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Project completed!  The first-ever recording of the complete works for solo piano by Czech romantic composer 
Josef Bohuslav Foerster. Now available on Brilliant Classics as a 4CD set or via download.
Project completed!  The first-ever recording of the complete works for solo piano by Czech romantic composer Josef Bohuslav Foerster. Now available on Brilliant Classics as a 4CD set or via download.
43 backers pledged $3,646 to help bring this project to life.

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Dreams, Memories, Impressions: piano works of J.B. Foerster

$3,646

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Hello!  I am both grateful and astonished that our project exceeded its funding goal in two days!  I would like to thank all my wonderful backers, and also those who told their friends and helped spread the word through social media. 

I see that other projects which exceeded their goals added "stretch goals", so I will too.  When creating this proposal, I made a bare-bones budget that would cover basic recording, editing and mastering.  I did not dream of asking for money for a launch concert and promotion, though both are important.  So any additional money will go for those - and everyone is invited!  Watch this space for date and time!

Anyway, here is my original proposal text:

The Czech composer Josef Bohuslav Foerster (1859 - 1951) was celebrated in his day not only as a composer, but as a writer, critic, educator and watercolorist.  He wrote passionate, deeply personal, often introverted music with lush chromatic harmonies.  His first love was song, thus his music is unfailingly melodic and communicative.   While not simple, it  doesn`t lend itself to virtuosic display, which may partly account for its obscurity.  Its romantic, individual style also went out of fashion in the 20th century.

I stumbled upon Foerster in a volume of scores I bought in a second-hand bookstore, and was astonished at the beauty, imagination and craftsmanship of the music.  I was even more surprised to discover that only one set of piano pieces had ever been commercially recorded.   Czech Radio has recorded several works over the years, but these are effectively locked up in the Radio archives and not available to the public.  All of Foerster`s piano music was in print during his lifetime, but none is in print today, which means this gorgeous music may as well not exist.

Here are some links to recordings we have already finished:

The Czech Ministry of Culture, OSA Foundation and the Czech Music Fund have given grants to cover most of this project`s costs.  The costs are low because I am not taking any fee, and because Ondřej Urban, our producer/engineer has been more than generous with his time and talents, and can not only manage the technical aspects of recording and editing, but follow the score and keep track of where we need to edit.  Thus he is both producer and recording engineer, which saved a lot of money. For both of us, it has been a labor of love.

The highly regarded Dutch label Brilliant Classics  will release the complete set during 2013.  I still do not know if the music will all fit on three disks or whether there will need to be four CDs.  Brilliant are very generously  covering some of the costs, and have proven to be terrific partners in this.

Towards the end of the project, I discovered more pieces which need to be included to make the set complete.  It is too late to apply for grants, but I need to get the finished master to Brilliant Classics in early February.  The money I seek will pay for additional recording, editing and mastering.  If somehow  we exceed the goal, the money will go towards a launch concert for the CD in Prague.

Thank you for reading this far, and for taking an interest in Foerster and in our project.  Perhaps someday, Foerster and his music will be once again widely loved and appreciated.

Risks and challenges

As the project is nearly finished, the risks of non-completion come from possible health problems, which seem unlikely, or any problems Brilliant Classics may encounter - also unlikely. They have shown themselves to be excellent partners so far and have a long and very good track record as a company. If there are issues with production, I will press and release the CDs myself.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Download of Foerster`s five-part cycle "Impressions"

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Free copy of the finished set of at least 3, possibly 4 CDs

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    17 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Autographed copy of the finished set and thank you note.

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    8 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    -Your name listed as a Kickstarter sponsor in the CD booklet
    -autographed copy of the finished set with thank you note.

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    11 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All of the above, plus a house concert when I am in your vicinity in Europe or the US. Anywhere else we would have to negotiate a bit as I have no travel plans beyond Europe and the US for the next few years.

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Funding period

- (20 days)