Piano recital by Pavel Zemen

12/11/22, 11:00

Leoš Janáček: Along the overgrown sidewalk, 1st series, JW VIII/17

Sergei Prokofiev: 10 Pictures for Piano, Op. 12

The morning matinee in the composer's house will feature a piano recital by the young pianist Pavel Zemen on the authentic Ehrbar instrument, which the composer received as a wedding gift and which accompanied him throughout his life. This unique instrument has recently been completely restored.

The first series of the piano cycle of poetic pieces Po zarostlém chodníček was created successively in 1900, 1908 and 1911. Janáček wrote the five compositions of the cycle in 1900, i.e. at the age of 46. They were published as small pieces for harmonium in the notebooks of Slavonic Melodies, which were published by Emil Kolář, Ivanc's teacher. The expansion of the cycle was influenced by the editor Jan Branberger, who in 1908 contracted the publication of the compositions by the Prague publisher Bedřich Kočí. This publisher's interest in publishing existing compositions led Janáček to compose additional parts, so that the cycle grew to ten numbers, to which the composer assigned poetic titles. Today, these small, intimate pieces that bring back some of the composer's memories are among his best-known and most played works.

Sergei Prokofiev's piano works are staggering in scope and meaning. The ten pictures for piano composed in the years 1906–13 belong to the composer's early work. These are smaller compositions from the student years, each of which has a rather different character. On the one hand, school work is evident in them, on the other hand there are parts with clear foundations of Prokofiev's later important compositions, as well as emerging neoclassical tendencies and interest in 18th century music. Janáčk's and Prokofiev's cycle combines not only the number of ten compositions, but also the time of creation and the relatively long period of creation of the composition. Nevertheless, they point to a very different compositional approach and shared content.