Viktor Ullmann: Schwer ist's das Schöne zu lassen (Lieder für Sopran und Klavier). Irena Troupová - Sopran, Jan Dušek - Klavier


Irena Troupová – Soprano

The eminent Czech soprano Irena Troupová gained international renown through the historically-informed interpretation of early music. Since the 1990s, when she lived in Berlin, she has performed on stages throughout the whole of Europe, collaborating with the likes of Thomas Hengelbrock, Howard Arman, Joshua Rifkin, the ensemble Orpheon, etc.; in the Czech Republic also with Jaroslav Tůma, Barbara Willi, Monika Knoblochová, Ensemble Tourbillon, Musica Florea, and many others. She gradually extended her scope to include Romantic and Modern vocal and operatic works. She has performed in concert series of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic and the Prague Philharmonia and has been a frequent participant of the Prague Spring festival. She took part in the internationally acclaimed recording of Bohuslav Martinů’s opera Le jour de bonté (The Day of Charity) for Arco Diva, she collaborates with modern music ensembles (Pavel Šnajdr’s Brno Contemporary Orchestra, BERG Orchestra, Konvergence, Prague Modern, etc.) and contemporary composer – Marek Kopelent, Jan Dušek, Peter Koeszeghy, Miloš Štědroň, Jiří Kadeřábek, Roman Z. Novák, Jiří Teml, and others. She is also interested in the music of interwar authors (Ullmann, Schulhoff, von Hannenheim, Herschkowitz, etc.). Irena Troupová teaches at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno and leads international singing courses.
Jan Dušek (born 11 April 1985) studied at Conservatory Teplice (piano, composition) and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (composition with Hanuš Bartoň), where he finished doctoral studies in the same field in 2012. As a pianist, he participated in several masterclasses (Cyprien Katsaris, Irina Ossipova, Angela Hewitt) and broadened his experience in private lessons with Robert Lehrbaumer in Vienna. He has been awarded prizes and honourable mentions in interpretation competitions (e.g. Concertino Praga, International Smetana Piano Competition, and International Zd. Fibich Competition in the interpretation of melodrama). He regularly records Czech music for Czech Radio. As a composer, he has won many awards in composition competitions (e.g. Generation – first prize in 2006 and 2007; NuBERG – Prize of the Public in 2008 and 2011, Prize of Young in 2012, and his composition “Chalomot Yehudi’im” was awarded Gideon Klein’s Prize). He cooperates with leading soloists and conductors (Irvin Venyš, Monika Štreitová, Petr Louženský) and chamber ensembles and orchestras (Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, BERG Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Prague Philharmonic Choir).
Compact and valuable addition - Musical Web International
Soprano Irena Troupová used to be quite well-known for her immersion in Early Music but she’s since expanded to take in Czech music of the inter-war years and is well versed in the milieu. She captures Ullmann’s Schoenberg-Zemlinsky side very well, though some of his more unforgiving registral leaps find her tone – inevitably perhaps – somewhat pinched. Jan Dušek is her well-attuned colleague, who has few opportunities to indulge in postludes but sticks to the singer like glue. Glitches quietly noted, this is a compact and valuable addition to Ullmann’s representation on disc.
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