All of your favorites, in one place.
Composer Ladislav Kubík was born and educated in Prague. In 1991 he began teaching at Florida State University, and the performers on this CD are drawn from the FSU community. The pieces collected here were written in the first years of the twenty-first century and include instrumental music and Songs of Zhivago, a substantial song cycle for tenor and piano. The cycle consists of six of Pasternak's poems in English translation. Kubík's atonal harmonic language tends toward academic grayness (a problem that affects other of his pieces as well), but it takes on more life when he uses expressive extremes, such as the manic piano introduction to Hamlet or the dark melancholy of Soul. In general, though, the text-setting is sing-songy and random-sounding, and the ending strains embarrassingly for effect, but its excessive volume can't cover for its lack of musical substance. The Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano is altogether more successful.