Some of Janacek's most characteristic invention is to be found in the many choruses he wrote for local choirs who were moved by both a love of singing together and a demonstration of their national identity. There is a good selection here. Even the earliest, a touching little lament for a duck, has a quirkiness which saves it from sentimentality; the latest, the Nursery Rhymes, are marvellous little inventions from the dazzling evening of Janacek's life. One must resist any temptation to say that they take Stravinsky on at his own game: Janacek is his own man. In between comes a varied diet here. Schoolmaster Halfar (or Cantor Halfar) is set with a dazzling range of little musical ironies as the story unfolds of the teacher who ruined his life by insisting on speaking Czech. The Elegy on the death of his daughter Olga goes some way toward dignifying a conventional text with some heartfelt music, but the pressure of grief has not drawn the greatest of his music from him: perhaps more time was needed, and indeed the piano pieces he entitled Along an Overgrown Path re-enter ancient griefs more expressively.
A new record from Bernat Font is cause for total celebration. And more so when it is live, which is where his music radiates all the passion boiling inside, which is considerable. Blues, swing, jazz, ragtime, boogie, stride… all the styles meld in the fingers of this keyboard prodigy who gives off a fire that sets the spirit burning as soon as it hits your ears.
Only 21 years old, pianist Bernat Font has become one the latest revelations of catalan jazz since the release of a first album where he renews the precepts of traditional jazz. (…) Bernat Font's surprising skills, a pianist with a classic background, to suggest a new reading to the most traditional sounds of the genre make him an artist with a great future in present-day European scene. With a repertoire full of his own compositions, this musician combines the different piano schools that marked a great deal of the history of the 20th century and does so with a unique dexterity and from a personal perspective which is filled with energy.