Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek wrote numerous songs and short piano pieces, genres in which his works predate those of his rather more famous near contemporary Franz Schubert by some years. Quite why they are so neglected today is a mystery as this enthralling new album from Renata Pokupić and Roger Vignoles unfolds twenty-eight songs of a rare appeal. Perhaps we should not be surprised: Tomášek was one of the very few composers of Goethe settings to meet with the great poet’s (relatively) undivided approval.
Goethe warmed to [Tomášek], declaring that his Mignon songs showed true understanding of his poetry…his delightful, often salonesque, piano writing is palpably enjoyed by Roger Vignoles, and Renata Pokupic's winey mezzo, whose slightly accented German and rolled 'r's has an apt flavour and timbre. BBC
While Tomášek had a gift for shapely, oten plaintive melody, in an idiom somewhere between Mozart and Schubert, he never hijacks a poem to create a new musical-dramatic entity, as Schubert famously did…there is much to charm and delight here…[and] the Croatian mezzo Renata Pokupić is a persuasive Tomášek advocate. Gramophone