Firkusny plays Mussorgsky, Schubert, Martinu, Chopin & Smetana

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Nice program: Schubert, Martinu, Mussorgsky, and then encores by Chopin and Smetana. Who else could have thought of it except Rudolf Firkusný? Born and trained in Moravia, the pianist made his American debut in 1938 and made America his home after first the Nazis and then the Communists took over his native country. But his expatriate status didn't diminish Firkusný's enthusiasm for the music of his homeland, and as this 1980 recital given in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall shows, he continued to champion Czech music long after he given up the idea of returning. Though Firkusný's performance of Schubert's "Drei Klavierstücke" is soulful and idiomatic, and his performance of...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Nice program: Schubert, Martinu, Mussorgsky, and then encores by Chopin and Smetana. Who else could have thought of it except Rudolf Firkusný? Born and trained in Moravia, the pianist made his American debut in 1938 and made America his home after first the Nazis and then the Communists took over his native country. But his expatriate status didn't diminish Firkusný's enthusiasm for the music of his homeland, and as this 1980 recital given in London's Queen Elizabeth Hall shows, he continued to champion Czech music long after he given up the idea of returning. Though Firkusný's performance of Schubert's "Drei Klavierstücke" is soulful and idiomatic, and his performance of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" is colorful and virtuosic, his performance of Martinu's "Fantaisie et Toccata" is simply breathtaking. Though not always the neatest of technicians or the most ardent of interpreters, Firkusný tears into Martinu's piece with panache and passion to spare. With its torrents of notes, cascades of chords, and combinations of propulsive rhythms and surging tempos, the "Fantaisie et Toccata" sounds like Debussy's "Isle Joyeuse" times two, and Firkusný's rip-snorting performance understandably brought the London audience to its feet. The rest of the recital is always interesting and often exhilarating, but Firkusný's "Fantaisie et Toccata" should be heard by any fan of great piano playing. BBC Music's live sound is oddly both slightly distant and very present.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/13/2008
  • Label: Bbc Legends
  • UPC: 684911423822
  • Catalog Number: 4238
  • Sales rank: 202,558

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Pieces (3) for piano (impromptus), D. 946 - Franz Schubert & Rudolf Firkusny (21:14)
  2. 4–5 Fantaisie & Toccata for piano, H. 281 - Bohuslav Martinu & Rudolf Firkusny (13:40)
  3. 6–21 Pictures at an Exhibition (Kartinki s vïstavski), for piano - Modest Mussorgsky & Rudolf Firkusny (29:06)
  4. 7 Mazurka for piano No. 41 in C sharp minor, Op. 63/3, CT. 91 - Frédéric Chopin & Rudolf Firkusny (2:19)
  5. 8 Furiant for piano in A minor, JB 1:114/1 - Bedrich Smetana & Rudolf Firkusny (5:06)
  6. 9 Concert Etude for piano in C major, JB 1:73 - Bedrich Smetana & Rudolf Firkusny (4:12)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rudolf Firkusny Primary Artist
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