Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata No. 3 in C major op. 2 No. 3, Sonata No. 9 in E major op. 14 No. 1, Sonata No. 23 F minor op. 57 "Appassionata", Sonáta No. 32 in C minor op. 111, 32 Variations on an Original Theme in C minor WoO 80, Six bagatelles op. 126
Jan Bartoš - piano
Launching his Mozart debut recorded with the Czech Philharmonic and Jiří Bělohlávek (Supraphon 2017), Jan Bartoš drew to himself a lot of critical attention on an international scale. Those who reviewed the album especially appreciated his rare ability to combine thorough understanding both of the musical architecture and the deep emotionality of the works (a quality possessed also by the pianist's tutors Ivan Moravec and Alfred Brendel). From the early "Haydn-like" Sonata No. 3 in C major to the highly dramatic "Appassionata" to the transcendent last Sonata No. 32 in C minor, which gives an impression of the composer parting with this world, the pianist facilitates to us the amazing integrity and colourfulness of Beethoven's piano work. During the thirty years separating his first and last piano opus, the composer tried out numberless experiments, and yet some crucial themes come up again and again; the imprint of his unique musical DNA is discernible from his very first opuses. In the hands of Jan Bartoš, Beethoven whispers, sings and thunders. We encounter a world full of contrasts, an image whose colours remain impressed in our memory for a long time.
This is not "another Beethoven". This is fascinating journey through the world full of colours, reliefs and emotions.
“Et que ce piano est beau, qui rugit calmement dans la profondeur de son harmonie, jusque dans sa mesure qui refuse le pathos ou les effets, préférant creuser le discours, tendre les lignes, ordonner tout dans un geste souverain. Ce piano pense, et pour Beethoven c’est une nécessité trop souvent niée.” Artalinna, July 2018
“Everything in this recording is outstanding, yet it also springs surprises: who would have thought that a performance of the Sonata in C major, Op. 2 No. 3, could have the listener more on the edge of their seat than a brilliantly played Appassionata? … The Arietta of Op.111 is here gorgeous beyond words: its serene beauty burns brightly, then folds itself in towards an ecstatic, trill-garlanded conclusion.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2018
“These two new Beethoven discs show Bartoš to be a serious craftsman and a thoughtful, if highly circumspect musician… This cool, objectivist approach may appeal to those for whom Beethoven’s voice is disturbingly neurotic and who prefer to experience his music at an emotional arm’s length.” Gramophone, Awards Issue 2018
“Czech pianist Jan Bartoš presents a handful of sonatas, well planned as a programme, with the wonderful C minor Variations and a set of late Bagatelles, all captured in brilliant sound by the Supraphon engineers.” MusicWeb International, May 2020