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Bohuslav Martinu
Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4 "Incantation"
Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca



Booklet with liner notes in English and German


November 2009

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1158-2


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Track listing

Overture, H. 345

Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 2, H. 237
I. Allegro moderato

II. Poco andante

III. Poco allegro

Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca, H. 352
I. Andante poco moderato

II. Adagio

III. Poco allegro

Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 4 "Incantation", H. 358
I. Poco allegro

II. Poco moderato

Also recommended...


Classic FM 'Disc of the Month'

Press review

Magical Martinu (...) Martinu's score can have you walking a few inches taller or finding a spring in your step. (...) Here's a perfect introduction to him.
Andrew Mellor, Classic FM Magazine, February 2010, Disc of the Month

Ashkenazy et Kolinsky (...) s'entendent remarquablement pour célébrer cette fête néoclassique (Concerto no. 2) qui évoque Stravinsky et Roussel.
Pierre-E. Barbier, Diapason, février 2010

Selbstbewusste Pianisten-Virtuosität im engagierten Wettstreit mit einem stilistisch vielseitig beanspruchten Orchester (...) Die Einspielungen haben Atmosphäre, Atem und Engagement, das sich bisweilen zu glühender Intensität steigert.
Reinmar Wagner, Musik & Theater, Januar/Februar 2010

If you are looking for a single recently recorded disc to represent Martinu then look no further.
Rob Barnett, MusicWeb-International, February 2010

As fine a Martinu release as has been released in this 50th anniversary year. (...) Ashkenazy responds to (Les Fresques's) rich and radiant atmosphere with a reading with real verve. (...) two of the finest Martinu concerto performances to have come my way for some time. (...) The Basle Symphony Orchestra play superbly. Thoroughly recommended.
Guy Rickards, Gramophone, January 2010

This disc showcases some of Martinu's most intriguing and appealing music for piano and orchestra.
Robert Moon, Audiophile Audition, December 28, 2009

The two piano concertos receive splendid performances, and they are marvelous works--certainly two of the finest 20th-century compositions for piano and orchestra. (...) Robert Kolinsky plays the piano part with a winning combination of improvisational fantasy and firm rhythm (...) while Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Basel orchestra accompany colorfully. (...) This well-engineered disc deserves very serious consideration. Recommended.
David Hurwitz,, December 2009

Vladimir Ashkenazy houkuttelee Baselin sinfoniaorkesteri sielukasta, muhevaa soittoa (...) tärkeät rajapinnat erottuvat, samoin Robert Kolinskyn napakka ja menohaluinen pianismi.
Kare Eskola, Rondo Klassinen musiikkilehti, 12/2009

Ashkenazy (...) handles the very talented, young Sinfonieorchester Basel through this challenging, but rewarding world of Bohuslav Martinu.
Sterling Beeaff, KBAQ, November 29, 2009

(Incantation) sounds like no other piano concerto I've ever heard, and this is a stunningly good recording.
Robert Johnson, Radio New Zealand, November 22 & 27, 2009

Keinen Zweifel kann es geben, dass die (...) Aufnahme Referenzcharakter trägt.
Sigfried Schibli, Baseler Zeitung, 9. Oktober 2009

Complete description

Download a free podcast on this release by Raymond Bisha (courtesy Naxos)

This CD release pays tribute to Bohuslav Martinů on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death. Star conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy leads the Sinfonieorchester Basel through a selection of masterpieces of this great Czech-born composer, who died in Switzerland in 1959.

The Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4 "Incantation" feature acclaimed pianist and Martinů expert Robert Kolinsky as soloist. U.S. journalist David Hurwitz once called the latter piece, "one of the [20th] century's most exciting and unusual scores for piano and orchestra." Also included are the Overture H. 245, as well as Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca, which remains one of Martinů's most performed works. This orchestral trilogy draws its inspiration from Martinů's 1954 visit to Arezzo and exudes the composer's impressions of the basilica San Francesco with its famous frescoes by Piero della Francesca.

This recording was produced in association with the Internationale Musikfesttage B. Martinů in Basel, Switzerland, and is released to coincide with the 15th festival's opening. The booklet contains expert liner notes by Aleš Březina, director of the Bohuslav Martinů Institute in Prague, and rare photographs published with kind permission by the Bohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička.

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