sun 21/04/2024

CD: Pavel Novák - 24 Preludes and Fugues | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Pavel Novák - 24 Preludes and Fugues

CD: Pavel Novák - 24 Preludes and Fugues

Religious angle on classical forms reinvents Bach keyboard cycle

Pavel Novák's '24 Preludes and Fugues': modern concept, biblical inspiration

Pavel Novák is a composer I know something about because he has been much played by the Schubert Ensemble, who were for a time resident at Cardiff University, where I teach. But broadly speaking his music is virtually unknown in the UK. When William Howard played these 24 Preludes and Fugues in St Giles' Cripplegate four years ago, hardly anyone came to hear them – perhaps not surprisingly. Obscure Czech piano music in a chilly City church in December is hardly the most enticing prospect. But now that Howard has made a brilliant, compelling recording of this 75-minute cycle, its composer’s British reputation might (or should) expand.

Pavel Novák is a composer I know something about because he has been much played by the Schubert Ensemble, who were for a time resident at Cardiff University, where I teach. But broadly speaking his music is virtually unknown in the UK. When William Howard played these 24 Preludes and Fugues in St Giles' Cripplegate four years ago, hardly anyone came to hear them – perhaps not surprisingly. Obscure Czech piano music in a chilly City church in December is hardly the most enticing prospect. But now that Howard has made a brilliant, compelling recording of this 75-minute cycle, its composer’s British reputation might (or should) expand.

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