Viktor Kalabis (1923-2006) - the complete works for solo piano: Sonata No. 1, Op. 2 (1947); Sonata No. 2, Op. 4 (1948); Sonata No. 3, Op. 57 (1982); Accents, Op. 26 (1967); Entrata, aria e toccata, Op. 41 (1975); Three Polkas, Op. 52 (1979); Four Enigmas for Graham, Op. 71 (1989); Two Toccatas, Op. 88 (1999); Allegro impetuoso, Op. 89 (1999)
Ivo Kahánek - piano
The very first complete recording of Viktor Kalabis's piano works, as well as the album of his three sonatas (SU 4210-2, Supraphon 2018) have come to fruition upon the initiative and owing to the relentless enthusiasm of the world-renowned harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková, the composer's wife and a keen promoter of his oeuvre. Of major importance was the selection of the pianist - one possessing superlative technical skills and having a profound understanding of the structure of Kalabis's music. As Ivo Kahánek put it: "Kalabis was one of the composers who don't restrict their ideas by the traditional laws of the piano technique, hence his music is now and then extremely difficult to perform." Even though Kalabis drew inspiration from the music of other 20th-century masters, he soon arrived at his own, singular and unique musical idiom, which is already palpable in his early opuses. The album maps more than half a century of Kalabis's work, from the post-war Sonata No. 1 to the masterful miniatures dating from the very end of the millennium. Following the critically acclaimed recordings of his symphonic and concert pieces (SU 4109-2 - Choc de Classica, Gramophone Editor's Choice), and of the three sonatas, the present album opens yet another window into Viktor Kalabis's fascinating musical world.
The first complete album of Viktor Kalabis's piano works. A world unto itself.
“The expertly judged recording and attractive booklet notes complement Ivo Kahánek’s deeply sympathetic and astute performances, ones that measure up in every way to the music.” MusicWeb International, April 2019
“Ivo Kahánek livre la première intégrale de la musique pour piano du maître. En constante recherche de lisibilité, il sculpte au ciseau au lieu de dégrossir à la dynamite. Mieux que dans les démonstrations de force, il fait des miracles partout où les notes s’attirent, se repoussent, s’agrègent, se frottent ou s’entrechoquent plus subtilement. Travail d’orfèvre.” Diapason, June 2019
“Kurzum: Diese Musik hat wirkIich etwas „zu sagen“. Kahánek „übersetzt“ das ouf den 88 Tasten so bezwingend in „tönend bewegte Form“, dass es einen fost umhaut. Ein Ereignis!” Piano News, September 2019
“Si l'univers pianistique de Viktor Kalabis synthétise la concision de Janáček, le motorisme de Bartók et de Prokofiev, la densité d'Hindemith et les procédés de modulations de Martinů, il a su intégrer l'héritage de ces maîtres révérés à un langage propre. C'est à la pointe sèche que l'excellent Ivo Kahánek détaile la matière foisonnante de ces pièces pour nous les rendre plus lisibles.” Classica, November 2019
“The lucid, sharply accented performances by Ivo Kahanek are deeply sympathetic.” American Record Guide, January/February 2020
“Ivo Kahánek, who played so superbly on the album of the Kalabis instrumental sonatas, completely out-does himself here. It’s impossible to conceive of more devoted, meticulously conceived interpretations, or any that could be more thoroughly musical, or indeed of another interpreter who would approach this extremely demanding music with a more single-minded seriousness of purpose.” Fanfare, January 2020
“Kahánek plays all of them with great authority and commendable virtuosity, relishing the near-orchestral colours of the piano writing (occasionally reminiscent of Messiaen) with its variety of moods and textures. Supraphon’s sound is very good, catching every nuance.” Agora Classica, June 2020