St Christopher

Libor Novacek
Event 1
Friday October 7th, 8.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

Piano masterpieces

This is an archived event from the 2011 programme.

Libor Novacek piano

Liszt’s B minor sonata is a pianistic tour de force. Performers still find it challenging, yet for the listener it’s a sublime experience, thrillingly virtuosic, but with great depth and beauty.

Brahms too was an excellent pianist, whose early scores show off his skill. These Fantasias emerged late in his life – some, passionate or stormy; others graceful, serene or ravishingly beautiful.

“If Brahms himself had been recorded playing his own music, this, I believe, is how it might have sounded: the young Czech pianist Libor Novacek gives these majestic pieces a dazzling sweep and splendour. His formidable technique gives him the assurance he needs to let the music sing.”  (Kevin Harley, Independent)

Libor plays the second book of Janáček’s hauntingly beautiful On an overgrown path, and a brilliant early Beethoven sonata, a virtuosic work in which the composer begins to expand and develop this classical form.

Tim Ashley will talk about the programme, especially the music of Liszt. Tim is Classical Music Critic for The Guardian and author of Richard Strauss in the Phaidon 20th century composer series.

Libor Novacek’s magisterial performance of Pictures from an Exhibition was a hit of last year’s Festival. He is a pianist who shows “a rare combination of virtuosity and musical intelligence” (Robert Matthew, International Record Review), and possesses “exceptional poetic verve and inwardness” in “ear-catchingly fresh and vital playing” (Bryce Morrison, Pianist Magazine).

“Compellingly beautiful... exquisitely lyrical performances of the utmost sincerity”  (International Record Review 2010)

He’s a noted interpreter of Liszt, Brahms and Janáček. One Liszt CD was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and won the Budapest Liszt Society’s ‘Diplôme d’Honneur’, another got five stars in The Guardian, International Record Review and Pianonews.

“Novacek, who made his recording debut with works of Janáček and Martinů, has recorded a Liszt programme that outshines everything that has appeared the last few years in this field”  (De Volkskrant, Netherlands)

“Novacek proves himself a Brahmsian of distinction, with readings of radiant sensitivity and tantalizing understatement”  (Julian Haycock International Record Review)

For more information on Libor Novacek please click here to visit his website or here for more information on some of his recent recordings.