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  • Martinu: Piano Concertos, Nos. 1, 2 & 4
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Martinu: Piano Concertos, Nos. 1, 2 & 4


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Audio CD, November 16, 2010
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Piano Concerto No. 4, H. 358, "Incantation": I. Poco allegro 9:44Album Only
listen  2. Piano Concerto No. 4, H. 358, "Incantation": II. Poco moderato10:37Album Only
listen  3. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Major, H. 149: I. Allegro moderato10:43Album Only
listen  4. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Major, H. 149: II. Andante 7:46$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Major, H. 149: III. Allegro10:46Album Only
listen  6. Piano Concerto No. 2, H. 237: I. Allegro moderato 9:43Album Only
listen  7. Piano Concerto No. 2, H. 237: II. Poco andante 7:38$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Piano Concerto No. 2, H. 237: III. Poco allegro 7:24$0.89  Buy MP3 

Frequently Bought Together

Martinu: Piano Concertos, Nos. 1, 2 & 4 + Martinu: Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 5 / Concertino
Price for both: $25.63

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Product Details

  • Performer: Giorgio Koukl
  • Orchestra: Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Arthur Fagen
  • Composer: Bohuslav Martinu
  • Audio CD (November 16, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0043XCKS0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,523 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The music of Bohuslav Martinu, whose complete solo piano works have also been recorded by Giorgio Koukl for Naxos, can ring like bells, shimmer like a mirage or pulse with sheer rhythmic vitality as is the case with these three piano concertos, where high

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David A. Wend on January 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bonhuslav Martinu's Fourth Piano Concerto (Incantations) is his most innovative. It was completed in 1956 and was premiered that year in New York with pianist Rudolf Firkusny and Leopold Stokowski conducting the Symphony of the Air. The concerto is in two movements and opens with a tense melody played by the orchestra. The piano enters with a shimmering melody but the tense theme remains, broken by a melody by a solo oboe before the opening melody returns. The second movement is a dialogue between piano and orchestra; they pass melodies back and forth, colorfully elaborating them.

The First Piano Concerto comes from 1925, and compared with the terse Fourth, this concerto is like a pastoral. The music echoes good humor ala Francis Poulenc and Sergei Prokofiev. The music is tuneful and charming, written in a neo-baroque style. The first movement centers on a joyous melody passed between piano and orchestra while the second movement has a reflective and peaceful melody at its core. The music slowly develops to a shattering Lisztian cadenza before returning to the calm of the opening bars. The finale returns to the playful mood of the opening movement with a brief review of the middle movement melody and ends with the soloist performing some brilliant passage work with the orchestra jubilantly restating the main melody

The Second Piano Concerto comes from 1934 when Martinu was living in Paris. This concerto is more serious that the bubbly first but there still remains lightness to the music. The first movement reflects Prokofiev and Aaron Copland`s influence, even occasionally taking on a romantic feel. The middle movement is peaceful and flowing, developing slowly to a dramatic cadenza.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. Chiles on March 7, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've often likened the music of Martinu to the sound of Dvorak played underwater. One critic said it sounded like a chinese night club under water. Not that I dislike it, on the contrary, it reflects his native Czech heritage and a style firmly in sync with the 20th century. I've heard and enjoyed all his symphonies and the Frescos of Piero della Francesca, but the piano concertos are quite a revelation. I checked out the Naxos recordings on the advice of a musician friend who regrets they are not more popular with concert audiences, thus difficult to program.

These recordings are by an orchestra that could use a few more string players to beef up its sound, but the musicians are very committed and the performances well recorded in a spacious acoustic, but full of instrumental detail. Highly recommended for those in search of some fresh and exciting repertoire. These pieces have a decidedly romantic character with some spicy 20th century harmonies and ample opportunities for the soloist to express his virtuosity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G.D. TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 26, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Martinu wrote at least 25 concertos for various instruments and combinations of instruments, and there is a case to be made for the claim that it was one of his most successful genres. His five piano concertos span most of his career, and the disc at hand exhibits both his development as a composer and the personal mode of expression he retained throughout. And they are all quite irresistible, at least when given the kind of advocacy they receive here.

The fourth concerto, which opens the disc, is sometimes claimed to be the best, though I am not completely sure I can agree – perhaps it is just a tougher nut to crack, and I haven’t quite managed, but I have to admit that I sometimes lose sight of the overall point – which is not to say that there isn’t a lot to admire or enjoy here. Cast in two big movements, most of the music is based (not unusually for Martinu) on brief melodic cells that are repeated, permuted and varied upon throughout – the effect being that of building a large structure, with long, floating lines, out a mass of small bricks, though again I sometimes fail, I think, to quite make out that structure, especially in the first movement. In the second movement the material seems scattered at first, but Martinu gradually gathers the threads together to generate powerful – if not particularly fast – forward momentum (despite the conversational character of the material).

The first piano concerto is typical of Martinu’s style in the twenties – urbane, chatty, neo-classical (or neo-baroque), quirky but elegant, with clear textures and invigorating rhythms. The first movement is buoyant and very enjoyable with plenty of French humor without being superficial.
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Martinu: Piano Concertos, Nos. 1, 2 & 4
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