Polyphony (2005)


Petr Pepino Valášek  - Bass Clarinet

Vojta Nýdl - Clarinet
Luděk Boura - Clarinet
Jindřich Pavliš - Clarinet

Sleeve note

Before and during the baroque period, it was by no means unusual for composers – many of whom were instrumentalists at the same time – to rewrite both their own pieces as well as those by other masters. Not infrequently, either, a work was simply performed on instruments that were at hand, so to speak. The Czech Clarinet Quartet have treated the pieces in these recordings in the same way as those musicians of bygone days. This compilation is the result of several years of work, during which the quartet scoured libraries both within and outside the Czech Republic, carefully choosing and arranging works from among both late-Renaissance and baroque compositions.


This CD comprises works of the most varied character. The Ricercares and the Canzon by, respectively, Andrea Gabrieli and his nephew Giovanni Gabrieli, the famous Venetian masters, are representative of the originally instrumental or – more specifically – organ style, which also holds true for the fugues by Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský and the Variations on the Choral „Mein junges Leben hat ein End´“ by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. As far as the English composer William Byrd is concerned, he performed his pieces on the virginal in particular, one of the predecessors of the harpsichord. As for the vocal style, it is represented on this CD by Černohorský’s motet Laudetur Jesus Christus.


Johann Sebastian Bach’s Prelude and Fugue No. 12 was originally written for the harpsichord, the tempered keyboard instrument. The two Contrapuncti taken from The Art of Fugue, on the other hand, are a unique phenomenon – Bach did not dedicate them to any particular instrument. He only left behind what one might call universal voices, which bear witness to his masterly contrapuntal technique.


Polyphony cannot be reduced simply to the music we perform; it is also an inexhaustible source of inspiration for our own pieces, improvisations and meditations. Within polyphony’s seemingly complicated order we have found huge unexplored spaces - spaces to which we would also like to invite you.


Released, Publishing

Publishing: Clarton

Released: 2005

Catalog No: CQ0077-2

Total Time: 43:25

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