Kateřina Kněžíková, Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, Robert Jindra


Catalogue Number: SU 4296-2
Published: 28th May 2021
Genre: Vocal
Format: 1 CD
This album has received following awards:
  • Gramophone Editor´s Choice (2021)
  • BBC Music Magazine Award (2022)
Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) - Magic Nights. Henri Duparc (1848-1933) - selected songs (L'invitation au voyage, La vie antérieure, Chanson triste, Phidylé). Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) - Cinq mélodies populaires grecques, Shéhérazade. Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) - Penthesilea.

Kateřina Kněžíková - soprano, Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, conductor: Robert Jindra

Kateřina Kněžíková's lyric soprano has delighted audiences in numerous music centres worldwide, both at opera houses and concert venues. She has appeared with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberger Symphoniker, Camerata Salzburg, the Czech Philharmonic, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, etc. under the baton of conductors of such renown as J. Bělohlávek, S. Baudo, M. Honeck, J. Hrůša, T. Netopil and R. Ticciati. The highlights of her career include the invitation to portray the title role in Janáček's opera Katya Kabanova in Glyndebourne. Kateřina Kněžíková's debut Supraphon solo album features enchanting fin de siecle songs, "... songs that are particularly close to my heart and voice, all of them dating from the turn of the 20th century, all of them tinged with Impressionism," as the singer herself put it. The first of them is Bohuslav Martinů's Magic Nights, set to Chinese poetry. Henri Duparc's songs, one of which, depicting Phylidé, a simple and pious country girl, has given the album its title, may come as a revelation to many a listener. All the songs chosen for the CD reflect a penchant for the exotic, foregrounding connection with Nature and intuition. Conducted by Robert Jindra, the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava has created a splendidly colourful backdrop for Kateřina Kněžíková's soprano to embellish.

Fin de siecle songs - a universe close to Kateřina Kněžíková's heart


“Czech soprano Kateřina Kněžíková is clearly a singer to watch… Kněžíková is superb in them (Martinů Magic Nights), always in full technical control but with a timbre that, enlivened by seductive vibrato, is ideally soft and warm… The soprano is no less successful in the French repertoire, her line always pliant, the voice beguiling and her French idiomatic… There’s no resisting the charms of her Shéhérazade either, with wonderfully atmospheric support from orchestra and conductor… Highly recommended.”
Gramophone, September 2021

“The four settings by Duparc demand greater interpretative warmth and Kněžíková does not disappoint. ‘Chanson triste’ is particularly impressive not only for the expressive qualities of the vocal performance, but the superb mingling of voice and orchestral palette. Robert Jindra and the excellent Janáček Philharmonic of Ostrava accompany with great skill and personality, clearly delighting in the myriad textures required.”
BBC Music Magazine, August 2021

“Es ist eine Freude, sich diesen auserlesenen Stimmungen hinzugeben, denn Kateřina Kněžíková lässt keinen Zweifel daran, dass ihrdiese Kompositionen ein Herzensanliegen sind und sie sich ihnen tief verbunden fühlt… schöne und farbenreiche Sopran kommt aber auch bei Martinů und Ravel bestens zur Celtung. Kněžíková wird von der Janáček Philharmonie unter Robert Jindra außerordentlich sensibel und klangschön begleitel.”
Opernglas, September 2021

“Le timbre de lait et de miel de la soprano convient parfaitement aux atmosphères féeriques et étranges exprimées par les textes… Robert Jindra et son excellent orchestre morave savent ne pas brusquer les choses, ne mettent jamais leur partenaire en danger, tout en respectant l'infini raffinement des accompagnements.”
Classica, November 2021

“Pour Nuits magiques, si rarement enregistré alors que c’est l’un des chefs-d’œuvre de Martinů, son long soprano est une pure merveille, aigus ambrés, voix souple, sourires et mystères dans un timbre de miel où Robert Jindra fait miroiter les couleurs subtiles de son magnifique orchestre. Pour l’univers plus sombre de la Penthesilea de Szymanowski, même réussite incontestable… Très beau disque, de toute façon absolument essentiel pour le Martinů.”
Artalinna, September 2021

“Kateřina Kněžíková bringt die verschiedenen Gefühls- und Stilstationen dieses Programms überzeugend auf die Hörbühne, webt bei Duparc traumhafte Pianolinien zu zarten Netzen, bezasbert mit Ravels Griechenland-Vision, gibt der „Shéhérazade“ des nämlichen Komponisten einen eigenen Anstrich, berührt mit dem visionären Abschiedsgesang der Amazonenkönigin bei Szymanowski. Robert Jindra, mit dem sie jahrelange Zusammenarbeit verbindet, und das Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava tragen sie gleichsam mit sanfter und zärtlicher Hand durch die schillernden Lied-Landschaften voller Metaphern und Symbolen.”
Fono Forum, October 2021

“Nor does Kněžíková make much of the poetry in Henri Duparc’s four songs, each one arguably a perfect piece of music, but sings them with exceptional beauty. Her voice is balanced back with the orchestra, and the recording from the House of Culture, Ostrava puts plenty of air around the sound without obscuring detail. This recital is literally gorgeous, and recommended for those who enjoy a good wallow.”
Fanfare, January 2022

Bohuslav Martinů
Magic Nights. Three songs to Chinese texts for Soprano and Orchestra, H. 119
1. In a Foreign Land. Adagio 05:16
2. Untouched by Spring. Adagio lugubre 05:00
3. The Mysterious Flute. Andante sostenuto 05:30
Henri Duparc
4. L'invitation au voyage 05:02
Henri Duparc
5. La vie antérieure 04:39
Henri Duparc
6. Phidylé 05:37
Henri Duparc
7. Chanson triste 03:24
Maurice Ravel
Cinq mélodies populaires Grecques
8. Chanson de la mariée. Modéré 01:17
9. La-bas, vers l'église. Andante 01:32
10. Quel galant m'est comparable. Allegro 00:53
11. Chanson des cueilleuses de lentisques. Lento 02:53
12. Tout gai! Allegro 01:00
Maurice Ravel
13. Asie 10:03
14. La Flute enchantée 03:05
15. L'Indifférent 03:40
Karol Szymanowski
16. Penthesilea Op. 18 06:14

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