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It was in Prague and Brno, the two largest cities in what is now the Czech Republic, that Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček – the principal representatives of the nineteenth-century Czech national school, along with Bedřich Smetana – launched their respective compositional careers. While Janáček, thirteen years younger than Dvořák, saw the latter as a father figure, the two men shared the same poetic Slavic soul. Indeed, Janáček said of Dvořák: ‘I could exchange his personality for his works; it is as if his melodies came straight from my heart. Nothing can ever break such a bond.’ In his fourth solo recording for Fuga Libera, Jan Michiels places this shared Slavic consciousness and musicality in the perspective of the almost filial relationship between the two composers, for example by interspersing the pieces from two eminently lyrical cycles: Dvořák’s Poetic Tone Pictures op.85 (1889) and Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path, JW VIII/17 (1900-11).

"'I waited for a recording like this for many years: one combining Dvořák’s Poetic Tone Pictures and Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path, the grandest piano works by these two composers, allied both spiritually and compositionally.'"
Martin Jemelka - Czech Music Quarterly