Bagatelles and Impromptus

Quarrel (La discorde)


  • Recorded: 28th December 2019
  • Record Place: Martinů Hall, Academy of Music Prague
  • First Release: 2020
  • (P) 2020 SUPRAPHON a.s.
  • Genre: Chamber Music

Artists

  • music by: Bedřich Smetana
  • piano: Miroslav Sekera

Album

Miroslav Sekera

Smetana & Liszt: Piano Works

Catalogue Number: SU 4280-2
Published: 22nd May 2020
Genre: Chamber Music
Format: 1 CD
This album has received following awards:
  • Supersonic Award of Pizzicato, Luxembourg (2020)
Franz Liszt - Transcendental Étude, Chasse-neige, No. 12. F. Liszt / R. Wagner - Liebestod from the opera Tristan und Isolde. F. Liszt / G. Verdi - Concert Paraphrase on the quartet from the opera Rigoletto. F. Liszt / W. A. Mozart - Lacrimosa from Requiem in D minor. Bedřich Smetana - Pleasant Landscape (Sketches. Op. 5), On the Seashore - Concerts Etude in G sharp minor, Op. 17, Bagatelles et Impromptus, Macbeth and the Witches

Miroslav Sekera - piano

"I would like to prove that Bedřich Smetana was a composer comparable with Franz Liszt and that his music deserves to be performed at major concert venues worldwide." Armed with this belief, the pianist Miroslav Sekera plunged into making the present album. He is an extraordinary soloist, as well as an experienced and sought-after chamber musician (regularly performing with the violinist Josef Špaček, the hornist Radek Baborák, and others). Putting together Smetana and Liszt is in a sense logical - both of them were superb pianists, with the piano having played a significant role in their lives and artistic developments, particularly in the first decades of their careers. Liszt was a great model for Smetana, as documented by a note in the Czech composer's diary: "With God's grace and help, one day I will be like Liszt in technique and like Mozart in composition." The correspondence and several personal encounters between Liszt and Smetana ultimately led to a friendship. Yet whereas Liszt's piano works have enjoyed great attention, Smetana's piano music is yet to become widely known and acknowledged. The very first cycle of characteristic pieces, Bagatelles et Impromptus (1844), written by Smetana at the age of 20, featured traits that would be palpable throughout his piano oeuvre. His five-year stay in Gothenburg and conversations with Liszt enhanced Smetana's penchant for programme music. This inclination of his reflected in several virtuoso piano works dating from that time, including the piano poem Macbeth and the etude On the Seashore. Sekera's performance reveals to the full Smetana's genius and singularity, which we know from his symphonic poems, but are only now discovering in his piano music.

Discovering Smetana's piano music through Liszt...

Reviews

“It is above all the intimate sounds, the narrative playing and the constant reflection on what is played that make this pianist so extraordinary. In addition, nothing is artificial, the music develops almost by itself and seeks its own path. Miroslav Sekera always finds in each piece an individual approach and a very personal scale of colours. Above all, the music seems to flow out of him. That is great art.”
Pizzicato, August 2020

Ferenc Liszt
1. Transcendental Etude No. 12 S 139/12 Chasse-neige 06:13
Ferenc Liszt, Richard Wagner
2. Isoldes Liebestod from the opera Tristan und Isolde S 447 07:59
Ferenc Liszt, Giuseppe Verdi
3. Paraphrase de concert sur Rigoletto S 434 07:36
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ferenc Liszt
4. Lacrimosa from Requiem in D minor S 550/2 04:07
Bedřich Smetana
5. Freundliche Landschaft from Sketches, Op. 5 02:06
Bedřich Smetana
6. On the Seashore in G Sharp minor Op. 17 06:09
Bedřich Smetana
Bagatelles and Impromptus
7. Innocence (L'innocence) 01:43
8. Dejection (L'abattement) 01:01
9. Idyll (Idylle) 01:07
10. Longing (Le désir) 02:15
11. Joy (La joie) 00:47
12. Fairy Tale (Le conte) 02:36
13. Love (L'amour) 02:13
14. Quarrel (La discorde) 01:39
Bedřich Smetana
15. Macbeth and the Witches 10:01

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