Magazine article Czech Music

Bohuslav Martinu: Nipponari, Magic Nights, Czech Rhapsody

Magazine article Czech Music

Bohuslav Martinu: Nipponari, Magic Nights, Czech Rhapsody

Article excerpt

Bohuslav Martinu

Nipponari, Magic Nights, Czech Rhapsody

Dagmar Peckova--soprano, L'ubica Rybarska--soprano, Ivan Kusnjer--baritone, Kuhn Mixed Choir, Pavel Kuhn--choir master, Prague Symphony Orchestra Jiri Belohlavek. Production: Matous Vlcinsky. Text: Cz., Eng., Fr. Recorded: Sep. 1988, Aug. 1985. Released: 2008. TT: 73:23. DDD. I CD Supraphon SU 3956-2.

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Supraphon's re-release of its 1980s recordings of music by Bohuslav Martinu are fine contributions by the firm to the composer's anniversary. On this CD we find excellent interpretations of three rarely performed works. These three vocal orchestral pieces are little known partly because the combination is unusual and demanding (especially the Czech Rhapsody, which is a cantata for baritone, mixed choir, orchestra and organ) and partly because these are works that still show a certain immaturity and reflect the earlier process of the composer's technical and stylistic development rather than his typical and mature musical language. Very few of the compositions written by Bohuslav Martinu before his departure to Paris in 1923 are known to listeners and so this CD is also an interesting document even for Martinu experts. The cycle of seven songs for female voice and orchestra Nipponari was written in 1912 and inspired by Japanese lyrics. Bohuslav Martinu romantically set this textual exotica to music in which we encounter elements like pentatonics and the imitation of the wind through the use of a harp and so on. …

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