Martinu: Unpublished Vocal Music (Giorgio Koukl/ Jana Wallingerová) (Naxos: 8.572588)
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Vocal music comprised around a quarter of Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu's extensive output, no fewer than 27 songs dating from 1912 alone, and much of it remaining unpublished during his lifetime. Many of these set texts drawn from Czech folk sources and poetry, though old Spanish, German, English and French poetry - sometimes translated into Czech - are also to be found. While echoes of Brahms, Dvorak and Schubert may be heard, Martinu's own style emerges surprisingly early in his career. Young Czech mezzo-soprano Jana Wallingerova, praised as 'splendid' (Der Neue Merker) and for her 'full voice brimming with feeling' and 'brilliant technique' (Hospodarske noviny), joins pianist Giorgio Koukl, whose Naxos recordings of Martinu's piano music have gained the highest praise.