The violinist’s name is boldly highlit and underneath it the putative title of the disc -elegant provocationin sexy lower case red.Martina Bačová stands on a rooftop lookingsexy. There’s an even sexier picture inside but it’s not of her, though there is one, and she is sexy: it’s of a bright yellow TQMTransport40 ton lorry. They’re backing the disc and well done to them. Haulage companies don’t often do this kind of thing, but it was a bit of a shock nevertheless.
All right, sexy stuff out of the way. This is a fine recital by a young Czech violinist and her excellent piano colleague Alexandr Starý. It wears, if I can say so, the shadowplay of the repertoire of her erstwhile teacher Ivan Ženatý. She’s not the first Czech player, for example, to programme theMáchaElegy and the Bartók Romanian Folk Dances on disc, because Ženatý did it with his colleague Jaroslav Kolář back in 1986 on Panton 7105322. The Mácha was written for Nora Grumliková. It’s a moving work, which invites expressive gestures. Ženatý provides the more sweeping phraseology and Bačová the more classically conceived reading. She plays the faster section in this sectional work with strong assurance and the piano part is confidently despatched - especially its more brooding, tolling aspects.
As noted before Ženatý has recorded the Romanian Dances as well. He tends to be more capricious and to characterise just that bit more forcefully. Her tone is slightly less focused and she tends to be a touch more reserved. She has to yield to him in the maintenance of tonal body of sound in No.III, the Andante.