Jan Novák: Orchestral Music, Volume One

Catalogue No: TOCC0551
EAN/UPC: 5060113445513
Release Date: 2022-06-03
Composer: Jan Novák
Artists: Alice Rajnohová, Ensemble Opera Diversa, Gabriela Tardonová, Kristýna Znamenáčková, Lucie Schinzelová, Vilém Veverka

The music of the Moravian composer Jan Novák (1921–84) – a natural successor to Bohuslav Martinů, with whom he briefly studied – is nothing less than life-enhancing: it has Martinů’s rhythmic charge and his unflagging energy. And although Novák had such difficulties with the authorities in Communist Czechoslovakia that he chose to emigrate, there is an infectious optimism, a joie de vivre, in these three works that is instantly communicative.

Alice Rajnohová, piano (Tracks 1–3)
Vilém Veverka, oboe (Tracks 4–6)
Lucie Schinzelová, piano duet – primo (Tracks 7–9)
Kristýna Znamenáčková, piano duet – secondo (Tracks 7-9)
Ensemble Opera Diversa
Gabriela Tardonová, conductor

Listen To This Recording:

    Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra (1949)*

  1. I Allegro sostenuto. Allegro con spirito
  2. II Andante pastorale
  3. III Allegro
  4. Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra (1952)*

  5. I Allegro
  6. II Andante sostenuto
  7. III Allegro
  8. Concentus biiugis for piano four hands and string orchestra (1977)

  9. I Allegro energico
  10. II Lento
  11. III Allegro


2 reviews for Jan Novák: Orchestral Music, Volume One

  1. :

    ‘The soloists acquit themselves in style. Alice Rajnohová has the full measure of the Piano Concerto and Vilém Veverka, as one would expect of the Czech Lands’ leading oboist, plays with agility and tonal lustre. The two-piano team of Lucie Schinzelová and Kristýna Znamenáčková marry athleticism with sensitivity in their work. The orchestra is a new one to me, Ensemble Opera Diversa, a Brno-based ensemble well versed in new music and theatre projects, for whom the music of Novák is a central concern, and which is directed by Gabriela Tardonová. Though the works were recorded in 2015 and 2019 in two different locations you really wouldn’t know. Tardonová proves a splendid conduit for Novák’s music and the whole disc cements his reputation as the most notable and successful of all Martinů’s post-War students.’

    —Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

  2. :

    ‘The Ensemble are Brno-based and have made something of a speciality of playing this composer’s music. Certainly they sound very at home in the idiom. […]

    Overall, another enterprising and valuable Toccata release – very well played and presented with care and dedication by all concerned. Future volumes will be fascinating to hear.’

    —Nick Barnard, MusicWeb International

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