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Czech Music performed by Czech Artists

Smetana From my Homeland
Suk The Breeze; Longing from Spring Op. 22a
Mateju Smorfia for clarinet and piano
Janovický Sonata for Bassoon and Piano; Duo for violin and bassoon
Janácek In the Mists
Ištván Sonata for clarinet and piano

Jana Vonášková-Nováková violin
Lada Valešová piano
Karel Dohnal clarinet
Václav VonášekVáclav Vonášek bassoon
Petr Novák piano
Evgeny Samoiloff piano

Wigmore Hall, 27 June 2010

Since 1990, the Anglo-Czechoslovak Trust has been promoting talented students in London and Prague and tonight they introduce Czech professional soloists with a passion for Czech music.
All acquitted themselves well, and the programme was carefully designed and well prepared to give each musician two appearances during a varied evening's music.

The brother/sister duo Novák/Nováková started with sparkling accounts of Smetana. Mateju's competition test piece proved an unusual, quirky vehicle to show off the varied skills of clarinettist Karel Dohnal and his piano partner Evgeny Samoiloff; worth the attention of aspiring clarinettists.

It was good to have the bassoon, the baritone of the winds, featured by UK-based composer Karl Janovicky, who had escaped from communist Czechoslavakia in 1949. Václav Vonášek, a member of the Prague Bassoon Band (!), was a persuasive advocate for his instrument.

Unknown pieces by Janovický & Ištván were disappointing, none of them proved to be neglected masterworks, and they were put into perspective after the interval by Lada Valešová's searching and intense interpretation ofJanácek's bleak and disturbing In the Mists, which she had included in her debut CD on Avie, reviewed last year.

Peter Grahame Woolf