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VORÍŠEK, Jan Hugo (1791–1825)

COMPLETE WORKS FOR PIANO • 1

IMPROMPTUS, OP. 7 • FANTASY, OP. 12 • SONATA QUASI UNA FANTASIA, OP. 20


  • Biljana Urban, piano

Bohemian born composer Jan Hugo Voríšek settled in Vienna and became a close friend of Schubert. Voríšek’s Impromptus Op. 7 were the first to bear this title, their lyric influence anticipating the entire Romantic period. The brilliant Fantasy combines improvisation with structural rigour, while the Sonata Op. 20 is a masterpiece to rival the sonatas of Beethoven.

Tracklist

 
6 Impromptus, Op. 7 (1820) (00:04:34 )
1
No. 1 in C Major (00:05:26)
2
No. 2 in G Major (00:05:23)
3
No. 3 in D Major (00:06:14)
4
No. 4 in A Major (00:08:15)
5
No. 5 in E Major (00:09:54)
6
No. 6 in B Major (00:08:46)
7
Fantasie in C Major, Op. 12 (1822) (00:13:00)
 
Piano Sonata in B-Flat Minor, Op. 20, "Quasi una fantasia" (1824) (00:21:48 )
8
I. Allegro con brio (00:11:44)
9
II. Scherzo: Allegro (00:05:52)
10
III. Finale: Allegro con brio (00:04:12)
Total Time: 01:18:46

The Artist(s)

Biljana Urban comes from a family with a rich musical tradition. Her Czech-born grandfather, Jan Urban (1875–1952), was a composer and conductor. Biljana Urban received her Ph.D. in Music (Piano Performance) summa cum laude from the Academy of Music in Zagreb, and has an international career, appearing in such venues as the Fresno Concert Hall, California, and taking part in international music festivals. As a chamber musician she has performed with soloists of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Monnaie Orchestra, Brussels, and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Her recitals have been broadcast by radio and television companies in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Croatia, Slovenia and the United States. The first album of Vorišek’s Complete Works for Piano was classed among the best albums of 2014 by Culture Catch.

The Composer(s)

Like many before him, Jan Václav (Hugo) Voríšek, an exceptionally talented pianist and promising young composer, left his native Bohemia for Vienna in 1813 to further his musical ambitions. Under the patronage of Countess Rozina Kolowratz-Libstejnsky, owner of the Vamberk estate where he was born, Voríšek had already begun to establish his reputation in Prague as a pianist while studying philosophy, aesthetics, mathematics and later law at the Charles University.

Reviews

“With her compelling touch Biljana Urban transported me utterly into the rapture of this music. ” – Pianist

“Urban plays Op. 20 with magnificent breadth and weight.” – Culture Catch

“Urban’s dedication to Vorisek is most wonderful. Her style, virtuosity, understanding and enthusiasm render full justice to this composer who has undeservedly remained neglected…” – Klassieke Zaken