The Moravian Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst is a dazzling example of the nineteenth-century violinist-composer, of whom the greatest was Ernst’s sometime rival, Paganini. Indeed it was the Italian who persuaded Ernst to follow the life of a touring virtuoso, in which role he was to perform with the greatest musicians in Europe, earning the admiration of men such as Chopin and Mendelssohn. The Elégie sur la mort d’un objet chéri, mentioned by Tolstoy in The Kreutzer Sonata, was one of the best-known violin works of the century, and the Polyphonic Studies offer a compendium of violin technique on a par with the works of Paganini himself.
"...For its combination of devil-may-care virtuosity (both in the composer’s conception and the violinist’s execution), Špacek’s collection of Ernst should appeal at least to violinists. But even musical purists, who honor the reputations of the composers who admired Ernst, may find more than they bargained for in these brilliant pieces with soft centres. Urgently recommended across the board."
Robert Maxham - Fanfare - November/December 2013
"Spacek’s playing is so tasteful, expressive, and elegant that it is sometimes difficult to remember that the feats he is performing on the violin are probably the most difficult ever devised... I find his playing spectacular and put him in a class with superb soloists like Augustin Hadelich, Tianwa Yang, and James Ehnes. Anyone who appreciates excellent virtuosic violin playing combined with exquisite musicianship should hear this recording."
Elaine Fine - American Record Guide - November/December 2013
Repertoire **** Sound ***** Interpretation ****
Ernst Hoffmann - Ensemble magazine - June/July 2013