The recital of the pianist Jakub Sládek was chosen by Euroradio for its concert series Top Young Performers Series. The recording, which will be take by Czech Radio Vltava, will thus be included in this prestigious series.
The young pianist with many international awards, will present the works of four authors: Bohuslav Martinů, Jan Novák, Nikolai Medtner and Sergei Rachmaninoff – met with a similar émigré fate due to the historical events of the first half of the 20th century. These were not particularly favourable to free artistic expression, whether it was the 1917 revolutions in Russia, World War Two or the February 1948 coup in Czechoslovakia.
The programme is bookended by two piano sonatas, Martinů’s only composition of its kind and Rachmaninoff’s second Sonata in B-flat minor. Between these two major 20th-century works for the piano, we will hear two cycles for the instrument penned by younger colleagues and friends of Martinů and Rachmaninoff – Novák and Medtner; these cycles consist of musical miniatures that are largely dance-like in character and poetic in expression. Given the Czech and Russian origins of the composers featured, their friendships and their preference for certain compositional styles, the concert programme could be divided in two parts.
The composers are also united by their fondness for the piano. Martinů was virtually unable to compose without access to one, and Novák, Medtner and Rachmaninoff were all outstanding concert pianists. Interestingly, all four found refuge for several years in the United States of America at some point in their lives. Their musical styles show profound affinities with the musical legacies of their homelands, whether this involved elements of musical folklore or drawing on the legacies of the titans of the Czech and Russian national schools in music.
Sonáta pro klavír H 350
Piano Sonata H 350
Elegantiae tripudiorum (Elegance valčíků / The Elegance of Waltzes)
Nikolaj Karlovič Metner
Pohádky op. 51
Tales, Op 51
Klavírní sonáta č. 2 b moll op. 36
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 36
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