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Thomas Adès - Janáček: Solo Piano

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Janáček: Solo Piano

Thomas Ades

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The confrontation of a composer playing the works of another is always fascinating, since they perfectly master their transmission tool, be it the piano (or another instrument) or conducting. Among great examples we find Mahler, Boulez and Britten, the latter an excellent pianist as well as a conductor. It is often the case that a composer’s playing goes deeper into the structure and architecture of the work.
Also an excellent pianist and very prominent composer, Thomas Adès dedicates this album to the essential piano music of Leoš Janáček. On An Overgrown Path (or “scrubby” according to the translation of the Czech original “Po zarostlém chodníčku”) consists of thirteen pieces in which the composer spells out his memories, especially the loss of his daughter Olga, taken by typhoid at the age of 20. The two notebooks that make up this opus, written over a period of ten years, mix popular colourings and Czech legends. Free of evocative titles like the first, the second notebook is more abstract and resonates like Janáček’s ill fate.
The famous Sonata “I. X.1905” commemorates the student protests in Brno that year, which resulted in the death of a young apprentice who died at the bayonets of Austrian soldiers. Dissatisfied with his work, Janáček burned the third movement and threw the other two - Pressing and Death - into the Vltava (The Moldau), though the pianist who was set to premiere the work had fortunately kept a copy of the first two remaining movements. This surrounding drama finds here a particular resonance in the composer’s intimacy.
The four pieces that make up the suite In the Mists dating from 1912 are very sparse, focusing on the essential without impressionistic blur or desire to please, and carrying a hauntingly pure sadness. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Janáček: Solo Piano

Thomas Adès

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1
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: Our Evenings
00:03:08

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

2
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: A Blown-Away Leaf
00:02:20

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

3
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: Come with Us!
00:01:06

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

4
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: The Madonna of Frydek
00:03:34

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

5
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: They Chattered like Swallows
00:01:43

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

6
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: Words Fail!
00:01:55

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

7
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: Good Night!
00:02:56

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

8
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: Unutterable Anguish
00:02:29

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

9
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: In Tears
00:02:12

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

10
On an Overgrown Path, Series I: The Barn Owl Has Not Flown Away!
00:03:20

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

11
On an Overgrown Path, Series II: Andante
00:03:22

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

12
On an Overgrown Path, Series II: Allegretto (Presto)
00:02:31

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

13
On an Overgrown Path, Series II: Più mosso
00:02:14

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

14
On an Overgrown Path, Series II: Allegro
00:06:23

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

15
‘Piano Sonata’ 1. X. 1905, From The Street: Foreboding
00:05:51

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

16
‘Piano Sonata’ 1. X. 1905, From The Street: Death
00:07:21

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

17
In the Mists: Andante
00:03:36

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

18
In the Mists: Molto adagio
00:04:21

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

19
In the Mists: Andantino
00:02:02

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

20
In the Mists: Presto
00:04:16

Thomas Ades, MainArtist - Leos Janácek, Composer

(C) 2020 Signum Records (P) 2020 Signum Records

Album Description

The confrontation of a composer playing the works of another is always fascinating, since they perfectly master their transmission tool, be it the piano (or another instrument) or conducting. Among great examples we find Mahler, Boulez and Britten, the latter an excellent pianist as well as a conductor. It is often the case that a composer’s playing goes deeper into the structure and architecture of the work.
Also an excellent pianist and very prominent composer, Thomas Adès dedicates this album to the essential piano music of Leoš Janáček. On An Overgrown Path (or “scrubby” according to the translation of the Czech original “Po zarostlém chodníčku”) consists of thirteen pieces in which the composer spells out his memories, especially the loss of his daughter Olga, taken by typhoid at the age of 20. The two notebooks that make up this opus, written over a period of ten years, mix popular colourings and Czech legends. Free of evocative titles like the first, the second notebook is more abstract and resonates like Janáček’s ill fate.
The famous Sonata “I. X.1905” commemorates the student protests in Brno that year, which resulted in the death of a young apprentice who died at the bayonets of Austrian soldiers. Dissatisfied with his work, Janáček burned the third movement and threw the other two - Pressing and Death - into the Vltava (The Moldau), though the pianist who was set to premiere the work had fortunately kept a copy of the first two remaining movements. This surrounding drama finds here a particular resonance in the composer’s intimacy.
The four pieces that make up the suite In the Mists dating from 1912 are very sparse, focusing on the essential without impressionistic blur or desire to please, and carrying a hauntingly pure sadness. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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