Ivan Moravec - piano. Czech Philharmonic / Karel Ančerl, Josef Vlach, Václav Neumann. Czech Chamber Orchestra / Josef Vlach - Musikverein Wien Orchester / Martin Turnovský - Dallas Symphony Orchestra / Eduardo Mata. Saša Večtomov - cello
When a 2CD volume featuring Ivan Moravec was included in the 1999 "Great pianists of the 20th Century" box set (Philips Records), many a music lover was taken aback. Although Americans knew the Czech artist, owing mainly to the Connoisseur Society, a lot of European listeners and critics had overlooked him - yet the recordings contained in the edition certainly attested to Moravec being a pianist of global calibre. Repertoire magazine referred to him as the "most closely guarded secret of the classical music world". The 90th anniversary of Ivan Moravec's birth is a very good reason to for come up with a special project. The most complete collection of his recordings to date, the present Supraphon release encompasses 11 CDs and a DVD with a documentary and unique, previously unseen footage from the Czech Television archives. Moravec recorded his core repertoire for the Connoisseur Society, Supraphon, Dorian, Nonesuch and Vox labels. Some of his recordings are now being released on CD for the first time. A number of older recordings have been remastered from the original analogue tapes. The set includes the complete Moravec repertoire of Beethoven, Schumann, Debussy, solo Franck, Janáček and Chopin's Mazurkas. The booklet provides an exhaustive account of one of the greatest 20th-century pianist's artistic development, from the early 1960s to the end of the millennium. Most significantly, the release affords the listener the opportunity to revel in the music that - due to its sheer profundity, myriad colour shades and irresistibly personal delivery - touches one's very heart.
A portrait of a great artist.
“Ivan Moravec’s subtle musicianship and cultivated virtuosity are known quantities to Classicstoday.com readers… It’s not surprising to see how Moravec achieves his magic with outward calm, concentration, and physical economy… It’s a musical treasure chest.” ClassicsToday.com, November 2020
“Dans son jeu, il a constamment mis en évidence la parenté entre ces trois compositeurs (Chopin, Schumann, Debussy): il en traduit subtilement la poésie, par une extraordinaire transparence du toucher qui tient du miracle, et que si peu de virtuoses possèdent; il est l’interprète idéal de ces pages dans les sonorités si diversement nuancées, et plus encore dans la justesse de ses phrasés.” Crescendo, December 2020
“A truly fabulous set, then, one that will edify, stimulate and satisfy.” Gramophone, January 2021
“Chopin’s music becomes the greatest art under Moravec’s fingers. Leos Janacek’s idiosyncratic works are presented here in absolute reference recordings, as are César Franck’s Prélude, choral et fugue and Debussy’s Images, Estampes, Children’s Corner or Préludes, works that it is hard to play better, more beautifully or more clearly… For the Beethoven, Debussy and Chopin recordings alone, this Moravec box, produced in excellent sound quality, belongs on every CD shelf.” Pizzicato, January 2021
“The subtlety of his pedalling was the perfect complement to the richness and beauty of his tone. And his own description of his objectives in performance speaks volumes: ‚The ideal mental or inner position of a player is to play as somebody else would play for you.‘ In other words, with a compulsion to communicate. This 11-CD set reveals his brilliance with the composers whose music most requires this approach: Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Franck, and Ravel.” The Independent*****, January 2021
“Moravec’s Chopin at last realizes all expectations. His playing is majestic and exultant and wholly satisfying; playing unequalled that I know of… Moravec, as may have been expected, is a master of Schumann and Brahms… A first-class package not to be overlooked.” The Whole Note, February 2021
“Moravec, le pianiste aux doigts de velours, le magicien des timbres, était également doté d'un jeu merveilleusement précis et affûté. Faut-il ajouter que ce coffret est indispensable à tout amateur de piano qui se respecte?” Diapason, May 2021
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 14 in E flat major, K. V. 449