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Martinu: Early Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 / Hobson, Sinfonia Varsovia


Release Date: 01/19/2018 
Label:  Toccata Classics   Catalog #: 414  
Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Agnieszka Kopacka
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This series of recordings of Martinu’s early orchestral works has already brought more than its fair share of surprises. The two shorter works here are colourful and atmospheric tone-poems, pieces of real substance and major discoveries in their own right. But it is the 1922 symphonic triptych Vanishing Midnight (Míjející pulnoc in the original Czech) – here receiving its first recording – which will prove the real revelation. A big-hearted work of breathtaking opulence and striking confidence, Vanishing Midnight is as exquisitely lovely as it is powerful and dramatic – Martinu’s first true masterpiece. Ian Hobson, pianist and conductor, began his international career in 1981 when he won the Leeds International Piano Read more Competition. He is in increasing demand as a conductor, particularly for performances in which he doubles as a pianist. he made his debut in this capacity in 1996 with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and also performs extensively as pianist-conductor with Sinfonia da Camera, a group he formed in 1984 and which quickly gained international recognition through its recordings. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Vanishing Midnight, H.131 by Bohuslav Martinu
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Czech Republic 
2.
The Villa by the Sea, H. 97 by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Agnieszka Kopacka (Piano)
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Czech Republic 
3.
Dream of the Past, H. 124 by Bohuslav Martinu
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Czech Republic 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Welcome Rediscoveries July 2, 2018 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "The major work of this release is "Vanishing Night." Martinu revised it with the help of his teacher Josef Suk. The music is a compendium of Martinu's early impressionist style. Originally, it was thought that only a portion of "Vanishing Midnight" survived. Recently orchestral parts for the missing movements were rediscovered. For the first time, the work can be heard in its entirety. It's well worth hearing. This three-movement composition shows a composer in transition. It doesn't quite have the Czech character that Martinu's mature works would exhibit. And it doesn't quite have the syncopations, either. But it's very close. "Ballade after Böcklin’s picture: Villa by the Sea" is the only surviving movement from a 1915 set of symphonic dances. The music is as impressionistic and indefinite as the image itself. Böcklin created five different versions of "Villa by the Sea," each one slightly different. Martinu's score is also somewhat ambivalent. Shifting key centers, shimmering harmonies, and irregular melodies remind me of Debussy's soft-focus impressionism. And yet there's something about this work that hints at the symphonist Martinu would become. "Dream of the Past," written five years later, presages more strongly Martinu's mature style. It's a somewhat somber work, with a heavy dose of chromaticism. Conductor Ian Hobson and the Sinfonia Varsvia turn in some fine performances. These may not be the best works by Martinu, but this recording makes that case that they deserve more than just an occasional listen." Report Abuse
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