T. Murphy | San Jose, California United States | 11/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In an Amazon.com review of a different CD (the Naxos recording of Martinu's flute trio), someone parenthetically took a cheap shot at the pieces on this album, calling them "vacuous and annoying."Well, don't let that idiot put you off this CD. These pieces might not be as instantly accessible as some of Martinu's other chamber works, but they are all excellent pieces of music. I can see how the intensely contrapuntal textures and idiosyncratic melodic lines may seem overwhelming initially, but after a few listens these features disentangle themselves- the music is often 'busy', but this is because it is very detailed and (I think) beautiful. The Quartet for Oboe, Violin, Cello, and Piano is very fresh and lively, and the Piano Quartet No. 1 gets better every time I hear it."
An Artist Whose Time Will Come
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bohuslav Martinu seems to polarize even lovers of contemporary music. While there are those who dismiss his output as superficial, there are equally vociferous societies who maintain blogs on the internet that make Martinu an icon. Where he actually falls is probably somewhere in the middle, though this lovely album of his chamber music hopefully will convince some doubters of his worth.
Anyone living in the Southern California area has grown to know Martinu through the auspices of KUSC music guru Jim Svejda whose nightly broadcast Music Shelf opens with the third movement (Allegretto poco moderato) of the Martinu Piano Quartet No. 1 - that splendid piano solo that is gradually joined b the pulsating and quirky strings. It is a 'popular favorite' among Svejda's devotees and garners more questions to the radio station staff than any other question posed! The Piano Quartet is here performed by Rainer Moog (piano), Daniel Adni, Young-Chang Cho and Isabelle van Keulen and captures all the playful business of this charming work.
The other works on this well-recorded album include the Quartet for oboe, violin, cello & piano with Charmian Gadd, Joel Marangella, Alexander Ivashkin, Kathryn Selby, the lyrically dreamy Sonata for viola & piano with Daniel Adni, viola and once again Rainer Moog, piano. The final offering is one of the folk song inspired Quintet for 2 violins, 2 violas & cello with Charmian Gadd, Solomia Soroka, Rainer Moog, Young-Chang Cho, Theodore Kuchar.
For an introduction to the music of this strong composer this fine CD recorded at the 1994 Australian Festival of Chamber Music is a fine starting point. And then on to the symphonies... Recommended. Grady Harp, February 06
Excellent Chamber Music Find
rodboomboom | Dearborn, Michigan United States | 02/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recently heard on the radio the playing of the Oboe Quartet of this recording and was blown away with the lively and spirit of the peace.
Pleasantly surprised to find it on this truly budget price with additional chamber offeriings of this late 19th-early 20th century composer.
The additional offerings are well done by musicians at the 1194 Australian Chamber Festival. My favorite in addition to the Oboe Quartet is the Viola Sonata which is luscious and flowing with shades of his previous Rhapsody Concerto.
The Piano and String Quartets are fine, echoing Martinu's master: Roussel."
Fine selection of rare Martinu
G.D. | Norway | 02/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A miscellany of Martinu chamber music, and though none of the works are quite as good as his best string quartets or the second piano quintet, Martinu's mastery of the trademark well-constructed and rather hectic neo-classicism provides for always entertaining listening experiences. The oboe quartet is a case in point, a charming if slightly light-weight work with a marvelous opening theme. The viola sonata is cut from the same cloth; elegant and well-constructed in all its business. The string quintet is not quite on the same level; it is an early work which reveals some influence by French impressionism. The piano quartet dates from 1942 and is a fine if slightly anonymous work as well. Performances are fine, if a little rough along the edges, and the sound quality is life-like but unrefined. Still, this is a very worthwhile release, but newcomers to Martinu's chamber music are advised to pick up the 4th, 5th and 7th string quartet and the second piano quintet first."