On 26 May 2023, Supraphon will release an extensive 3-CD collection featuring a representative selection of recordings made by the distinguished Czech pianist and teacher Martin Ballý (b. 1954), as a soloist and chamber player of Ars Trio, a member of which he was along with the violinist Dana Vlachová (now of the Czech Trio) and the cellist Jan Páleníček (currently of the Smetana Trio). The remarkable set contains a number of archival recordings that will be released for the very first time.
In the 1980s, Ars Trio gave concerts in the majority of European countries and made numerous recordings for radio and television, as well as for international labels, with one of the most noteworthy being of the complete Antonín Dvořák piano trios for France’s BNL. As a soloist, Ballý always pursued a novel and inventive repertoire, largely encompassing contemporary Czech piano works, many of which he has premiered.
Martin Ballý has said that he gained invaluable experience during recording sessions with feted recording directors (Eduard Herzog, among others), and also pointed out how much he was influenced by his pupils (the pianists Jan Bartoš and Miroslav Sekera, and the conductors Marek Šedivý or Jiří Rožeň, to name but a few). When it comes to Josef Páleníček, who played a great role in his artistic development, Ballý has referred to him as an amicable “caring father”, adding that, after a wild phase, he attained such wisdom that nothing could fool him and he was able to get to the very core of things. And Páleníček was the one to have opened to him the worlds of Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů.
The bulk of the 3-CD set is constituted by recordings recently rediscovered at radio archives, including gems of Czech trio music (Dvořák, Novák, Martinů) and two remarkable global repertoire creations (Shostakovich, Mozart). The majority of the recordings, dating from between 1980 and 1992, are from the Czech Radio archives and are now being released on CD for the very first time, as well as on digital formats.