Reviews

“Splendid and idiomatic performances”
“The pieces are performed by renowned American pianist Patricia Goodson. Having lived in Prague since 1991, Goodson regularly wins praise all over the world for her interpretation of the Czech piano repertoire...
Splendid and idiomatic performances by American pianist Patricia Goodson who did extensive research into this fascinating figure in Czech music history.”

Opus Klassiek
Classics Today

Review by: David Hurwitz

Artistic Quality: 9
Sound Quality: 9
Pianist Patricia Goodson has made a systematic study of Josef Bohuslav Foerster’s piano music, and presents it complete for the first time on this inexpensive and very well-recorded four-CD set. Throughout his long life (1859-1951) Foerster wrote a great deal of music. The latest numbered work here, the Two Pieces for the Left Hand, is his opus 142, but he’s best known for his opera Eva, the Fourth Symphony, the tone poem Cyrano de Bergerac, and most of all for being a FOM (Friend of Mahler).

Although Czech, Foerster’s music belongs squarely within the German school; he’s more like Fibich than Dvorák, and his piano works advance from the style of Schumann and Brahms to that of Richard Strauss. There is only one big work here, the theme and variations entitled The Masks of Eros. The music is quite inventive, but there’s nothing erotic about it if by that we mean “sexy.” Foerster was one of those sincere, religious guys whose artistic and aesthetic makeup was morally upright and decidedly non-sensual, although this of course doesn’t mean that his music is inexpressive any more than it does with Dvorák.

All the rest of these works are short, lyrical pieces often grouped into suites either with evocative titles, “Evening Music,” “Charcoal Sketches,” “Dreaming,” “Roses of Remembrance,” or else named after places, as in the “Osenice” and “Jicín” Suites. The Allegro impetuoso third movement of the former work gives you a good idea of what to expect (sound clip). After living with this set for a while, the overall impression of the music is very pleasant, but not terribly memorable. Foerster was not a tunesmith, and his chromatic, Straussian later style tends to slide in one ear and out the other. That said, his feeling for harmony was quite personal and he doesn’t sound precisely like anyone else.

Patricia Goodson clearly cares about this music. She
Classics Today
Happiness Month
I've decided to make December Happiness Month for my blogs, spotlighting not only worthy rarities but also artists and works that make me happy, including a few of my favorite things in the world. I'm kicking off the month with a long-standing happiness supplier in my CD library, Patricia Goodson's Strange Attractors.

Click on the link to read the full review.
Re.composing
"Top notch"
But what impressed me most was the Piano Concerto, being sublimely performed by Patricia Goodson. A very concentrated work, filled to bursting with so many ideas, that the outcome is truly magical. There are semblances of Light and Shade, a commanding strength, and also a inner purpose. Goodson communicates a genuine affection for the piece culminating in a particularly exciting performance. It has a class on it's own, is superbly balanced, and exquisitely articulated. I truly felt connected with this work, so melodical and with a warm tonal colour, full and sweet. It's a huge cascading of delicious notes with a magical intensity. Fine droplets of sound.
And that goes also for the Sixteen Variations on an old Scottish Song. There is a inner strength in the performance and music, that keeps you close to the context of the music.
The recording and performance are top notch.
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Radio

Foerster: Evening Music, No. 79, No. 2 for piano solo
Foerster: Dreaming, Op. 47, No. 1
Foerster: Impressions
Mucha: Piano Concerto

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