Jindřich Feld (1925-2007) - Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (2004). Oldřich Flosman (1925-1998) - Visions of Michelangelo for Viola and Orchestra (1975). Sylvie Bodorová (*1954) - Planctus. Music for Viola and Symphony Orchestra (1982, rev. 2013)
Jitka Hosprová - viola, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductors Jan Kučera, Tomáš Brauner
The viola's dark, velvety sound and its depth of expression enchanted many composers of the twentieth century (Bartók, Martinů, Hindemith, Clarke etc.) who made major contributions to the instrument's repertoire. Jitka Hosprová, however, likes to stay off the beaten path. For her recording with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, she has chosen three modern works composed in her homeland over a span of 30 years at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. Oldřich Flosman completed Visions of Michelangelo, a work that is now nearly forgotten, in 1975 on commission for celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo's birth. Jindřich Feld's Viola Concerto, one of his last works, bears comparison with Bartók's and even exceeds it in terms of technical difficulty; the demands made on the soloist are quite extreme. Sylvie Bodorová's Planctus (the title refers to a Medieval form, the "laments of the Virgin Mary") reflects the gloom, stress, and hopelessness of life in communist Czechoslovakia of the 1980s. In all three movements, the deep intimacy of the viola stands in contrast to the massive symphonic sound of the orchestra. More than any other instrument, the viola has a tone that reaches the innermost world of the composer and of the subject matter. On this revelatory, technically virtuosic recording of rarely played works, Jitka Hosprová brings back to life three works that definitely deserve the attention of performers and listeners.
Modernity and traditional form, totality and freedom - three Czech viola concertos from the turn of the millennium
“L’œuvre est magnifique de lyrisme, intense, mystérieuse, un des tous grands concertos pour alto des temps modernes encore marqué par l’esthétique avant-gardiste des années soixante, comme un fabuleux retour du futur vers le passé, Jitka Hosprová le chantant ample, profond, abrasant les cordes dans l’Allegro con spirito.” Artalinna, May 2020
“What is immediately striking here is the rich baritone tone of Jitka Hosprova’s viola, which she plays with consummate authority… If you have a chance to hear Jitka Hosprova in person, drop everything and go to hear this stunning musician with the catholicity to incorporate on one album two composers on opposites sides of the Czech communist divide.” American Record Guide, August 2020
“Czech violist Jitka Hosprová delivers totally committed, highly sensitive readings of these three rarities, making them significant additions to those recordings featuring her instrument.” Classical Lost and Found, August 2020
“Jitka Hosprová ist in allen Werken ‚zuhause‘ und interpretiert phänomenal, das Orchester begleitet sie kongenial.” Fono Forum, January 2021