Bohuslav Matousek

Bohuslav Martinu: Works for Violin and Piano, Complete

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For listeners who admire the music of Bohuslav Martinu, this four-disc Supraphon collection of his complete works for violin and piano will be self-recommending. It includes his three numbered sonatas, his two unnumbered sonatas and his sonatina, his relatively well-known Czech Rhapsody as well as his much less well-known Five Madrigal Stanzas, plus his nearly unknown Elegy, and 16 other virtually unknown works for violin and piano. In every case, violinist Bohuslav Matousek -- the former first violinist of the Stamitz Quartet who later went on to record Martinu's complete works for violin and orchestra -- and his accompanist Petr Adamec do a spectacular job of bringing out the energy and enthusiasm of the Czech modernist's music. Along with his narrow but intense tone and lively feeling for rhythm, violinist Matousek has an obvious affection for the style, and his readings are consistently convincing. Adamec follows where Matousek leads with power and grace and together they create performances of these works, which will likely stand as classics for the foreseeable future. Supraphon's digital sound is clear and colorful, but a bit thin in climaxes.

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