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Dvorák: Complete Solo Piano Music / Stefan Veselka


Release Date: 06/15/2004 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8505205   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 5 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Dvorák's piano works get little attention in relation to his better known orchestral, chamber, choral, and operatic output, and even the best known of them, the ubiquitous Humoresque in G-flat (Op. 101 No. 7), usually is heard by way of elevator-music arrangements or bawdy parodies. It's true that Dvorák doesn't exploit the piano's resources on the virtuosic level of Chopin, Liszt, and Brahms. Yet the composer thoroughly understands the instrument and rarely is at a loss for first-rate musical ideas. He also has an ear for unusual textures and timbral combinations, such as assigning the C major Mazurka Op. 56 No. 2's melody and accompaniment to the keyboard's extreme registers. Listen to the deliciously varied Silhouettes Op. Read more 8 or to the 13 pieces encompassing the nearly hour-long Poetic Tone-Pictures Op. 85 and you'll wonder why performers ignore such wonderful repertoire.


Fortunately, pianist Stefan Veselka not only recorded all of Dvorák's piano music for Naxos--he also lavished plenty of love and attention to detail on these scores. He plays quite differently than Radoslav Kvapil, whose late-1960s Dvorák cycle for Supraphon has remained a reference for nearly four decades. In the main, Veselka favors broader tempos, sharper accents, more brooding rubatos (the Waltzes Op. 54, the Suite in A major, and the Theme with Variations in A-flat, for example), and more marked contrasts in dynamics. Veselka's massive, full-bodied chord playing and emphatically sculpted filigree can be likened to orchestrating at the piano, whereas Kvapil's elegant, cameo-like pianism creates a more intimate impression. In other words, Veselka is Claudio Arrau to Kvapil's Wilhelm Kempff. Pressed to choose, I'd opt for Naxos' budget price and updated sonics, despite close miking that occasionally exaggerates the sound of the piano hammers in action. Whether you purchase the whole cycle bundled together here or choose to sample it via individual releases, a trove of undiscovered piano treasures await you. [8/17/2004]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Minuets (2) for Piano, Op. 28 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Bohemia 
2. Dumka for Piano in D minor, Op. 35/B 64 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Bohemia 
3. Theme with Variations for Piano in A flat major, Op. 36/B 65 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Bohemia 
4. Question, B 128a by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882 
5. Album Leaf for Piano in E flat major, B 158 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888 
6. Waltzes (8) for Piano, Op. 54/B 101 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879-1880; Bohemia 
7. Furianty, Op. 42 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Bohemia 
8. Eclogues (4) for Piano, Op. 56/B 103 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Bohemia 
9. Moderato for Piano in A major, B 116 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Prague, Czech Republ 
10. Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 52/B 110 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1880; Bohemia 
11. Dumka for Piano in C minor, Op. 12 no 1/B 136 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Bohemia 
12. Furiant for Piano in G minor, Op. 12 no 2/B 137 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; Bohemia 
13. Two Little Pearls, B 156 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Bohemia 
14. Poetic Tone Pictures (13) for Piano, Op. 85/B 161 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889; Bohemia 
15. Humoresques (8) for Piano, Op. 101/B 187 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Bohemia 
16. Mazurkas (6) for Piano, Op. 56/B 111 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Bohemia 
17. Silhouettes (12) for Piano, Op. 8/B 98 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; Bohemia 
18. Polka for Piano in E major, B 3 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860; Bohemia 
19. Scottish Dances, Op. 41/B 74 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Bohemia 
20. Humoresque in F sharp major, B 138 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884 
21. Impromptu in D minor, B 129 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883 
22. Pieces (2) for Piano, B 188 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Bohemia 
23. Album Leaves for Piano, B 109: no 3, Allegro molto in F major by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Prague, Bohemia 
24. Album Leaves for Piano, B 109: no 4, Allegretto in G major by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Prague, Bohemia 
25. Album Leaves for Piano, B 109: no 1, Moderato in G major by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Prague, Bohemia 
26. Album Leaves for Piano, B 109: no 2, Allegretto in F sharp minor by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Prague, Bohemia 
27. Suite for Piano in A major, Op. 98/B 184 "American" by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Stefan Veselka (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; USA 

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