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After the split, there’s been plenty of attention paid to Prague and the Czech Republic; far fewer take notice of Slovakia and its capital, Bratislava. Strange, when you consider that the city is less than 40 miles from Vienna. That should tip you off that there just might be some serious music-making happening in Bratislava, and thanks to a young web-savvy musician we can confirm it with our eyes and ears.

Andrej Gál is a cellist in Bratislava, member of the Slovak Chamber Orchestra, Zwiebel String Quartet, Veni Ensemble, Melos-Ethos Ensemble, Ostravská banda and newly established Quasars ensemble (whew!). Luckily for us, he’s also a happy YouTube user. Gál has made available a number of performance videos that happen to include him as a member, and the collection features a unusually choice selection of contemporary composers and stellar performances: Bartók, Grisey, Murail, Lachenmann… and this great piece by a Slovak composer I’d never heard before, Vladimír Godár (b. 1956 / The embedded video is part one; you’ll find part two at the link above to the whole collection). Bravo Andrej — not only for your fine playing, but for taking the simple step of using the web to bring us the news half a world away.


Comment from zeno
Time: January 29, 2009, 6:04 pm

Steve, if you hadn’t heard of Vladimír Godár, you must not have been following the playing (and dancing) of Iva Bittova recently …

Thanks for the update.

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: January 29, 2009, 6:42 pm

I saw the bit about the 2005 ECM release of “Mater”:

But that one slipped past my radar when it came out.