PAVEL ZEMEK NOVÁK (b.1957): 24 Preludes and Fugues for Piano.
Catalogue Number: 06M093
Label: Champs Hill
Description: This cycle of preludes and fugues reflects the composer's use of music as an expression of religious faith - the works bear Biblical subtitles, though they are not expressly programmatic; his use of a tonal vocabulary, often of disarming simplicity and accessibility; and his love of quotation from earlier music (Scarlatti, Beethoven, Mendelssohn et al). His approach to fugue-writing is unusual - many of the 'fugues' actually avoid counterpoint and the overlapping, imitative textures of the conventional fugue, with relationships between thematic fragments derived from fugal conventions without producing a result that resembles one's usual expectations of a fugue. As the cycle progresses, a clear progression in Novák's style is apparent; the later pieces increasingly use unisons or fixed intervals between parts, and in the fourth book, preludes are replaced by postludes, and the pieces are very brief indeed. An individual and unusual approach to a well-worn convention, with unfamiliar but very approachable results. William Howard (piano).