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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22039
Recording details: September 1983
Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Mike Clements
Release date: July 1988
Total duration: 11 minutes 9 seconds

'First-class performances and superb recording. An indispensable issue for lovers of Martinu's music' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'A delightful record, first class performances and superb recording. An indispensable issue' (Penguin Stereo Record Guide)

'Martinu's fluent brand of neo-classicism takes flight in an indispensable (and inexpensive) double-CD set' (

Five Madrigal Stanzas

Moderato  [2'35]
Poco allegretto  [1'53]
Andante moderato  [3'15]
Poco allegro  [1'47]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Among Martinu’s acquaintances in America was the famous physicist Albert Einstein. Einstein was a modest violinist but apparently good enough to play Mozart sonatas with his friend the pianist Robert Casadesus. The Five Madrigal Stanzas were composed for this remarkable duo exactly one year after the Madrigal Sonata and are dedicated to Einstein, who is said to have played them with Casadesus at Princeton in private recitals.

They are more strongly inflected with elements of Czech folk song than the two previous madrigal compositions and, in deference to the amateur status of the dedicatee, are all of slow or, at most, moderate speeds. The violin part is comparatively simple but deceptively so, and there is obvious ‘writing down’ to the recipient. The piano part, on the other hand, is considerably more difficult as befitted Casadesus’s great reputation as a keyboard virtuoso. Though Martinu had made every effort to tailor his demands to Einstein’s technical limitations, Einstein was unable to make a reciprocal gesture to the composer’s scientific amateurism and Martinu’s rueful attempts to get to grips with the Theory of Relativity consequently remained unfulfilled.

from notes by Kenneth Dommett & Robert Matthew-Walker © 1998

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