Czech pianist Lada Valešová conjures the Slavic musical soul through the lyrical, wistful genre the dumka, in works by Balakirev, Dvorák, Liszt, Lysenko, Martinu, Suk and Tchaikovsky.
“You have to take your hat off to someone who can plan a recital CD with the imaginative insight of the investigative musicologist and then execute it with such musicianly sensitivity.” So declared International Piano magazine on Czech pianist Lada Valešová’s AVIE debut, ‘Intimate Studies’ (AV2142), featuring music by fellow countrymen Janácek, Martinu, Suk and Pavel Haas. Lada returns with another innovative concept that explores the Slavic musical soul through the dumka, the wistful musical genre to which numerous composers turned to conjure their own aural imagery.
Lada describes “a Russian autumnal landscape and fiery dance in the Tchaikovsky; a flow of poignant memories in Dvořák; teardrops followed by recollections of happier days in Suk; a winter evening by the fireplace while snowflakes dance outside in Balakirev. In Liszt, I hear a Hungarian visitor inspired by Ukrainian songs; in Martinu, a young, witty and charming Czech cosmopolitan; in Lysenko, a father-figure who merged the virtuosic pianism of his age with the folk roots of his homeland. My aim is to take listeners on a journey through different Slavic landscapes, to evoke moods and memories, and to pique the curiosity about this compact worddumka and what lies behind it.”