bohuslav Martinu - Toccata e due canzoni for small orchestra, H. 311 00:24:49
4. Toccata. Allegro moderato 00:07:42
5. Canzone No. 1. Andante moderato 00:07:38
6. Canzone No. 2. Allegro (poco).
Bohuslav Martinu - Concerto Grosso for Chamber Orchestra, H. 263 00:14:48
7. Allegro ma non troppo 00:04:34
8. Adagio 00:05:26
9. Allegretto 00:04:38
Prague Chamber Orchestra, Ondřej Kukal
Josef Hála, Petr Jiříkovský - piano
The compositions by Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) presented on this CD originated between 1937 and 1950. Although Concerto grosso was written in Paris (1937), all of them were premiered in the United States, where the composer fled to escape the war. The extraordinary success of the Boston premiere of Concerto grosso opened the doors for the author and brought him further commissions and offers. Here Martinů was inspired by Baroque musical forms and techniques, while Sinfonietta La Jolla can be considered his farewell to Neo-Classicism. The common denominator of the three pieces is the use of piano (two in the case of Concerto grosso) in the role of an orchestral rather than concertante instrument.
The repertoire of the Prague Chamber Orchestra ranges from Baroque to contemporary music. Its vast experience with music of earlier periods makes it an ideal interpreter of this Martinů selection. The presence of two virtuoso pianists (Hála was a long-time co-player of Josef Suk, Jiříkovský has made recordings with Pavel Šporcl), as well as the seasoned conductor and composer Ondřej Kukal, adds to the splendour of this recording.
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