Following the series of four CDs featuring Smetana piano works (Supraphon SU 3841-44), the ebullient pianist and buttress of the highly acclaimed Smetana Trio, Jitka Čechová,decided to "take up the gauntlet" with a live concert recording, which deprives the performer of the comfort of detailed corrections in the studio.
Owing to their sheer difficulty, Brahms' and Liszt's compositions are a great challenge for any renowned pianist. The third (and final) sonata created by the 20-year-old Brahms and the one and only sonata by the 42-year-old Liszt originated in the very same year. Whereas the former met with a significant response, the latter had to struggle for more than half a century to gain a firm foothold in concert programmes. Today, both of the pieces are deservedly ranked among the apexes of Romantic piano music. In Jitka Čechová's masterful and inspired interpretation, enhanced by the splendid acoustics of Prague's Rudolfinum, the recording is a truly fantastic experience.
BBC Music Magazine October 2010
Cechová's interpretation comes over as rather lyrical and thoughtful, not seeking to overawe but to identify the emotional bedrock from which the massive superstructure arises... As far as wild bravura goes, she shows herself able to give her all with a barnstorming but rather choppy account of Mephisto Waltz No. 1 ****
Gramophone Magazine October 2010
A romantic virtuoso who is never dull, her playing is fiercely energised and enthusiastic.