<< -- 2 -- Peter Dale Intensely idiomatic
Tucapský's moods embrace the witty and urbane, the light-hearted
and amiably comic [listen -- track 1, 5:08-5:58],
and the deeply lyrical. You feel, however, that it is the slow movements
that involve him most deeply. Both of them are rapt, nocturnal meditations,
beautifully scored to reveal the colours of both violin and viola [listen -- track 5, 0:01-1:01]. This is not extrovert
concerto writing. The solo parts are not notably athletic or confrontational.
They stroll thoughtfully and pause to ponder over the themes, making them
grow incrementally while never quite maturing into big melodic gestures.
In fact, so much is this case that both concertos seem to move informally
through sequences of cadenzas. The informality may be a weakness, inclining
to forms too free or even to formlessness, but the prodigality of ideas,
the beautiful scoring [listen -- track 1, 2:26-3:22],
the rhapsodic singing of the slow movements and the holiday spirit of the
finales is never less than engaging. Sometimes Tucapský's Czech
spirit comes through. Often, however, the music sounds unmistakably English.
This, and an occasional ironic detachment reminiscent of Nielsen, make for
a distinctively interesting sound.
The recording of the Viola Concerto was made at a live performance, so
it has a special authenticity about it, but the bass seems a little shy
and the upper orchestral strings sound beautiful but waifish. This blemish
apart, the recordings are good.
Copyright © 3 April 2002
Peter Dale, Danbury, Essex, UK
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|Antonín Tucapský: Violin & Viola Concertos
SOMMCD 221 DDD Stereo 56'34" 2001 Somm Recordings
Víteszlav Kuzník, violin, Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra/Petr Vronský; Pavel Perina, viola, Prague Symphony Orchestra/Elli Jaffe