The sixth part of the Bedřich Smetana complete piano works series presents pieces composed in the 1840s, the time of the composer's intensive studies and the outset of his independent artistic career. Dedicated to various persons (including Kateřina Kolářová, Smetana's great love and future wife) are the Stammbuchblätter, lovely commemorative album leaves. Some of the pieces (Romance in B flat major, Woodland Feelings and Impressions) were published immediately, others were revised by Smetana and published later. Also dating from this period are the composer's first larger virtuoso pieces (Allegro capriccioso, Caprice in G minor) and major work, the cycle Six morceaux caractéristiques, Op. 1. Smetana sent the autograph to Franz Liszt, who accepted the dedication with pleasure. The nimble hands of the pianist Jitka Čechová make ring the sheer virtuosity and engrossing poetics of the young Smetana's piano works.
The enchanting poetics and bravura virtuosity of the young Bedřich Smetana's piano pieces.
“The pleasure and manifold beauties of Smetana's fluent, idiomatic style are amply evident in his latest instalment…Cechova brings to this music a dignity and seriousness of purpose that recalls the great Firkušný.“
International Record Review, September 2013
“It is always melodious and as music to unwind to it has much to recommend it, not least Supraphon's good, solid audio and Čechová's attractively romantic pianism.“
MusicWeb International, 28th August 2013