Saturday, June 10 / 7:30 p.m. / Church of St. Barbara
Martinů / Dvořák / Schubert
Bohuslav Martinů: Variation on a Slovak Folk Song
Petr Nouzovský – cello, Terezie Fialová – piano
Vítězslav Novák: Quintet for Piano and Strings in A minor, Op. 12
Terezie Fialová – piano, Graffe Quartet
I. Allegro molto moderato
III. Allegro risoluto
Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C major, Op. 163
Graffe Quartet, Petr Nouzovský– cello
I. Allegro ma non troppo
III. Scherzo. Presto – Trio. Andante sostenuto
Works that Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) wrote for cello are many – evidently, the composer must have been particularly fond of this instrument. His legacy of works in this field comprises concertos, sonatas and other works with piano accompaniment, including two sets of variations. The Slovak folk song that he used as the model for a series of virtuoso variations, is rhapsodic and free from constraint, elegiac in mood, embued with a sense of longing. Martinů, who had a profound affinity towards folklore, was definitely captivated by this song´s peculiar modality with an underlying recitative character. The variations´ piano accompaniment echoes a stylized cimbalom sound. In the last year of his life, Martinů contributed a timeless jewel to the cello repertoire.
Folklore inspiration is just as strongly present in the Piano Quintet in A minor of Vítězslav Novák (1870-1949). Written in 1897, it is the first of a series of works from the composer´s “Moravian” period. Its music clearly reflects the spell generated by the region´s landscape, its inhabitants, and their melodies some of which projected into this composition.
The String Quintet by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) is his last important work. In his lifetime, Schubert was respected most notably for his output of lieder, whereas his chamber and symphonic works had to wait for full recognition for several subsequent decades. Accordingly, this quintet, too, was first publicly performed only in 1850, and its publication followed three years later. Its extensive first movement, filled with surprising harmonic turns, is followed by a second movement that is at once lofty and turbulent, a scherzo with an almost symphonic impact, and a finale brought to its close in a manner that is truly exceptionally bold for its time. It is more than justified for this quintet to rank as a sterling product of chamber music.
sleeve-note: Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka