Kabeláč: Eight Preludes, Motifs from Exotic Lands – Smetana: Dreams review on Classica | Jan Bartoš

Our Jan Bartoš received a very positive 5-star review regarding his album “Kabeláč: Eight Preludes, Motifs from Exotic Lands - Smetana: Dreams” (published by Supraphon) in the French magazine “Classica”


“We used to discover these eight finely crafted Preludes on the record by the highly inspired Daniel Wiesner (Panton, 1999). He heightened their harshness and emphasised the contrasts, making Kabeláč the worthy heir of Janáček. It is more Debussy that Jan Bartoš gazes at, with his delicate impressionistic nuances immersing the entire cycle in an almost esoteric atmosphere. In this regard, the magical resonances of his piano in the first Prelude, as elusive as it is ethereal, and the effects of "bells in the mist" in the third, unavoidably evoke the author of "Images for Piano." While Preludes No. 2, 4, and 6 are less obsessive and oppressive than with Wiesner, Bartoš turns Prelude No. 8 into a kind of literally enchanting nocturnal raga. Bartoš invites us on an imaginary journey rather than a slide show through his internalised interpretation of these ten Exotic Motifs. The poetic character of these pieces with modal structure is enhanced by a subtle use of pedals that relegates the picturesque to the background. A clever echo to these two works, were Smetana's Dreams the spiritual refuges of a composer soon to be afflicted by deafness? This is what the more dreamlike conception rather than folkloric of the Czech pianist suggests, who succeeds in his very Lisztian Consolation but lightens the two peasant scenes (III and VI) of their wholesome earthly weight. Minor critiques for a great record!”


Jérémie Cahen on Classica