Antonin Rejcha

Article excerpt

Antonin Rejcha

36 Fugues for Piano

Jaroslav Tuma--fortepiano. Production: Jaroslav Tuma, Vitezslav Janda. Text: Cz., Eng.

Recorded: Svata Hora u Pribrami.

Released: 2006. TT: 56:33, 76:36. DDD. 2 CD Arta F10146 (distribution 2HP Production).

Jaroslav Tuma deserves much credit for the very project of recording the whole Rejcha cycle on CD for the first time ever. Tuma enjoys picking out unresearched and dusty corners of music history for his projects, and this complete set on 2 CDs is undoubtedly one such corner. This has one big advantage for the performer--there is no one to make comparisons with. But I don't suspect Jaroslav Tuma of being afraid of competition, when after all not so long ago he presented the public with his interpretation of the hundred-times recorded Goldberg Variations, likewise produced and beautifully packaged by the Arta firm. Rejcha's fugues--published at a time when the fugue was already quite "demode", have always been considered to be mainly a theoretical work, a kind of caprice on the part of the great Paris teacher, enthusiast for counterpoint and friend of Beethoven. The cycle published in 1803 was only to be given its first (verified) complete performance two centuries later at the Prague Spring 2003, and precisely by Jaroslav Tuma. In the booklet (with brilliant accompanying text by Tuma himself), the performer poses the question of whether this music was written for the concert hall, or just as a practical supplement to Rejcha's theoretical treatise "On the New System of the Fugue". …


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