Intimate Studies is the innovative debut release from Czech pianist Lada Valešová who developed a fresh and intriguing programme of works that link both teacher and student alike during the early part of the 20th century. The CD features 20th century piano music composed by four of her native country’s leading composers: “In the Mist” (Janácek), “Suite for Piano Op.13” and “Allegro Moderato” (Haas), “Film en Miniature H.148” (Martinu) and “Spring Op.22a” (Suk).
Of particular note is the performance of a rare collection of eleven tone poems and studies, some complete miniature works, some unfinished kernels of ideas written by Janacek under the collected title: “Intimate Studies”.
Born in Pilsen in the Western part of the Czech Republic, Lada Valešová is a leading young concert pianist in Europe. She is a graduate of Prague Conservatoire and Prague Music Academy and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she was awarded a full three-year scholarship. Lada has won several prizes including two awards at the International Smetana Piano Competition. Her teachers include the Russian pianist and pedagogue Valentina Kameníková and Eugene Indjic, the outstanding pianist and pupil of Arthur Rubinstein. Lada’s piano playing has received high recognition from various artists including the late Sir George Solti and she has had the honour of working with Galina Vishnevskaja and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Lada Valešová is currently a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, UK.
"This collcection of 20th Centuary Czech piano music has much that will interest collectors." "...her [Valesova] playing is very polished." "...This [CD] begins with a better than average reading of Janacek’s In The Mist, but what comes next is especially fascinating. Called here Intimate studies, it is a collection of 11 tone poems and studies that generally were unpublished.Some of them concern his passion for Kamila Stosslova, who was a major inspiration for some of his mature works. ...These aren’t major works, but anyone who is interested in Janacek will surely want them."
"... He [Haas] shows much evidence of being a great composer. The two works here are both pleasing and well-written....The Film in Miniature is one of three versions. This is one of the best performances it has had. The programme concludes with Suk’s Spring...It is a work filled with optimism and energy - and one of Suk’s most romantic works...."
"The recording is very good, with a lush piano sound."