Live recordings

Bohuslav Martinů: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 “Incantations“, H 358
Josef Suk: Fantastic Scherzo, Op. 25

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

Sir Charles Mackerras

Emil Leichner - piano

live on 22nd May, 2003, Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum

B. Martinů: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 “Incantation“,<br />J. Suk: Fantastic Scherzo

Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) is one of those composers whose style of piano composition is highly distinctive. Martinů wrote his Incantations in New York from 1955 to 1956. It was commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation in Chicago. The composer later described the piece: “In Incantations I am trying to write a symphony for solo piano and orchestra and to break the traditional mould of the piano concerto in order to distance myself from a geometric static form which does not allow the imagination to develop freely.“

Emil Leichner is an outstanding soloist as well as a chamber player acclaimed both at home and abroad. For thirty years he has been member of the Bohuslav Martinů Piano Quartet. He was the first pianist to take on the demanding task of recording the complete piano works of Bohuslav Martinů, including works for solo piano as well as all five Martinů piano concertos. Leichner is credited with the popularisation of Martinů music not only as an exceptional player but also as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bohuslav Martinů Foundation in Prague. He also teaches at the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Music.

Josef Suk (1874-1935) graduated from Prague Conservatory both in composition and violin. He was the pupil of Antonín Dvořák and later he married his daughter Otilka. Suk wrote the Fantastic Scherzo in 1903. The intriguing and rich melodic invention of Suk’s orchestral scherzo constructed on a three-part form, the original crystal-clear instrumentation and the bracing allegro, together reveal the fine craftsmanship of this leading pupil of the Dvořák school.

director: Stanislav Vaněk
time: 39 min.