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REVIEWS

"Marlen Vavrikova is a master of the oboe."

Gorman (American Record Guide, September 2013)

"I offer my unreserved congratulations to Toccata Classics for their initiative, for the superb performers and my unreserved congratulations to all buyers and listeners. This survey of Eben's complete output for chamber oboe is also a perfect survey of his life of music. ... This is one of the most important issues there has ever been of Eben's music and can only add lustre to the reputation of both the composer and of Toccata Classics."

Peter Herbert (The Dvorak Society Newsletter No. 105, October 2013)

“This is a magnificent disc (Petr Eben: Chamber Music for Oboe - Toccata Classics 2013) and is as much a tribute to oboist Marlen Vavrikova as it is to composer Petr Eben. … If there are any ‘Eben virgins’ out there they should take the opportunity of getting to know his music. His reputation as one of the world’s greatest organists and improvisers has often overshadowed his compositional achievements. The present disc offers some fabulous music. It is the perfect place to start an exploration of this composer. As for existing Eben fans, they will not hesitate in adding this disc to their collection especially with its five first recordings. The musicians are all first class players while the star of the show is undoubtedly Marlen Vavrikova who delivers superb elan, verve and seemingly boundless enthusiasm. Her bell-like clarity gives the music a luminescent quality that is simply staggering. I cannot praise this disc too highly. 

- Steve Arloff (MusicWeb International – Nov 13, 2013)  

“Marlen Vavrikova is a fine oboist and is well supported by her colleagues. Her tone is strong and colorful … Eben’s music is very much worth getting to know.” 

- James H. North (Fanfare – Issue 37:2 Nov/Dec 2013)

“This kaleidoscope of various styles, with several compositions as premiere recordings, is presented with exquisite phrasing and appealing interpretation by a dynamic oboist who mainly works in the USA and her colleagues.” 

Diether Steppuhn (Ensemble, Oct-Nov 2013)

“It’s a lovely recording, and really displays your performing abilities well. It is also wonderful publicity for Eben and his music.” 

- Judith Fiehler (Library of Congress, August 16, 2013)

“Oboist Marlen Vavrikova plays with a simple and pure tone … She consistently avoids in her interpretation any hint of romanticizing pathos, but always plays the many lyrical passages clearly, with absolute accuracy and strong expressivity. … This new CD of oboe chamber music by Peter Eben unfolds a wide stylistic arc—from the folklike miniature to the virtuosic brilliant piece. Oboists especially will discover on this CD an exciting, mostly unfamiliar repertoire for their instrument. But also for anyone who wants to get to know this composer, hardly known in our country, this CD is warmly recommended.” 

- Jan Ritterstaedt (WDR 3 Ton Art – July 12, 2013)

It (Schiffauer's Fairytale) is quite a technical tour-de-force, one which Vavrikova brings off to stutteringly stunning effect. Vavrikova is master of all she has chosen to assay in this unusually interesting program. Her purity of tone, accuracy of pitch, and breath control are exemplary. This is strongly recommended to all oboe fanciers and to anyone who has an interest in unfamiliar Czech repertoire. 

Jerry Dubins (Fanfare Magazine)

This fine new disc has a clear dual purpose - to spotlight a fine oboist and shed light on a group of composers from a region that needs and deserves new champions. Vavrikova plays beautifully throughout, with a sensitive lyrical touch, sure technique and intonation, and a range of dynamics unusually wide for oboists. Such a collection of little known works usually has more misses than hits, but all of these are eminently listenable. A must for oboe fans. Edvard Schiffauer's Pohadka o lasce proves to be a strong work that deserves a formidable advocate. The notes give a detailed description of how certain intervals and rhythms are manipulated to portray the interplay of love, death, and betrayal. These are heady concepts to expect a lone wind player to exude, but Vavrikova paints a vivid and compelling picture.

Michael Cameron (Fanfare Magazine)


Photo Credit: Dan Merlo