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FOLKSONGS FANTASIAS
Magda Uhlířová

 

F10243   [8595017424328]   released 1/2020

Magda Uhlířová – viola da gamba bass and treble, vocal

Jakub Tatoušek – little drum
Hana Fleková – viola da gamba 
Karel Jiroš – guitar 

play album Folksongs Fantasias 50:30
1. Ej, lásko 5:46
2. Měla jsem holoubka 2:47
3. Rehradice 7:07
4. Polajka 3:33
5. Koulelo se, koulelo 3:00
6. Až já pojedu přes ten les 3:29
7. Kočka leze dírou 2:49
8. Kebych bola jahodú 3:34
9. Kukačka kuká 4:21
10. Rajhora 2:16
11. Bolí mě hlavěnka 4:14
12. Vlaštovička lítá 1:42
13. Tangambo 4:55

Oh, Love
I Had a Little Dove
Rehradice
Magical Herb
Rolling Apple
Once I Go Across the Forest
A Cat Crawls In Through a Hole
If I Were a Strawberry
A Cuckoo Is Singing
Paradise Mountain
My Little Head Is Aching
A Little Swallow Is Flying
Tangambo

How is it at all possible that people like sad songs?
What’s going on in songs with texts about earthly sorrows that makes us want to listen to them?
To me, it’s as if a stone that’s been weighing down my heart falls into the river of folk melodies, and that stone turns into a pebble that just fits in the palm of my hand.
Maybe that’s why we are able to admire the little rock and play around with it. 
Or take a look at it. 
Or skip it on a pond. 
Or keep it in a pocket. 
And smile when we find it there later unexpectedly.

Imagination then opens up secret drawers where there only appears to be a wall at first glance...
 
These variations based on Bohemian and Moravian folk songs were composed out of a desire to escape from the pleasant but rather limiting confines of early music, to let myself use my gamba to sing something other than words that are 300 years old. There is no denying the historical origins of the viola da gamba, but I think that while respecting the basic nature of the instrument and what comes naturally on it and lies comfortably for the player, one can go a bit past than the Baroque.

Originally, I wrote variations on songs in the styles of my favourite Baroque composers and gamba players (M. Marais, A. Forqueray, Sainte-Colombe, G. Ph. Telemann, J. S. Bach, C. F. Abel). The outcome was ultimately more of a diary into which, cautiously at first and then more and more, 
I began to project encounters with inspirational music and interesting people as well as other genres that are dear to me (the songs of F. Schubert and the music of A. Piazzolla).
Gradually, I also let myself follow the principles of the solo cadenza. I was also guided by the stylus fantasticus, which can put the individual passages of a song into a kaleidoscope and reveal motifs seen in unexpected mirror images, as if looking at a song inside out.
At first I chose the songs from among those that my mother sang to me when I was a child, but after a while I began to look through the collections made by Sušil and others.
Although the original plan was for purely instrumental compositions, I also sing some of the songs on the CD. Incidentally, it was in just this way that I was introduced to the gamba. The sung numbers were really created much more just because – for my own pleasure. But I have also decided to include a few of them here as well because of the feeling that this way of telling a story is part of what makes a folk song.

Tangambo, a tango for two gambas, seems like a bit of a departure from the folk song concept, but it is related to the other compositions by its variation form. At the last moment, I decided  that instead of the original version, I would present an adaptation for gamba and guitar, which makes a more dance-like impression.

With this CD, my gamba and I above all want to invite you to some lively listening, and we are looking forward to interesting encounters!

Magda Uhlířová studied, prior musician career, musical science at the Faculty of the Arts of Masaryk University in Brno. Originally played flute and violin but she discovered viola da gamba at the age of 25. Two semesters of studying with Michael Brüssing enabled her to prepare for Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig, where she studied for two years with Irene Klein. Another 3 years studied at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen with Hille Perl, where she graduated. She attended also master classes lead by Marianne Müller, Pandolfo Paolo and Vittorio Ghielmi. Now she lets herself be inspired on Mozarteum by Vittorio Ghielmi. 

She works with early music ensembles such as Bachchor Köthen (Martina Apitz), Hallesches Consort, Capella St. Martini Bremen Lesum (Hans Dieter Renken), Ritornello (Michael Pospíšil), Les Sorcières, Concerto Sacro Leipzig (Gregor Meyer), Musica symbolica (Petra Žďárská - cembalo), Alchemilla dualis (Hanna Thiel - viola da gamba) and many other solo artists of early music. 

From 2012 she works as a principal of the Music school in Nová Paka, where she also teaches viola da gamba, improvisation and basso continuo. Since then the school focuses on early music, organizes workshops with various interesting musicians (Kaleidoskop cycle) and IMPROFEST, yearly festival concerned with historical improvisation.

She cooperated on these recordings of barrock songs: O smrti i vesele, Písně pro Ježíše, Adventní písničky z českých barokních kancionálů, Lauda puer Dominum and on a trailer for Valdštejnská lodžie 2014. 

Magda Uhlířová is interested in musical improvisation, composes and arranges pieces for viola da gamba from different periods. She prepared a solo program of her own compositions, fantasias based on czech and moravian folk songs.

© Studio Svengali, December 2020
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