Firkusny: Martinu Piano Concerto No. 2 ("live", 1990) - Supraphon, very rare LP
Jacket NM / LP NM
This handsome and extraordinarily rare album – pressed at the very end of the LP era – from Supraphon (11 1241-1, Czech pressing, blue/silver label, DDD stereo) entitled “Rudolf Firksuny in Prague” features the great Czech pianist in a “live” performance of Bohuslav Martinu’s Piano Concerto No. 2, given at the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House, Prague, on 28 May 1990 during that year’s Prague Spring Festival.
Firkusny is accompanied in masterly fashion by conductor Jiri Belohlavek and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Filling out the disc – from the same concert – is Belohlavek and the Czech PO’s equally compelling account of Dvorak’s Symphonic Variations for Large Orchestra Op. 78.
Firkusny knew Martinu and was arguably the foremost interpreter of his piano works and certainly this reading of the Piano Concerto No. 2 remains a landmark in the composer’s discography.
This album was issued in 1991, a very late LP issue, made at the end of an era.
This album was produced by Jaroslav Rybar and engineered by Vaclav Roubal. The memorable cover photo of Firkusny was taken by Petr Josek while the album cover was designed by Ditta Jirickova. There are splendid liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by Milos Pokora, provided in English, German, French, and Czech.