Ivo Kahánek, winner of the Prague Spring international competition and one of the most outstanding young Czech pianists, has chosen for his solo debut with Supraphon - and not by chance - works by Janáček, Martinů and Kabeláč. The sonatas of the first two composers form one of the pillars of 20th-century Czech sonata creation, while Miloslav Kabeláč's unjustly overlooked preludesoriginated at about the same time as Bohuslav Martinů's Sonata. In addition, we have previously encountered the mentioned trio of composers on Kahánek's joint recording with the cellist Tomáš Jamník (SU 3928-2), which has met with great acclaim. The selected repertoire affords the pianist great scope for his own interpretational input, play with timbre, articulation and wide dynamic range. Ivo Kahánek makes use of this space to the full, in his own individual manner yet with a sense of the work's integrity. As a bonus, the listener has the very first opportunity to hear early Janáček works: three fugues until recently considered lost. Following his well-received debut last year at the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of JiříBělohlávek, Ivo Kahánek introduces himself on this CD as an extraordinary talent on the threshold of greatness.
Resounding in Ivo Kahánek's Janáček and Martinů are a wide scale of unexpected timbres and tones.
Gramophone Magazine March 2009
Perceptive playing essential Czech piano music and some early curiosities