Album detail
Catalogue number: SU 4197-2

On Wednesday 19 April 2017, the pianist Jitka Čechová, a member of the Smetana Trio, took over at Kings Place in London the BBC Music Magazine Chamber Award for the album of the complete Bohuslav Martinů piano trios. It was the second time the ensemble has won the prestigious accolade, following the one in 2007, for its recording of Antonín Dvořák’s trios. The Smetana Trio’s album featuring Bohuslav Martinů’s music has garnered international acclaim ever since its release: it has previously received the Diapason d’Or and has been named BBC Music Magazine’s Disc of the Month, the Sunday Times’ Album of the Week and Harmonie’s CHOICE.

The pianist Jitka Čechová said: “We are really happy, for two reasons. First and foremost, we are pleased that owing to the BBC Music Magazine Award many more stages worldwide will now feature Bohuslav Martinů’s singular music in their programmes on a more regular basis. Martinů’s piano trios certainly deserve the attention of ensembles all over the world, and the album’s success may inspire them to include the music in their repertoires. And from our personal point of view, we are naturally delighted that our endeavour to render Martinů’s chamber music as attractively as possible has been appreciated. The trios are really variegated, each of them possessing a totally different atmosphere, thus allowing the performers to show the amplitude of colours of Martinů’s com­positional styles. We were allured to and greatly enjoyed uncovering the pieces’ emotional profundity, many a time veiled in highly complex rhythmic and polyphonic structures, yet always retaining the composer’s Bohemian-Moravian poetic soul.”

Ten years ago, the Smetana Trio received its first BBC Music Magazine Chamber Award, for an album of Antonín Dvořák’s piano trios. “It is an amazing feeling. We consider the success to be a confirmation of our work being meaningful, as well as of our correct apprehension of the legacy of the Czech musical giants. An awareness of that in which the virtue of composers born in the very heart of Europe rests, in connection with the understanding of performers hailing from the same region. We are lucky indeed that the Smetana Trio has succeeded in putting together three players who as musicians breathe and create in a precious symbiosis.”

In the near future, the Smetana Trio is scheduled to make several tours abroad, including of England, where it will appear at the Wigmore Hall in London, as well as of Germany, Spain and Italy. The ensemble will again be visiting the USA, where it will perform in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago and Philadelphia. As regards the Czech Republic, the Smetana Trio will appear at the international music festival in Český Krumlov and other major events. In the next season, it is scheduled to give concerts at the Prague Spring (2018) and Dvořák Prague (2019) festivals.

The 21 CDs that were nominated for the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2017 were released by 19 labels from all over the world. Every year, there are seven main competition categories: Instrumental, Chamber, Orchestral, Choral, Vocal, Opera and Concerto. The nominated titles represent the best of the more than 1,500 recordings which were reviewed in BBC Music Magazine during the course of the previous year. The albums shortlisted this year were made by such stellar artists as Mahan Esfahani, Rolf Lislevand, the Danish String Quartet, the Escher String Quartet, Nicolas Altstaedt, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, John Wilson, Barbara Hannigan and Dimitris Tiliakos. The winners were announced at the BBC Music Magazine Awards gala evening on 19 April at Kings Place in London. The BBC Music Magazine Awards are only earmarked for classical music and are unique in that the main categories are voted for by the public. The voting took place on bbcmusicmagazi­

The Smetana Trio is made up of the pianist Jitka Čechová, the violinist Jiří Vodička and the cellist Jan Páleníček.