Bohuslav Martinu: A Wreath of Carnations. Songs Vol.1

Article excerpt

Jana Wallngerova--mezzo-soprano, Giorgio Koukl--piano.

Text: English. Recorded: Mar. 2010.

Released: 2011. TT: 79:28. DDD.

I CD Naxos 8.572388.

In May 2011 Naxos released a little gem on the global market, a real treat for admirers and connoisseurs of Bohuslav Martinu's music. The almost eighty-minute disc "Martinu Songs 1" presents Martinu's early songs dating tram 1910-14, 1917, 1 925, all of them previously unreleased and, with a few exceptions, unrecorded. Over the past lour years, owing lo the collaboration of the pianist Giorgio Koukl with Naxos, Bohuslav Martinu's complete piano oeuvre has been distributed globally. The label has decided to follow this up by releasing the local works. Although Naxos released a disc comprising Martinu's songs from the 1930s and 4Ds back in 2005 {Olga Cerna--voice, Jitka Cechova--piano), the Koukl edition (3 CDs are planned) should exhaustively document Martinu's early songs that have not won such general recognition as, for example. Songs on One Page and the New Chap-Book, And very much doubt whether even the most hardened Marlinu aficionados will be familiar with all the songs featured on this CD since they only exist as the composer's autographs, mostly preserved m the archives of the Bohuslav Martinu Centre in Polioka. Accordingly, their release was pieceded by truly diligent research work. In co-operation with the Bohuslav Martinu Instituie in Prague and the Polioka Centre, The pianist Giorgio Koukl began gathering copies of Martinu's manuscripts before plunging into reconstructing the Scores and texts. The result is a CD with forty-one songs to folk lyrics and texts by famous and less-famous authors (J. W. Goethe. H. Heine. A. E. Muzik. R, Mayer, Dellef von Liliencron, etc. …

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