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Fenêtre sur le Jardin

Czech music for piano solo

Ksenia Kouzmenko

Josef Suk, Jaroslav Kvapil, Bohuslav Martinu, Miloslav Kabelac, Leos Janacek


Year of release: 2019

1. Love Song op.7 no.1 Josef Suk 06:33
Through the Valley of Grief and Sorrow 14:46
2. Lento melancolico Jaroslav Kvapil 02:24
3. Andante Jaroslav Kvapil 01:22
4. Poco appsionato Jaroslav Kvapil 00:30
5. Largo lamentoso Jaroslav Kvapil 01:25
6. Con moto Jaroslav Kvapil 01:45
7. Allegro Jaroslav Kvapil 01:13
8. Andante addolorato Jaroslav Kvapil 01:43
9. l’istesso tempo Jaroslav Kvapil 01:53
10. Allegro risoluto - Meno mosso Jaroslav Kvapil 02:28
Windows on to the Garden 07:49
11. Poco andante Bohuslav Martinu 01:53
12. Allegro moderato Bohuslav Martinu 02:04
13. Moderato Bohuslav Martinu 02:13
14. Allegretto Bohuslav Martinu 01:37
Short Piano Pieces 17:35
15. Allegro inquieto Miloslav Kabelac 02:26
16. Andante tranquillo Miloslav Kabelac 02:58
17. Meditation. Lento Con espressione, ma semplice Miloslav Kabelac 03:20
18. Memories. Adagio Miloslav Kabelac 01:51
19. Enigma Lento patetico Miloslav Kabelac 02:22
20. Moderato Miloslav Kabelac 02:13
21. Memories. Allegro Miloslav Kabelac 02:21
In the Mists 14:58
22. Andante - Poco mosso Leos Janacek 03:28
23. Molto Adagio - Presto Leos Janacek 04:48
24. Andantino - Poco mosso Leos Janacek 02:23
25. Presto - Meno mosso - Andante Leos Janacek 04:17

About this album

Sometimes projects arise which just keep expanding. This was the case for me a after the CD “Whispering Leaves” which cellist Lucie Štepanova and I released in 2018 with works by Janacek, Palenicek and Martinu. While preparing for this recording I was listening and reading an enormous amount about Czech music, as well as playing a lot of other Czech composers. Because of this I became intensely fascinated with this music.

The immediacy, the honesty of expression has an incredible appeal to me. It is the sort of music which you experience directly, right now in this moment, not only as a performer but also as a listener. You stand in the middle of the story. It is fascinating music, but strangely enough there is still much left to explore. The beautiful music of Jaroslav Kvapil for instance is all but forgotten.

And sometimes you have to undertake real journeys. Working on this project we have also tried to follow in the footsteps of the composers. Climbing the church tower of Policka, in which Martinu was born, playing on his grand piano, wandering through Janacek’s Hukvaldy and around the villa of Kapral in beautiful Tti Studne, walking in the rapeseed fields of Fryštak, where Kvapil was born and grew up. And much more. In Vieux Moulin a 94 year old neighbour told us that Martinu was a strangely silent man, who never spoke and didn’t come into the village. They thought he was deaf, and sometimes saw him sitting under a pear tree behind the house, thinking and writing.

As well we went to antiquarians and libraries, searching for scores and books. It is incredibly moving to hold a first print of “In the Mists” in your hands, to receive a shipment of unknown Czech music from an antiquarian, or to be allowed to touch that piano of a composer. With tears in my eyes I played the first bars of Suk’s “Love Song” on his own grand piano in Kretovice, in the presence of his grandson Jan Suk. This is only the beginning of all the new solo and chamber music projects which I would love to share with you.

Ksenia Kouzmenko

Download booklet



MusicWeb International (Mar. 2019)

Well-shaped and lively performances of Czech classics. This enterprising disc charts a pathway through Czech piano music of the twentieth-century (give or take) in performances of clear high points, such as Janáček’s In the Mists, but also through premiere recordings of cycles by Jaroslav Kvapil and Miloslav Kabeláč. - Jonathan Woolfe

Opus Klassiek (Jan. 2019)

Ksenia Kouzmenko, geboren in Minsk en dochter van een pianistenechtpaar, profileert zich in dit recital als ideale vertolkster van dit afwisselend gloedvolle, contemplatieve, expressief voortdurend betoverende repertoire. Ze heeft zich duidelijk in de bijzondere aard van deze stukken verdiept, met als groot winstpunst dat haar spel daardoor ook inhoudelijk een zeer gevoelige snaar weet te raken. Over haar pianistiek hoef ik het natuurlijk helemaal niet hebben: haar technische vocabulaire staat als een huis. - Aart van der Wal

ElegantClassics (Mar. 2019)

Ksenia Kouzmenko opět s andělským tónem u COBRA RECORDS Pokud je v zahraničí umělec, který se výrazně stará o českou hudbu, je to radost, pokud je to navíc pianistka takových kvalit, jakými oplývá Ksenia Kouzmenko, je to radost více než dvojnásobná===Ksenia Kouzmenko again with an angelic tone on COBRA RECORDS If there is an artist abroad who takes great care of Czech music, it is a pleasure, if it is a pianist of such qualities as Ksenia Kouzmenko is, it is more than a pleasure. - Milos Bittner

Piano News (Jun. 2019)

Es ist ein großartiges und spannendes Programm, das hoffen lässt, dass Ksenia Kouzmenko in dieser Richtung weitergräbt. / It is a great and exciting program that gives hope that Ksenia Kouzmenko will continue in this direction.- C.Dürer


Technical Specifications

Speakers Kef 105.3
Mastering Equiment Pyramix, Merging
Editing Tom Peeters
Cables Acoustic Revive
Microphones B&K 4006, modified by Rens Heijnis
Recording Format DSD256
Analog To Digital Converter Merging Technologies
Recording Date 16-19 july 2018
Recording Location Westvest90, Schiedam, NL
Recording Engineer Tom Peeters
Production Tom Peeters