And today there is perhaps no more capable interpreter of Dvořák’s piano music than Ivo Kahánek, who recently won a BBC Music Magazine Award for his recording of Dvořák’s Piano Concerto.
Todays programme features three major works that represent important items among Dvořák’s piano compositions. The thirteen-movement cycle Poetic Moods (1889) reveals Dvořák’s creative thought on a large scale – a complete performance takes about fifty-five minutes. The work captivates listeners with its constant alternation of lyrical passages and energetic climaxes. Each of the pieces can be played alone, but when played together they reveal the composer’s masterful ability to combine them into a unified whole. A less conspicuous counterpart to Poetic Moods is titled Silhouettes, and it will be heard at the evening’s conclusion. The twelve pieces are more like miniatures than little composition, with unifying musical themes that run through them. Between the two cycles is the Suite in A Major, which is also familiar from its orchestral version. With its five contrasting movements that create a remarkably unified whole, the Suite serves as the linchpin of the programme.