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Ivan Moravec Plays Czech Music - Smetana, Suk, Korte


Release Date: 01/23/2001 
Label:  Supraphon   Catalog #: 3509   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Bedrich SmetanaJosef SukOldrich Korte
Performer:  Ivan Moravec
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

One of the supreme keyboard masters of our time, Ivan Moravec's recordings are so few, and so fine, that each offers something to precious to cherish. This Supraphon reissue conflates a live recital with the pianist's magnificent early 60s reading of Suk's suite "About Mother," the composer's sensitive tribute to his recently deceased wife as seen though the eyes of his young son. It's one of the most touching pieces of music ever written, and Moravec understands the value of understatement, finding a thousand subtle colors in the work's elegiac lyricism. The other major work is Oldrich Korte's fine piano sonata, immediately attractive music that sounds more than a bit like turbulent Poulenc. Moravec plays it with fiery bravura, employing a Read more huge dynamic range and wringing every ounce of drama out of its two substantial movements. And as if further proof were needed, nothing better demonstrates Moravec's keyboard wizardry, his ability to find profundity in simplicity, than the six dances by Smetana that open the disc. He gives the innocent little Polka in G minor, for example, such an irresistible lilt that you almost wish you could program out his right hand just to hear exactly how he does it. Sonically neither source really does Moravec's extraordinary tone complete justice: the Suk sounds a bit muffled, the live items a tad hard. Still, the recordings convey more than enough of this artist's personal qualities to reveal some very special music making going on, and they never become bothersome or off-putting. Now, will someone please just set up the microphones and let this man record whatever he wants, before it's too late? Essential for pianophiles and Czech music fans.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Polkas poétiques (3) for Piano, B 95/T 63/Op. 8: no 2 in G minor by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1854; Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 12/1984 
Venue:  Live  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
2. Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 7: no 1, Love Song by Josef Suk
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1891-1893; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 12/1984 
Venue:  Live  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 7 Minutes 37 Secs. 
3. Sonata for Piano by Oldrich Korte
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 12/1984 
Venue:  Live  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 14 Minutes 58 Secs. 
4. Memories of Pilsen, B 37/T 38 by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1843-1844; Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 12/1984 
Venue:  Live  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
5. Czech Dances (14) for Piano, T 112: no 2, Polka in A minor by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 12/1984 
Venue:  Live  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
6. Czech Dances (14) for Piano, T 112: no 11, The Lancer by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 12/1984 
Venue:  Live  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
7. Czech Dances (14) for Piano, T 112: no 5, Furiant by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 12/1984 
Venue:  Live  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
8. Czech Dances (14) for Piano, T 112: no 10, Stamping Dance by Bedrich Smetana
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 12/1984 
Venue:  Live  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
9. Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 7: Idyll in F minor by Josef Suk
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1891-1893; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 12/1984 
Venue:  Live  Dvorak Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague 
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs. 
10. About Mother, Op. 28 by Josef Suk
Performer:  Ivan Moravec (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 1962 
Venue:  Domovina Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 23 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is an ADD recording. 

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