Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano, H 303

Lento - Moderato - Allegro


  • Recorded: 14th May 2020
  • Record Place: The Dvořák Hall of Rudolfinum, Prague
  • First Release: 2023
  • (P) 2023 SUPRAPHON a.s.
  • Genre: Orchestral

Artists

  • music by: Bohuslav Martinů
  • violin: Josef Špaček
  • piano: Miroslav Sekera

Album

Josef Špaček, Miroslav Sekera, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Martinů: Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra, Violin Sonata No. 3, Five Short Pieces

Digital services

Catalogue Number: SU 4330-2
Published: 8th September 2023
Genre: Orchestral
Format: 1 CD
Josef Špaček – violin, Miroslav Sekera – piano, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor Petr Popelka

Bohuslav Martinů was a violinist himself, yet the piano colour in many of his symphonic scores is his actual signature. The two instruments are assigned solo roles in the Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra (1953), commissioned by Benno and Sylvia Rabinof, who duly premiered it in May 1954. Written concurrently with Symphony No. 6 (Fantaisies symphoniques), the remarkable work is hardly ever performed nowadays. Different is the case of Violin Sonata No. 3 (1944), created in the USA too, which has long been a staple of violinists’ repertoires worldwide. Amid the atmosphere of the imminent end of WWII and feeling homesick, Martinů conceived a monument whose duration is that of a symphony, a work teeming with contrastive drama and lyricism, and featuring a Dvořák-like nostalgia, evoking his Czech roots. In comparison with the two “American” works, the Cinq pièces brèves (1930), dating from Martinů’s Paris period, contain far rougher harmonies and piquancy, attesting to a penchant for the Charleston, as well as a propensity to the contrapuntal style. On their album, the globally renowned artists Josef Špaček and Miroslav Sekera present Martinů as an astute creator of chamber music and concertos, a composer both international and Czech, widely known and still being discovered alike.

Martinů’s music for violin and piano – a universe of intriguing contrasts

Reviews

“Špaček and Sekera are virtuosic in the opening movement and searching in the Adagio. There’s a special piquancy in their Scherzo, and all these elements are combined in the finale, where Špaček’s violin tone has shining poise.”
BBC Music Magazine, November 2023

“On paper Špaček’s tried-and-tested partnership with Miroslav Sekera faces serious competition in the Sonata, although the Czech duo benefit from more modern sound than big-name rivals… All told, a fascinating, unpredictable listen.”
Gramophone, Awards issue 2023

“Josef Spacek a eu le flair de s’adjoindre le splendide Miroslav Sekera. Leur Sonate no 3 est époustouflante. Les interprètes volent, au fil de tempos très rapides, d’une aile aussi flamboyante que cursive, alternant diaprures, chant déployé, émotion poétique et pudeurs ravéliennes (l’Adagio !). Leur ascension nuancée en vagues successives vers l’incandescence du finale relève du miracle.”
Diapason, November 2023

“Adagio grave et sensuel rappelle un thème de la Symphonie n° 4. Le lyrisme est ici à un niveau élevé, entre un violon virtuose aux accents méditatifs et un piano qui se tient sur la réserve. L’Allegro conclusif oscille entre drame et tension, entre flots de joie populaire et dynamisme orchestral qui mènent tout droit à un superbe apogée… Ici, Josef Špaček (°1986), qui a été finaliste du Concours Reine Elisabeth 2012, et son partenaire Miroslav Sekera (°1975) offrent beaucoup de finesse d’esprit au dialogue concertant, soutenu par Petr Popelka (°1986) qui, à la tête de la phalange de la Radio de Prague, met bien en évidence cet échange inspiré, entre tension et détente.”
Crescendo, November 2023

“Ouvert sur un mystère avant l’efflorescence du violon (et comme Josef Špaček l’envole sur son magnifique Guarneri del Gesu, le « Le Brun »), l’Adagio vole en éclats dans un inextinguible vivo avant de s’épanouir en un bref choral, puis le mystère revient… Interprétation irrésistible qui supplante celle de Bohuslav Matoušek, Karel Košárek et de Christopher Hogwood (Hypérion), affaire de style, de raptus, simplement de brio.”
Artalinna, December 2023

“On découvrira son lyrisme majestueux comme sa tendresse mélodique (Adagio), les deux solistes, Josef Špaček et Miroslav Sekera, soutenus par un orchestre cohérent et généreux, défendant cette partition kaléidoscopique avec une énergique conviction.”
Classica, February 2024

Bohuslav Martinů
Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra, H 342
1. Poco allegro 08:26
2. Adagio 08:13
3. Allegro 09:34
Bohuslav Martinů
Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano, H 303
4. Poco allegro 05:46
5. Adagio 07:12
6. Scherzo 06:05
7. Lento - Moderato - Allegro 07:14
Bohuslav Martinů
Five Short Pieces for Violin and Piano, H 184
8. Allegro moderato 01:49
9. Andante 03:01
10. Allegretto moderato 02:15
11. Allegro vivo - Presto 01:16
12. Allegro - Poco moderato 02:17

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