Magazine article Gramophone

Ivan Moravec: 'Twelfth Night Recital'

Magazine article Gramophone

Ivan Moravec: 'Twelfth Night Recital'

Article excerpt

Ivan Moravec [G]

'Twelfth Night Recital'

JS Bach Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, BWV903 Beethoven Piano Sonata No 14, 'Moonlight', Op 27 No 2 Chopin Ballade No 4, Op 52. Mazurkas--No 32, Op 50 No 3; No 41, Op 63 No 3. Nocturnes--No 5, Op 15 No 2; No 8, Op 27 No 2 Debussy Suite bergamasque--Clair de lune Mozart Piano Sonata No 13, K333

Ivan Moravec pf

Supraphon [F] [2] SU4190-2 (91' * DDD)

Recorded live, Prague 1987

This set was to have been a birthday present for the great Czech pianist Ivan Moravec, who would have been 85 on November 7. But alas it became a posthumous tribute following his death in July. The fact that it has appeared at all is down to the efforts of Supraphon's executive producer Matous Vlcinsky. As he relates in the booklet, for 28 years the recital lay unissued in the Supraphon archive. Moravec, ever self-critical, initially rejected the idea of it being issued. Finally he was won over, and was listening to it the night before his death on July 27. Vlcinsky writes: 'This recording remains behind as his message, his statement on beauty. He surely will be glad if, perhaps while listening to it, you drink a glass of fine wine to his health, to his honour, to the beauty of music.'

No wine is required to appreciate the quality of the recital. To listen to Moravec is to be reminded of another era, one in which there was no political correctness surrounding Bach and the modern piano. He gives a warm, richly rhetorical reading of the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, one that is seemingly without ego and entirely compelling. …

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