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Netopil: Martinů – Les Fresques, The Parables, Estampes (24/48 FLAC)

Netopil: Martinů - Les Fresques, The Parables, Estampes (24/48 FLAC)
Netopil: Martinů – Les Fresques, The Parables, Estampes (24/48 FLAC)


Composer: Bohuslav Martinů
Orchestra: Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Tomáš Netopil
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Supraphon
Catalogue: SU42952
Release: 2021
Size: 694 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Overture, H.345

Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca
02. Andante poco moderato
03. Adagio
04. Poco allegro

05. The Rock, H.363

The Parables
06. The Parable of a Sculpture. Andante pastorale
07. The Parable of a Garden. Poco moderato
08. The Parable of a Labyrinth. Poco allegro

09. Andante
10. Adagio – Allegro moderato
11. Poco Allegro

The pieces Bohuslav Martinů composed between 1953 to 1958, towards the end of his life – Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca, The Parables and Les Estampes – are profound, extraordinary, truly mature gems. Their brilliance, however, is yet to be fully appreciated. The director of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jakub Čížek, said: “The recording of mature Bohuslav Martinů works we have made with Tomáš Netopil is another contribution of ours dedicated to mapping the music of Czech 20th-century giants. There is never enough we can do for these composers and their creation!”

Bohuslav Martinů wrote the works featured on the new album following his return to Europe from the USA. The conductor Tomáš Netopil said: “I am fascinated by the wide range of compositional styles Martinů applied in these diverse pieces dating from his late creative period. Following the Baroque-like Overture, the listeners can immerse themselves in the opulent symphonic sound of Les Fresques, in which intense expression is brought about by dividing the string component into fine microworlds, which further enhances the full-blooded orchestral sound. The symphonic prelude The Rock constitutes an essential piece in the mosaic of Bohuslav Martinů’s late music. The end of it indicates a direct thematic inspiration for his next, more extensive opus – The Parables. And when it comes to Les Estampes, the final work on the album, its tenderness and intimate nature reveal yet another facet of Bohuslav Martinů’s com­positional bounty, highlighting his great mastery”.

Recorded at Studio 1 of Czech Radio, Prague, 11–12 January, 30 April – 2 May 2021. “And the sculptor fixes the likeness of a face in clay. And you walked by and passed before his work, and you glanced at the face and then walked on your way. And then it happened that you were not quite the same. Slightly changed, but changed.” The motto Bohuslav Martinů chose from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Citadelle for one of his Parables also poetically defines the transformational power of his final orchestral opuses. Following the six symphonies composed in the USA, he wrote them in Europe, much closer to his homeland. The orchestral triptych Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca was inspired by the work of the Italian Renaissance master. As Martinů himself put it: “The frescoes harbour a peculiar kind of solemn and rigid tranquillity, abounding in strange, serene and moving poetry; it is the darkened coloured atmosphere I strove to express in music.” The Parables is another piece in which Martinů reflected his philosophical ideas, with each of its three movements treating an allegory of life and human quest in the world. The symphonic prelude The Rock refers to the landing place of the English settlers who came to North America in 1619, as well as Martinů’s own fate as a homeless pilgrim. Martinů’s very last symphonic work, Estampes, comes across more as a fine drawing interwoven with silence than an impasto, as is the case of his previous orchestral pieces. These brilliant, extraordinary Martinů works are yet to gain the recognition they so richly deserve.

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