Magazine article Czech Music

Zdenek Sestak Choral Works

Magazine article Czech Music

Zdenek Sestak Choral Works

Article excerpt

Vladimir Doleial - tenor, Roman Janal - baritone, Radovan Lukavsky - recitation, Prague Radio Choir, Kuhn Mixed Choir, Milan Maly, Lubomir Matl, Pavel Kuhn - chorus masters.

Text: Eng., Czech. Recorded: 1977-1996, Prague Radio Studios; 1997, Martinu' Hall, Lichtenstein Palace, Prague.

Released: 2013. Tr: 129:06. ADD., DDD. 2 CDs Radioservis

CR0682-2.

The album dedicated to the Czech composer Zdenek Sestak's choral works features older and newer recordings of his choral cycles and cantatas. The first disc presents his oldest (1971) cycle of mixed choruses a capella, Hommage a Apollinaire, revealing the composer's affection for chanson, as well as Apollinaire's Renaissance inspiration. The texts, either in the French original or translations by Czech poets (Seifert, Kundera, Capek, etc.), are sung by the Prague Radio Choir with astonishing flexibility, high and pure sopranos and male vocals replete with emotions in deep tones accompanying the lead melodic line. The three-part cycle Pushkin Vigils (1978) is one of Sestak's most popular choral works. In short, terse even, themes, the music comes across as both playful and poignant, always in line with the text. The extensive cycle Portrait of Konstantin Biebl, completed in 1974, is made up of eleven original treatments of various historical musical forms and styles. Part X, titled Cognition, its compositional apex, introduces the excited final idea in the form of passacaglia. …

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