Music Reviews

‘Czech Songs’ from Magdalena Kozena on Pentatone

This lovely, haunting album of Czech orchestral songs is a real winner. It’s a followup to last year’s Folk Songs, winner of Album of the Year in the vocal category. This new one from Magdalena Kozena, backed by the Czech Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle conducting, is even more attractive to me because 14 of these art songs are from Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959), a composer whose works I have fallen in love with over the last few years.

The peacefulness and beauty that flows from this album is amazing!

Martinu’s Nipponari, from 1910 were inspired by Japanese culture. He lived in Paris from 1923 until 1941 when war and politics caused him to move to the US. His Songs on One Page were written in the US.

I can’t begin to describe how much I enjoyed Magdalena Kozena’s marvelous voice and interpretations. Sir Simon is an excellent accompanist.

More wonderful songs follow from Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904), and two lesser-known composers, Hans Krasa (1899-1944) and Gideon Klein (1919-1945). Pentatone’s recording is up to their usual high standard. The booklet is very informative and well written. 

Take a moment to sample it! Highly recommended!

Written by

Bill Dodd

Bill is Senior Music Reviewer at NativeDSD. He lives in the Portland, Oregon area. He is an avid photographer too! Along with his early interest in broadcasting and high fidelity audio, he was exposed to classical music in small doses from age 5, was given piano lessons from age 9— Starting with Bach and including Gershwin. Successful morning personality in San Francisco at age 22. (true). Sang in choirs in high school and college. Although the broadcasting experience was all in popular music, his personal listening has been mostly classical his whole life—along with others including Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Joni Mitchell, The Who, and Led Zeppelin.


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