Barbora Kolářová: Imp in Impulse


Virtuoso Czech violinist Barbora Kolářová releases her debut recording of solo violin works, including the premiere recording of Pascal Le Boeuf's title track, alongside rarely heard works by Jean Francaix and Moravian composer Klement Slavicky.


# Audio Title/Composer(s) Time
Total Time 46:26

Imp in Impulse

Pascal Le Boeuf
01I. Shoes
I. Shoes
02II. Tomato Caprice
II. Tomato Caprice
03III. Perverse Chaconne
III. Perverse Chaconne
04IV. "...thus meditates a plunge"
IV. "...thus meditates a plunge"
05V. Imp in Impulse
V. Imp in Impulse

Theme with 8 Variations for Solo Violin

Jean Françaix
06Theme - Con Spirito
Theme - Con Spirito
07Variation I - Moderato
Variation I - Moderato
08Variation II - Larghetto Poetico
Variation II - Larghetto Poetico
09Variation III - Allegro Assai
Variation III - Allegro Assai
10Variation IV - Allegretto
Variation IV - Allegretto
11Variation V - Adagio
Variation V - Adagio
12Variation VI - Andantino
Variation VI - Andantino
13Variation VII - Scherzando
Variation VII - Scherzando
14Variation VIII - Molto Pomposo
Variation VIII - Molto Pomposo

Partita for Solo Violin

Klement Slavický
15I. Improvvisazione
I. Improvvisazione
16II. Intermezzo
II. Intermezzo
17III. Esercizio
III. Esercizio
18IV. Dialogo
IV. Dialogo
19V. Capriccio
V. Capriccio

Virtuoso Czech violinist Barbora Kolářová releases her debut recording of three works for solo violin, one written for her and heard in its premiere recording, and the other two significant works that are given new life and deserved attention through her vibrant renderings.

Imp in Impulse is a caprice written for Barbora Kolářová by American composer Pascal Le Boeuf (1986). The title is a phrase used by American philosopher Dr. Paul A. Lee — a metaphor describing a spirit that tempts a person to do things without inhibition. Perhaps a precursor to Lee’s metaphor, the colloquialism “The Imp of the Perverse” was popularized by Edgar Allan Poe’s 1845 short story of the same title. In either case, this imp has come to be associated with what Harvard psychologist Daniel M. Wegner describes as ironic processes of mental control: “These monitoring processes keep us watchful for errors of thought, speech, and action and enable us to avoid the worst thing in most situations, but they also increase the likelihood of such errors.” Following Dr. Wegner’s research, such impulses arise due to a focused intention on avoiding specific errors or actions. According to Poe, “that single thought is enough. […] There is no passion in nature so demonically impatient, as that of him who, shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a plunge.” This impulse is present at various levels throughout this composition from the performer’s shoes and bowing directions, to the cheeky juxtapositions of traditional and unorthodox compositional devices.

A gifted composer and pianist, Jean Françaix wrote music that drew frequently on traditional forms and was historically inspired. His work is often described as neoclassical, demonstrating a preference for melodic themes and tonality with timbres and textures that frequently betray his French roots and are reminiscent of Ravel. Written in 1980, Françaix’s Tema con 8 variazioni for solo violin remains one of the composer’s least performed instrumental works. Over the course of the piece, the buoyant and lilting theme undergoes a series of transformations, each of which is centered on a particular technique idiomatic to the violin in the manner of Niccolò Paganini’s 24 Caprices for Solo Violin.

Evident immediately from its title, the Partita for Solo Violin by Moravian composer Klement Slavický pays homage to J. S. Bach’s landmark series of Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001–1006) from 1720. Although both pieces rely heavily on gesture to make each movement come to life, Bach’s partitas draw on well-known Baroque dance forms, while Slavický’s movements utilize modern genres that are defined more by dramatic character than traditional structures. In “Improvvisazione”, the lack of barlines and florid ornamentation afford the violinist significant performance liberties that contribute to the movement’s improvised character. The “Intermezzo” serves as a moment of respite, and in this movement we are given the most tender melodies of the entire work, which emerge from a constant pulsing that unifies the whole movement. The third movement, “Esercizio”, is a technical endeavor for the violinist, requiring the performer to traverse the highest and lowest registers of the violin in a constant stream of notes that alternates between duple and triple divisions, while the fourth movement, “Dialogo”, unfolds as a conversation in which the violinist must perform the roles of the different interlocutors. Though we are given no program for the dialogue, Slavický’s tempo markings and directives provide some sense of the nature of the exchanges, moving from calm and tranquil sections suggestive of agreement or concern to more animated and impassioned passages evocative of disagreement or anger. In the final movement, “Capriccio”, sudden moments of rest and playful slides contribute to a lighthearted character that round out the many emotions explored in this dramatic work.

  • “Imp in Impulse” (ASCAP) commissioned by the Lake George Music Festival for Barbora Kolářová
  • Produced by Pascal Le Boeuf
  • Recording Engineer: Andres Villalta, Princeton University
  • Editing Engineer: Pascal Le Boeuf
  • Mixing Engineer: Dave Darlington, Bass Hit Studios
  • Mastering Engineer: Mishan Padiak, Jan Martínek - Little m studio
  • “Partita for Solo Violin” and “Theme with 8 Variations for Solo Violin”:
  • Recording Engineer: Jan Martínek, Pavel Bohatý - SONO Records
  • Editing Engineer: Jan Martínek, Milena Kolářová - Soundsquare studio
  • Mixing Engineer: Mishan Pajdiak, Jan Martínek - Little m studio
  • Mastering Engineer: Mishan Padiak, Jan Martínek - Little m studio
  • Photo Credits:
  • Picture: Blackpepper Production
  • Designer: Alia Bastamam
  • Makeup: Deqsha
  • Stylist: Shahrezzan Ezani /Jimmy Najeem/ Teddy Faizal Abdullah
  • Creative Coordinator: Teena Razak
  • Program notes credit: Francaix/Slavický: Christine E. Wisch
  • Design & Layout: Marc Wolf

Barbora Kolářová

Barbora Kolářová is recognized as one of the foremost young violinists to emerge from the Czech Republic, having received widespread acclaim for her ability to move audiences with her passionate performance, inherent musicality and comfortable command on stage. Co-founder and Artistic Director/General Manager of the Lake George Music Festival, Barbora is a Manhattan Concert artist, Lincoln Center Stage artist and a visiting Co- Principal Second Violin of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ms. Kolářová’s 2019/2020 season highlights include the world premiere of a solo violin composition by GRAMMY Award nominated composer Pascal Le Boeuf written for Barbora, a premiere of David Ludwig's Violin Concerto No.2 "Paganiniana" for solo violin and chamber ensemble as well as world premiere of Sheridan Seyfried's Capricio for solo violin. Barbora will be returning to the Curtis Summerfest as contemporary faculty/artist, debuting with Orchestra Santa Monica under Maestro Roger Kalia performing Brahms’ Violin Concerto, giving solo recitals and outreach events in Washington DC, New York, Europe, Southeast Asia and performing chamber music concerts as part of Lincoln Center Stage in Hawaii, Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia. Ms. Kolářová’s will be releasing a solo violin album "Imp in Impulse" including works that have not been previously recorded in the fall of 2019.

Barbora Kolářová appeared numerous times as a soloist with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra performing throughout Europe and the United States and has also performed solo concertos with the Czech Radio Symphony, the Czech National Theatre Orchestra, the West Bohemia Symphony Orchestra, the Limoges Orchestra and the Academy Sinfonietta Orchestra where she also served as a concertmaster (2013-2015). Miss Kolářová is also a former visiting performing artist of the Czech Philharmonic (2013-2016) and visiting concertmaster of the Orquestra Filarmonica de Minas Gerais in Brazil (2017-2018).

As an active soloist, chamber musician, and member of numerous prestigious orchestras she has appeared on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall, the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Cultural Centre in Hong Kong, Dewan Philharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, Musikverein and the Wiener Kozerthaus in Vienna, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Lisinski Hall in Zagreb, and the Dvorana Hall/ Union Hall in Maribor, Slovenia. She has collaborated with many notable artists such as the Ying Quartet, the Johannes Quartet, Ruggiero Ricci, Sir Simon Rattle, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Andre Previn, Yannick Nezget-Seguin, Alan Gilbert, Fabio Luisi, Neeme Jarvi and many others.

A native of the Czech Republic, Barbora Kolářová holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. Her major teachers include Pavel Prantl, Charles Avsharian, Ida Kavafian, Arnold Steinhardt and Ani Kavafian. Barbora plays 1700 Antonius Josephus Laske violin and her performance wardrobe is provided and sponsored by Malaysian designer Alia Bastamam, styled by Shahrezzan Ezani and Jimmy Najeem.

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