Jan Bartoš

Kabeláč: Eight Preludes, Motifs from Exotic Lands - Smetana: Dreams

Catalogue Number: SU 4324-2
Published: 24th February 2023
Genre: Chamber Music
Format: 1 CD
Miloslav Kabeláč (1908–1979) – Eight Preludes for Piano, Op. 30; Motifs from Exotic Lands for Piano, Op. 38. Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884) – Rêves (Dreams). Six Characteristic Pieces for Piano

Jan Bartoš – piano

What do Bedřich Smetana and Miloslav Kabeláč have in common that they feature on Jan Bartoš’s new album? Both of them were distinguished composers, conductors and pianists. Both of them created modern and timeless music for piano, which, however, remains overshadowed by their symphonic works. Smetana was writing his cycle Rêves (1875) at the time when he was completing Šárka and From Bohemian Fields and Groves, perhaps the most remarkable of the six tone poems comprising Má vlast. Kabeláč was composing the two piano cycles, Op. 30 and Op. 38, while also focusing on Mystery of Time, his symphonic magnum opus, which in recent years has been discovered by some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, in Berlin, Cleveland, London and elsewhere.
Kabeláč’s life serves as a prime example of the fates that befell the Czech humanists, artists and intellectuals from the 1930s to the 1970s amid the turbulent historical events. While his music garnered success worldwide, he was silenced by the Communist regime in his homeland. Kabeláč’s style evolved from complex to simple, thus in many respects ushering in the accession of post-modernism and minimalism. As attested to by his cycle Motifs from Exotic Lands, he was boldly inspired by non-European traditional music. Following on from critically acclaimed Leoš Janáček (Gramophone Editor’s Choice) and Vítězslav Novák albums, Jan Bartoš is now presenting Kabeláč and Smetana in live recordings made at the Dvořák Hall of Prague’s Rudolfinum.

Jan Bartoš presents to the world little-known Czech piano gems


“Jan Bartoš’s playing of the preludes is magnificent, both in projecting the mesmerizing impetus of the opening and closing numbers and in realizing the delicately reimagined Impressionism of the third and fifth… While these pieces offer plenty of the bracing, nationalist Smetana, nearly all tend toward wistful reflection. Bartoš is an ideal interpreter here, providing abundant brilliance without sacrificing poetry… Beautifully recorded, this is one of the best and certainly most stimulating recordings of Czech piano music of recent years.”
BBC Music Magazine, April 2023

“Bartos passe sans peine de l’objectivité un peu distante de Kabelac à l’élégance, à la pudeur mais aussi au brio de Smetana.”
Diapason, May 2023

Miloslav Kabeláč
Eight Preludes for Piano, Op. 30
1. Preludio ostinato. Con moto eguale 02:13
2. Preludio meditativo. Moderato meditativo 03:49
3. Preludio sognante. Moderato sfumato 01:30
4. Preludio corale. Allegro 03:35
5. Preludio notturno. Adagio. Dellicatamente 04:07
6. Preludio volante. Prestissimo 02:05
7. Preludio arioso. Molto lento 03:42
8. Preludio impetuoso. Maestoso 03:43
Bedřich Smetana
Dreams. Six Characteristic Pieces for Piano
9. Faded Happiness 04:21
10. Consolation 04:40
11. In Bohemia. A Rural Scene 05:11
12. In the Salon 04:14
13. By the Castle 05:31
14. Bohemian Peasants‘ Festivities 04:42
Miloslav Kabeláč
Motifs from Exotic Lands for Piano, Op. 38
15. Indian Motif. Battle Song 02:03
16. Motif from Asia Minor 01:44
17. Pacific Motif. Burial Song 01:42
18. Javanese Motif. Ceremony 01:33
19. East Asian Motif. Flute Improvisation 02:07
20. Eskimo Motif. Lullaby 01:44
21. Arabian Motif. Dance 01:47
22. Brazilian Motif. Incantation 02:05
23. Motif from India. Lute Improvisation 01:24
24. Central Africa Motif. Black Drummers 01:23

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