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Martinu: Piano Concertos No 3 & 5, Concertino / Koukl, Fagen

Martinu / Koukl / Bohuslav Martinu Po / Fagen
Release Date: 01/26/2010 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572206  
Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Giorgio Koukl
Conductor:  Arthur Fagen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Arthur Fagen already demonstrated his credentials as a Martinu conductor with his generally excellent complete symphony cycle for Naxos, and this first installment of the piano concertos also is very fine. The Third concerto, Martinu's largest, is a magnificent work that Rudolf Firkusny made his own. Giorgio Koukl's performance is quite different. Whereas Firkusny is more "romantic", shaping phrases expressively and adjusting dynamics to create a more lyrical emphasis, Koukl, at slightly slower tempos, emphasizes the music's neo-classicism, with punchy rhythms and a drier overall sonority. Both approaches are perfectly legitimate when the playing is this good, and Koukl's interpretations give all three works a certain consistency Read more of style, from the relatively early Concertino (not in fact all that small-scale) to the late Concerto No. 5--a sadly underrated piece that hardly deserves its neglect.

The Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, like many second-tier Eastern European ensembles, won't win any awards for seductive tonal allure, particularly compared to the support that the Czech Philharmonic offers Firkusny. But these players know the music, project it well, and have the composer's perpetually syncopated rhythms in their bones. The slightly dry but very clear sonics complement the rhythmic clarity of the conducting and the solo playing, and earn this disc an easy recommendation.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano no 3 by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Giorgio Koukl (Piano)
Conductor:  Arthur Fagen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1947-8 
2. Concerto for Piano no 5, H 366 "Fantasia concertante" by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Giorgio Koukl (Piano)
Conductor:  Arthur Fagen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958 
3. Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, H 269 by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Giorgio Koukl (Piano)
Conductor:  Arthur Fagen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No. 3, H. 316: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 3, H. 316: II. Andante poco moderato
Piano Concerto No. 3, H. 316: III. Moderato - Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 5, H. 366, "Fantasia concertante": I. Poco allegro risoluto
Piano Concerto No. 5, H. 366, "Fantasia concertante": II. Poco andante
Piano Concerto No. 5, H. 366, "Fantasia concertante": III. Poco allegro
Piano Concertino, H. 269: I. Allegro moderato (Comodo)
Piano Concertino, H. 269: II. Lento
Piano Concertino, H. 269: III. Allegro

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