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 – Piano

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).
Critic's Choice - Opera News
Critic's ChoiceCzech soprano Irena Troupová, who began her career as an early-music specialist, is a gratifyingly clear exponent of these challenging, grippingly individual songs. They demand complete musical and intonational assurance, which she provides in abundance. She’s comfortable with the angular intervallic leaps of “Aus dem Häuschen in den Garten,” another Steffen verse, and a song such as “Sonnenuntergang,” with its treacherously high middle section, could easily have sounded shrill in the hands of an artist with less vocal control. Troupová even sounds right at home with the Drei Jiddische Lieder, the standout of which is “A Mejdel in die Johren,” with its mix of tragedy, reproach and humor. Pianist Jan Dusek matches her colors and renders Ullmann’s crunchy harmonies with fullness and understanding. This is a major release.  
Joshua RosenblumOpera News
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