JUNE 2016

Supraphon releases new Ariane / Double Concerto CD

Long-awaited recording of Martinů's one-act opera Ariadne and Double Concerto was recently released by Supraphon. Tomáš Netopil conducts Essen Philharmonic with Simona Šaturová in a leading part of the one-act opera Martinů composed in one month of summer 1958. The Double Concerto, last movement of which was finished on the day of signing of the Munich Trety in September 1938, features pianist Ivo Kahánek. Get it online via Supraphon.

"I am writing a new small opera, a one-acter, as I would also like to have a rest from the grand-scale opera, The Greek Passion, which has taken its toll." The Greek myth of Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, King of Crete, who helps Theseus slay the Minotaur, has been set to music by a number of renowned composers. Martinu was captivated by Georges Neveux's drama Le Voyage de Thesee, on which he based his own libretto. Theseus is portrayed as a split personality, struggling with himself and overwhelmed by love for a woman. 

Tomas Netopil and his Essener Philharmoniker have made a new recording of the opera some 30 years after the one created by Vaclav Neumann and the Czech Philharmonic. An extraordinary account of the title role is given by Simona Saturova, whose final lament as the abandoned Ariane is simply breathtaking. Besides the opera, the CD also features the Double Concerto, a work representing the apex of the composer's French period and written amidst dramatic circumstances. Martinu began sketching it in the summer of 1938, at a time when a tense atmosphere dominated Europe, and this omnipresent fear and discomposure are also reflected in the piece: "... I have the impression that the tragic events, which we still remember  and this fraught atmosphere is engraved on these very pages." The opening concert was performed by the Basel Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Paul Sacher in Baselin February, 1940, and Martinů was able to come from Paris and attend it, despite the highly complicated international situation. Among the applauding audience was also the famous composer, Arthur Honegger. 

Bohuslav Martinů

Ariane / Ariadna Lyric opera in one act, H 370 (1958

Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano and Timpani, H 271 (1938)

Essener Philharmoniker, conductor Tomas Netopil Simona Saturova - soprano Zoltan Nagy - baritone; Baurzhan Anderzhanov - bass; Abdellah Lasri - tenor; Tijl Faveyts - bass Aalto Theatre Chorus, chorus master - Patrick Jaskolka Ivo Kahanek - piano (Double Concerto)

Get it online via Supraphon.