Review by Edvin December 17, 2005 (8 of 10 found this review helpful)
|Apropos the thread...My list of favorite Classical Compositions not yet on SACD...here´s an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is.
It is difficult to review the music of Martinu since he was such an incredibly prolific composer and much of the music sounds similar. Me, I am a fan and I cherish my old Supraphon LP´s. I can´t get enough of all these Poco Allegros that motorically rushes forward. But that is only one side of this genius, there is this lyrical and gentle side as well.
In order to perform Martinu well you have to understand the value of rhythm. Not in the manner of Stravinsky, here it is more a Czech folk music lilt. And also how you phrase and accent the melodies. The conductor James Conlon knows all of this and puts in some masterful performances together with the piano trio, Trio Wanderer, and Tabea Zimmermann.
I haven´t heard the Ondine performance of Memorial for Lidice (don´t need another Bartok Concerto). This is a heartfelt performance played with great sensibility by the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne. The Concertino for piano trio and strings is a spirited work in a neoclassical style. Gorgeous playing and some wonderful music. Light and breezy, reminding us what life could be like. The relatively often played Rhapsody for viola and orchestra recieves a passionate performance.
The Concerto for piano trio and strings is somewhat more serious. A heavier piece with lots of shades of grey. This masterful music was first performed in 1963 after almost three decades of neglect.
My favorite piece on this sacd is the Concertino. James Conlon, seriously underrated, is a perfect conductor for this music and he has chosen a soloist and a piano trio that fully understand the essence of Martinu.
The sound is full and bright. The only problem is that the rear channels are almost inaudible. Even in surround mode it sounds like a two channel sacd, but a very good one.
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