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Oct 11, 2013 7:00 PM

In a Lyrical Vein

CONCERT. A selection of Czech music from the 20/21st centuries .A concert by cellist Petr Nouzovsky and pianist Patricia Goodson playing broad range of styles from neo-Romantic to the avant-garde.

Petr Nouzovský is one of the foremost Czech cellists of his generation, sought after for his deeply expressive and passionate playing. After his studies in Prague, Dresden and Madrid, he developed his artistry in master classes with Boris Pergamenschikov, David Geringas and Mstislav Rostropovich. As a soloist he has performed all over the world – from Moscow to Los Angeles, from the Concertgebouw to the Teatro Coliseo, from Santander festival to the Prague Spring Festival. His busy concert schedule includes over 150 performances a year. His sensitive artistry is featured on over 15 CD recordings and numerous radio and television broadcasts.

American pianist Patricia Goodson is active as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and North America. Her playing, praised by critics as 'powerful and seductive' and 'breathtakingly virtuosic' has been featured on radio (NPR, BBC, Czech Radio and others) and television (US, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic). Ms. Goodson has lived in Prague since 1991, and her repertoire includes music by Czech composers of all periods.  On December 1, 2013 Brilliant Classics will release her 4-CD set of the complete piano works of Josef Bohuslav Foerster, marking the first time this Czech composer`s piano music has ever been commercially recorded.


In a Lyrical Vein  - A selection of Czech music from the 20/21st centuries. 

A rich vein of melodic invention can be traced in Czech music from folk song to classical (and pop) compositions of the present day.  With the advent of modernism and rise of the avant-garde, melodic expression sometimes took a back seat to other musical (and non-musical) elements, but the lyrical impulse continued unabated, veiled perhaps in fresh harmonic and rhythmic textures, but present and potent nonetheless in works of many composers.  The program offers a kaleidoscopic look at several facets of lyricism, as it passed, so to speak, through the prism of very different Czech composers` sensibilities.

It begins with Josef Bohuslav Foerster `s brief “Melodie” written originally for piano solo in 1892.  Foerster`s lifespan (1859-1951) extended to nearly a century, and he never abandoned the “Romantic” musical vocabulary of his youth.   Influenced by his friends Dvořák and Mahler, his great love was song, and he developed a personal, often introspective style which was considered old-fashioned for much of his lifetime.  The beauty and richness of his large output is only now being rediscovered.

Leoš Janáček`s (1854 - 1928) deep interest in Russian culture and equally profound fascination with Slavic folk music and speech rhythms found expression in “Pohádka” or Fairy Tale, inspired by scenes from Vasily Zhukovsky`s epic poem  “A Tale of Tsar Berendei”.  In three movements, the piano weaves transparent, idiosyncratic harmonies around the lyrical voice of the cello.

Scottish composer Geraldine Mucha (1917 - 2012) studied composition at the Royal Academy in London before moving to Prague with her husband, writer Jiří Mucha, in 1945.  As the daughter-in-law of Czech painter Alphonse Mucha, she acted as “keeper of the flame” of the Mucha artistic legacy in her later years, in addition to her musical activities.  She created this arrangement of her “For Erika” especially for Petr Nouzovský and Patricia Goodson.

Roman Haas (*1985), a representative of the younger generation of Czech composers, is known for his communicative, directly emotional style.  Unlike the typical “theme and variations”, the theme of his “Variations on a Moravian Song” is not revealed until the end of the piece, and even then only slips in quietly in the piano part.  We throw out a special challenge for Czechs - and students of Czech - in the audience to identify the song on which the piece is based. 

Josef Adamík (1947-2009) studied piano and composition at the Janáček Academy in Brno and taught music in the remote Moravian town of Valašský Klobouk.  From May1998 through January 1999, he wrote his  twenty three “Remembrances of Better Times”, short pieces loosely based on Baroque forms and idioms, after a twenty-year break from composition.  A deeply sensitive person, he took his own life after struggles with severe depression. 

Viktor Kalabis (1923-2006), regarded as one of the most important Czech composers of the 20th century, was commissioned to write his Rondo drammatico by the Prague Spring Festival for its cello competition in 2000.   Kalabis first gained international recognition in Paris with his cello concerto in 1956, and went on to write five symphonies, seven string quartets and numerous other works.  While repudiating the romanticism of Foerster`s generation, he sought to write in a communicative and directly expressive manner. The neo-classicism of Stravinsky and Hindemith influenced his early work as did Janáček and Martinů.

In 1941, Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) wrote his second cello sonata in Jamaica, Long Island.   He composed it for his friend Frank Rybka, who, as an earlier immigrant to the US, helped Martinů and his wife adjust to wartime exile and American customs.  Propulsive rhythms, jagged contours and colorful, at times astringent, harmonies undergird and perhaps obscure the asymmetrical, often long-breathed melodies which abound in the piece.


Nouzovský/Goodson Duo


In a Lyrical Vein - a selection of 20th centuryCzech Music


Melodie / Melody (1892)                                Josef Bohuslav Foerster


Pohádka / Fairy Tale                                       Leoš Janáček

        1. Con moto

        2. Con moto

        3. Allegro


For Erica                                                            Geraldine Mucha


Meditation No. 1 from `Mass` (1971)     Leonard Bernstein                                                                                  

Variace na moravskou píseň/                  Roman Haas

Variations on a Moravian song



Rondo drammatico                                 Viktor Kalabis


Vzpomínky na lepší časy    (výběr)           Josef Adamík Remembrances of Better Times (selection)                                

        Preludio I/ Prelude I                                      

        Preludio II/ Prelude II                                            

        Aria I

        Elegie/ Elegy

        Notturno/ Nocturne

        Preludio III


Sonáte pro violoncello a klavír č. 2         Bohuslav Martinů

Sonata for cello and piano no. 2



        Allegro commodo






321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Oct 11, 2013 7:00 PM


Czech Center

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