Sunday, July 12, 2015

Alain Planès Plays Leoš Janáček

Leoš Janáček's most important works for piano are included on this recording by Alain Planès: The so-called sonata 1.X.1905 ; the two books of On an Overgrown Path, and In the mists. The miniature Vzpomínka (Memory) from the last year of Janáček's life completes the program. As with Janáček's "Intimate Letters" string quartet, these are highly personal, and at times passionate, works. They are also marked by an economy of sound. Janáček used only what was needed to express himself, and to many listeners it's a revelation how personal the music can sound when there doesn't seem to be much to it. This is especially true with On an Overgrown Path. Here, part of the simplicity is explained by the inspiration for the collection : the illness and death of Janácek's daughter. There is a little more substance in the Sonata and In the mists, and it's these that are the highlights of Planès performance, as author Milan Kundera points out in his accompanying notes (Kundera's father was a student of Janáček's). Planès gives the music the depth of personal emotion it requires without being too intensely intimate or anguished. He sympathizes with Janácek and also enables the listener to and not feel embarrassed or intrusive about doing so. The sound of Harmonia Mundi's mid-'90s recording is slightly distant and echoic, but in a way that helps the music not become too intimate or intense, although it also tends to romanticize it.
Patsy Morita

Source :

Alain Planès
Leoš Janáček


Piano Sonata, JW 8/19
"Zulice, 1.X.05," "From the Street, 1 October, 1905"
(final movement lost)
1 I. Pressentiment (Presentiment)  5:43
2 II. Mort (Death)  5:43

On the Overgrown Path, for piano, 1rst series, JW 8/17
(1901, 1902, 1911)
(Po zarostlém chodnícku)
3 I. Nos soirées (Our evenings)  3:54
4 II. Une feuille emportée (A Blown away Leaf)  3:25
5 III. Venez avec nous ! (Come with us !)  1:26
6 IV. La Vierge de Frýdek (The Madonna of Frýdek)  3:30
7 V. Elles bavardaient en hirondelles (They Chattered like Swallows)  2:13
8 VI. La Parole manque! (Words fail !)  2:15
9 VII. Bonne nuit! (Good night !)  3:11
10 VIII. Anxiété indicible (Utterable anguish)  3:58
11 IX. En pleurs (In Tears)  2:46
12 X. La Chevêche ne s'est pas envolée! (The Little Owl has not Flown away !)  3:53
On the Overgrown Path, for piano, 2nd series, JW 8/17
(1901 & 1911)
13 I. Andante in E-Flat major  3:17
14 II. Allegretto in G-Flat major  3:45
15 III. Più mosso in D major  2:59
16 IV. Allegro in C minor  5:09
17 V. Vivo in E-Flat major  2:11

In the Mists, JW 8/22
(V Mlhách)
18 I. Andante  3:20
19 II. Molto Adagio  4:06
20 III. Andantino  2:17
21 IV. Presto  4:35

22 Vzpomínka, for piano, JW 8/32  1:20


Alain Planès - p

Recorded February 1994


Melanchthon said...

Jan Vronský said...

I am gonna try this one. It has very nice cover :-). Peace

Gaetano Bevilacqua said...

Thank you.