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Martinu: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 5 Complete Piano Music Vol. 7 Giorgio Koukl, Piano
 
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Martinu: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 5 Complete Piano Music Vol. 7 Giorgio Koukl, Piano

24 Feb 2009 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
5:17
30
2
5:22
30
3
5:20
30
4
6:01
30
5
4:38
30
6
7:13
30
7
4:54
30
8
2:11
30
9
4:00
30
10
2:08
30
11
3:48

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 24 Feb 2009
  • Label: Naxos
  • Copyright: (C) 2009 Naxos
  • Total Length: 50:52
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001RVZPR4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Mar 2009
Format: Audio CD
When I wrote my review of the fourth volume of piano music of Martinu played by Giorgio Koukl I said it was the last in the series. Martinu: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 4 But since then some more music has been discovered and Koukl has now recorded this disc and two others yet to be issued. Both groups of works of this disc -- the six Polkas 1916, H. 101, and Five Waltzes, H. 5 -- were early works; indeed the Waltzes had never been published. Most of them do not sound much like the Martinu of later years, although there are hints of the mature Martinu along the way.

The Polkas 1916 were written in the midst of World War I. The first sounds a little like Dvorák except that it has delightfully wicked varying phrase-lengths that catch one a little off guard. If I heard the second polka without knowing the composer I would indeed guess that it is by Dvorák. There is an undercurrent of Chopin in the third, and in the fourth one would guess that the overture to Smetana's Bartered Bride was the model. The fifth sounds much more like the later Martinu, with plagal cadences, bell sounds, a little of the ticky-tocky rhythms that so often drives his music. In the fifth we get back to the sound of the first with the unexpected phrase lengths and the varied phrase endings, with the addition of some adventuresome modulations. All of this music is unfailingly cheerful, folk-tinged and completely delightful.

Five Waltzes are from Martinu's earliest years, probably having been written in 1910 when the composer was just nineteen. They are definitely simpler in construction than the Polkas, being regular in meter and more harmonically transparent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Newly Discovered Piano Music by Martinu 3 Mar 2009
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I wrote my review of the fourth volume of piano music of Martinu played by Giorgio Koukl I said it was the last in the series. Martinu: Complete Piano Music, Vol. 4 But since then some more music has been discovered and Koukl has now recorded this disc and two others yet to be issued. Both groups of works of this disc -- the six Polkas 1916, H. 101, and Five Waltzes, H. 5 -- were early works; indeed the Waltzes had never been published. Most of them do not sound much like the Martinu of later years, although there are hints of the mature Martinu along the way.

The Polkas 1916 were written in the midst of World War I. The first sounds a little like Dvorák except that it has delightfully wicked varying phrase-lengths that catch one a little off guard. If I heard the second polka without knowing the composer I would indeed guess that it is by Dvorák. There is an undercurrent of Chopin in the third, and in the fourth one would guess that the overture to Smetana's Bartered Bride was the model. The fifth sounds much more like the later Martinu, with plagal cadences, bell sounds, a little of the ticky-tocky rhythms that so often drives his music. In the fifth we get back to the sound of the first with the unexpected phrase lengths and the varied phrase endings, with the addition of some adventuresome modulations. All of this music is unfailingly cheerful, folk-tinged and completely delightful.

Five Waltzes are from Martinu's earliest years, probably having been written in 1910 when the composer was just nineteen. They are definitely simpler in construction than the Polkas, being regular in meter and more harmonically transparent. But there are occasional harmonic progressions that presage the later Martinu, as in the final measure of the first waltz. Oddly there are more than a few allusions to Spanish music, with guitar-like accompaniments and Spanish-Moorish melismas. The second waltz is decidedly more chromatic than the first and this trend continues through the rest of the waltzes. There are even some of the side-slipping harmonies reminiscent of Richard Strauss in No. 3, and in No. 5 this is even more evident. The fourth waltz is mildly impressionistic à la Debussy's own Spanish music. I found these five pieces to be very engaging.

Giorgio Koukl is a Prague-born pianist and composer who has lived many years in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, Switzerland. It is not surprising, perhaps, that the pianist has taken up the music of the Czech Martinu who was also an earlier immigrant to Switzerland. His playing is, as in the earlier volumes, sparkling, clean, open-faced and entirely enchanting. This CD is an easy recommendation.

Scott Morrison
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