JANACEK Piano Music. On an Overgrown Path, Sonata, In the Mists etc. Rudolf Firkusny. Newton Classics

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Janacek Piano Music Rudolf Firkusny Newton Classics

JANACEK

Piano Music

On an Overgrown Path; Sonata; In the Mists etc.

Rudolf Firkušný – piano

A comparatively tiny body of music – fitting on one CD – Janácek’s piano music may lie less easily under the fingers than (to cite a contemporary miniaturist) that of Anton Webern, but it’s affecting and intriguing out of all proportion to its size, from the violent Sonata inspired by a brutally quelled demonstration of social unrest, through the elliptical tone-poem In the backdrop of failed ambitions and arduous work on his operas, these piano works offered refuge to Janácek. But rather than turning inward, the composer found huge potential within their intimacy. Proto-dramatic, these pieces explode with enthusiasm.

Who better, then, to convey the quirky poetry of this music’s sudden outbursts than someone who learnt it at the feet of the composer himself. When the seven-year-old Rudolf Firkušný took lessons from the great man in 1919, Janácek had already composed all the music here and was embarking on the remarkable Indian summer of operatically centred creative activity that, launched with the long-delayed premiere of Jenufa, came to confirm him as one of the last century’s most instinctively gifted composers for the stage. Firkušný became a far more adept pianist than Janácek ever managed, and in a lifetime of performing this music – the present issue represents his last recorded thoughts – came ever deeper to convey the hidden emotions of From an Overgrown Path’s titles such as ‘Our evenings’, ‘They

chattered like swallows’, and ‘The barn-owl has not flown away’.

‘Rudolf Firkušný … has long been a touchstone of interpretation of Janácek’s piano music; and his quickness of response, his sensitivity of phrase, his ability to seek out the essence of Janácek’s lyrical

statements in a brief melodic curve are as rewarding as ever.’ Gramophone, March 1991

Newton classics 8802091

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Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
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