Arthur Pizarro & Rinaldo Zhok - ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK - FROM THE BOHEMIAN FOREST & DUMKY
- 01 – From the Bohemian Forest characteristic pieces op. 68 B. 133 – I. In the Spinning-Room
- 02 – From the Bohemian Forest characteristic pieces op. 68 B. 133 – II. By the Black Lake
- 03 – From the Bohemian Forest characteristic pieces op. 68 B. 133 – III. Witches’ Sabbath
- 04 – From the Bohemian Forest characteristic pieces op. 68 B. 133 – IV. On the Watch
- 05 – From the Bohemian Forest characteristic pieces op. 68 B. 133 – V. Silent Woods
- 06 – From the Bohemian Forest characteristic pieces op. 68 B. 133 – VI. In Troubled Times
- 07 – Dumky op. 90 B. 520 – I. Lento maestoso – Allegro quasi doppio movimento – Lento maestoso – Allegro
- 08 – Dumky op. 90 B. 520 – II. Poco Adagio – Vivace non troppo – Poco Adagio – Vivace
- 09 – Dumky op. 90 B. 520 – III. Andante – Vivace non troppo – Andante
- 10 – Dumky op. 90 B. 520 – IV. Andante moderato – Allegretto scherzando – Meno mosso
- 11 – Dumky op. 90 B. 520 – V. Allegro – Meno mosso quasi tempo primo
- 12 – Dumky op. 90 B. 520 – VI. Lento maestoso – Vivace – Lento – Vivace
ARTHUR PIZARRO & RINALDO ZHOK PIANO DUO – ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK – FROM THE BOHEMIAN FOREST & DUMKY
Artur Pizarro and Rinaldo Zhok are two great pianists brought together by their solo CDs on Odradek: Artur Pizarro’s acclaimed Rachmaninov series, and Rinaldo Zhok’s disc of Liszt-Verdi transcriptions. Both pianists were also taught by the great Aldo Ciccolini, whose legacy continues to influence them. Inspired by the other’s interpretations, they decided to collaborate, forming the Pizarro-Zhok Piano Duo in 2014.
Both pianists are passionate advocates for music written for piano four hands (as distinct from music for two pianos). This repertoire, too often underrated, is described by the artists as representing “the most profound and complex form of making music together”.
Dvořák is amongst the most prolific composers of music for piano four hands, achieving a rare balance between musical depth and sensitivity, and an appealing honesty and immediacy.
This disc features one of the great masterpieces for piano duo, Dvořák’s From the Bohemian Forest, which takes the listener on a dream-like journey into a vivid musical landscape. Dvořák’s poetic music sheds the conventions and inhibitions of the piano-writing of his time, creating an array of striking effects which transport the listener into beautiful Bohemian woods. In the process, Dvořák requires that the pianists act as one, with a single concentration of purpose and precise execution of intricate technical demands. The results are breathtaking.
The disc also features Dvořák’s own arrangement for piano duo of his Dumky Trio – an arrangement which is not a transcription, but may be regarded as parallel version, equal to the Trio in gravitas and significance. As the artists put it: “This is equivalent to a painter who portrays the same subject several times, highlighting different perspectives, aspects and techniques.”
Since its formation, the Duo Pizarro-Zhok has already performed at the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias in Funchal, the Belém Cultural Center in Lisbon; with the Orquestra de Câmara Portuguesa, conducted by Pedro Carneiro, the Orquestra Clássica da Madeira conducted by Pedro Andrade; and in the inaugural concert of the Orquestra Sinfónica de Cascais conducted by Nikolay Lalov.
Booklet in English, French and German.
Program notes by Hugh Collins Rice.
“An absorbing and entertaining disc — let’s hope these two have more in store for us.”
Gramophone - Harriet Smith / May 2016
“Dvořák left a rich legacy of piano duets, wrenching the genre clean out of the salon. As Artur Pizarro and Rinaldo Zhok write: ‘Playing piano four hands (even more than performing on two pianos) represents the most profound and complex form of music-making together.’ That’s certainly the case in the two works on their new disc, but Pizarro and Zhok palpably relish the challenges and their Yamaha is bright and immediate-sounding.
From the Bohemian Forest is rendered with great vividness, be it the insidiously memorable melody of ‘In the Spinning Room’ or the ‘Witches’ Sabbath’, which opens with a galumphing rhythm, before the mood darkens and the harmonies become sour and twisted. A number such as ‘On the Watch’ demands precision-engineered ensemble, which is exactly what Pizarro and Zhok give us, and their élan at the close of this piece is infectious. If ‘Silent Woods’ will never sound as rapt as it can in Dvořák’s later reworking for cello, the last movement, ‘In Troubled Times’, is impressive for the way the two pianists maintain clarity of texture, despite the extensive use of the piano’s lower range.
Dvořák reworked his Dumky Trio for piano duet at the request of his publisher Simrock. This is no mere transcription but a true rethinking of the original. After all, you can hardly replicate such moments as the original trio’s opening, with fraught cello set against piano, or the way the finale builds from Lento to a scrubbingly intense Vivace. The innate tension between piano and strings may have been lost, but in its place is a sense of just how starkly daring this work is — not just in its harmonic language but also the way it unfolds, demanding skilful pacing from the pianists, who need to be alive to Dvořák’s ever-changing tempi and moods. This Pizarro and Zhok do to compelling effect. An absorbing and entertaining disc — let’s hope these two have more in store for us."