“She demonstrates throughout, remarkable poise between exuberance and introspection, technical virtuosity and stylistic simplicity, conservatory and spontaneity, the pieces showcasing her exquisite timing, delicacy and command of the keys in myriad styles from minimalism to Debussy-esque impressionism with touches of jazz among the many details revealed with each listen. Housed in a handsome calendar with images of extracted piano parts, the album’s context is complete and compelling, and nothing is overdone in deed or sentiment, making it safe to conclude that Hlavenková’s gift is our gift also.” (album Theodoros) Stuart Marshall (Velká Británie)  

I’ve been listening to the recorded output of Beata Hlavenková for a number of years now. I was first introduced to her work via the album Theodoros by my mastering engineer, Tony Cousins, a man with impeccable taste, and it struck me as a rare example of someone working between genres, with a beautifully innate, but restrained, melodicism, extraordinary acuity, and remarkable, seemingly effortless, dexterity. Her performance on that album, although not derivative in any way, reminded me a little of Sakamoto’s earlier piano stylings, possibly in its diversity and aesthetics as much as anything, which is a rare comparison for me to make, a compliment I couldn’t afford many pianists. Since that time Beata and I have communicated frequently and I’ve kept abreast of her work as composer, instrumentalist, orchestrator and, more recently, vocalist. Her talent allows her to excel in a variety of music genres whilst her own work tends to defy clear definition.  I remain curious as to where her, as yet untapped potential, will take Beata from here.David Sylvian

I’ve put on this record a few times to see if my enthusiasm wears off a bit after the first listen: but it still seems like an extraordinary phenomenon on our current scene. Lubomír Dorůžka (after listening to the first album Joy For Joel)

Pianist and composer Beata Hlavenková recorded a musical parable about overcoming mediocrity. Her album Scintilla (Spark) really shines at least on a European scale. Tomas S. Polivka (Scintilla)

Bethlehem is a record that goes down in history with its tenderness, humility, desire and unbridled joy. Her humanity is tangible, the atmosphere unrepeatable. To enter the musical world of Beata Hlavenková means to face mystery and miracle. Milan Bator (Bethlehem)

Beata Hlavenková is somehow subconsciously assigned to jazz, although with every other album, whether solo or the project she collaborates on, she proves that any box is too tight for her. Her album is a definitive step towards supra-genre and timeless “songwriting”. And watching her further development will be an immense pleasure. Ondrej Bezr (Sně)

It is a pleasure to watch where Beata Hlavenková moves in her work. As she looks with ease not only at the world of music, she absorbs new knowledge, experiences, which she then incorporates with care focused on sound detail. “Žijutě” is the most accessible work from her discography, at the same time it still retains the characteristic multi-genre quality, which the listener must gradually absorb and let live. Let yourself get caught. Dan Hájek (Žijutě)

“Our Imogen Heap! This brave musician has a beautiful new album out there. I can also hear Bon Iver and others. Vocoders and electronic-jazz progressions in beauty.” Zdeněk Lichnovský, program director of Radio 1

About Žijutě

“Another great asset of Beata Hlavenková are her music ideas, the record is full of them. You could say that it is impossible to find a track that isn’t interesting in one way or another or that lacks a principal idea. Whether it’s, for example, the use of voice as a musical instrument in Pořád je to tak, the brilliant lyrics in Věta, the changing of moods in Když padá sníh or the moving chanson in Sovám, where Hlavenková showcases her excellent grasp of her native tongue.” Headliner, 90 %

“It is an utter joy to follow the musical journey of Beata Hlavenková. The former jazz pianist has evolved over time into a musician who surpasses genres and who, on the record ‘Žijutě’, smoothly combines songwriting with pop. With pop that’s not schematic in any way, on the contrary it’s musically clever and works with sophisticated arrangements. Working with a wide team of collaborators—Oto Klempíř, Adam Koller, Tomáš Liška or Vojta Nýdl among others—she has succeeded in recording an album that’s humble, but emotionally extroverted, even surprisingly jocular in parts. It’s a record that hides many a surprise. And it’s a true joy to uncover the individual layers of the album and to let oneself be carried away by the wind of oftentimes very subtle melodies every time you listen to it. ‘Žijutě’ is an amazing record, one of the most honest ones that were released in the Czech Republic in 2021. This is pop music that I can believe in.”

“It’s still true that her music doesn’t pall on easily. Her singing has freed itself from its former reliance on impressionist onomatopoeia. Now it’s more vehement, simpler and sounds like a personal confession.” Český rozhlas

“The composer, musician and singer Beata Hlavenková has released her new album again, it is her sixth solo album, and it bears a rather ‘Zaum-style’ sounding name of Žijutě. If she already side-stepped from her original jazz direction on the previous title Sně, on the new record—barring several small details—she has left the original territory far behind in order to take on the role of a seeker among different styles. Particularly when it comes to the sound.” Lidové noviny

“The album by the singer and composer Beata Hlavenková called Žijutě is also ideal to listen to during the Christmas time and not only because of the name of the song Když padá sníh (When the Snow Falls). It’s a record that is easy to listen to, however ingeniously crafted and composed it is.” MF Dnes

“Hlavenková has composed not only her own music, but—uncharacteristically for her—she has written the lyrics as well. They are intimate, open and entirely ingenuous. In her new songs, Beata declares where she stands and what her, opinions and beliefs are. One of the best songs on the Žijutě album is Zahrada. A straightforward track with beautiful lyrics that will tug at your heartstrings.” Český rozhlas Ostrava

“This year’s album release by Beata Hlavenková is truly a huge step towards pop music. With a self-assured feat that does not lower its high musical standard, nor does it completely bin author’s style so far. It only shifts it to a generally more approachable level, while filling a similar space as the last album by Lenka Dusilová. Contrary to the fatal, stifling statement of this former bandmate on her album Řeka, Hlavenková’s statement speaks to us in a more balanced fashion.”

“Žijutě is a humble, modest, but emotionally extrovert, at times even a jocular album. It’s musically playful, relaxed, but not pandering. It shows a different side of Beata Hlavenková, musician and author, who is clearly opening a new door towards a new audience with this record. To an audience that wants to be entertained by music and does not deeply ponder on it, but at the same time, an audience that does not look for easy paths to the finish line. The same obviously applies to Hlavenková and you can quite clearly hear it on Žijutě.” Fullmoon magazine

“In many aspects, ‘Žijutě’ is a much more open record genre-wise in comparison to what we’ve been used to with Beata Hlavenková. She concentrates more on the sound design; vast majority of the original texts comes to the forefront. The result is a beautiful, but unassuming view of the world around us: both joyous and melancholic.”

“Hlavenková permeates all the songs with an aura of a playful atmosphere and the lightness of jazz all of which she then binds together nicely. Each track is different in some way, original in its own right. Waves of noise, purely experimental electronics and rhythms, great harmonic ideas. On the fifth track, the voice itself becomes an instrument (Pořád je to tak), one song later, the former hit Komíhání shows a more approachable side of her work. The sixth track called Věta is playful and splendidly rhythmical, and you should try to listen to its lyrics more closely as well. Excellent work. And that I wrote that the sound of the piano was hard to find? Try to look for it, you’ll be surprised in how many places it hides.” Echoes-zine

About Zátopek OST 

“The direction by David Ondříček, the cinematography by Štěpán Kučera, the music by Beata Hlavenková, the editing, art direction and costumes: they all deserve medals for craftmanship qualities, not to mention the acting performances of the main actors.” Zdena Mejzlíková, Divadelní noviny

“Piano is the principal instrument, it’s just ideal for the fast melodic runs composed of short curt tones. Above it sound the strings or the ethereal trumpet of Oskar Török, who appears on the record as a guest, and add further emotional layers: relaxation here, and there in contrast suspense during the victorious races, and they complete the atmosphere. There are places where the result also reminds us of Glass’ minimalism.” Jiří V. Matýsek, Full Moon Magazine

“Despite its colourfulness, the musical accompaniment of the picture forms a functioning and a cohesive whole. Apart from the melodic variety, the musical arrangements of the individual film sequences also contribute to the colourfulness of the soundtrack.” Tomáš Pilát, Hudební rozhledy

“On top of that, Zátopek is inconspicuously based also on the mood of folk songs that the athletic married couple enjoyed. Some parts of the film music have a deliberate running pace – after all, it is a quick working pace that perhaps also suits Hlavenková.” Pavel Turek, Respekt

“Nothing deviates from the well-thought-out concept or disturbs it, everything naturally falls into place: the cinematography by Štěpán Kučera, the spectacular art direction, the exquisite music by Beata Hlavenková, the direction and editing.” Jana Podskalská, Deník

“As a sports film, Zátopek works well, and evocatively conveys the experience of running, particularly thanks to the cinematography by Štěpán Kučera and the editing by Jarosław Kamiński. The music by Beata Hlavenková is also excellent.” Tereza Domínová, A2larm

“The cinematography by Štěpán Kučera is also exquisite, it stands out together with the editing particularly in the dynamic and oftentimes thrilling scenes that capture Zátopek’s Olympic performances and training, the music by Beata Hlavenková never slips into pathos and significantly helps the film where it otherwise would have slipped into a certain kind of pathos, and there is also the perfect art direction: from period stylisation to the execution of crowd scenes in Olympic stadiums.” Jan Varga,

“The whole atmosphere is captured really well by Štěpán Kučera’s cinematography in combination with the music by Beáta Hlavenková.” Anežka Gavendová,

“They say that the best film music is the one you don’t notice and that’s exactly the case of work by the composer Beata Hlavenková. She based her music plan on the heartbeat of the long-distance runner and did her magic above it fully at the service of the image: both in the frenetic sections of the sport competitions and in the moments when she decided to amplify the mental state of the main characters.” Milan Tesař, Forum24

“The airy arrangements beautifully complete the basic movement captured in the film: running. Relaxed and joyous at times (Marathon or Run 188), at other times dreamy in its monotony, reminiscent of a prayer (Race). Towards the end of the soundtrack, there are of course a number of tense racing moments (Helsinki 500 m or Finish Line), when the run becomes a fight supported by the electrifying atmosphere of the stadiums full of excited spectators. The pieces that accompany activities taking place outside of sport competitions represent a suitable counterpoint. Focusing more inward, building more on the Beáta’s piano sparkling with melody (Love or Dana & Emil, Somewhere in Zarazice)… The fourteen-track instrumental mosaic is a masterful work that complements an already high-set bar of the author’s discography.” Pavel Zelinka,

“Zátopek is like a living organism full of individual themes and musical structures which flow into each other and mutually support each other in an apt fashion. There are no conflicts, playfulness (which can represent the joy from the laurels and loyalty of fans) meets intimate dramas, important decisions and treacherous pitfalls which characterized the civilian life of this athlete. Hlavenková conducts all this herself, in her own way, from the piano. Gradually, she connects these themes together, and thanks to this, each additional listening will bring a new revelation, a new detail. In the final “Finish Line”, Beata’s voice is supported by the celebratory chorale from the Olympic triumphs – it appears several times in the form of hints, as if in the background, and culminates only at the finish line. Zátopek is a courageous mission of Beata Hlavenková, who – following Emil’s example – hasn’t given up on anything and embarked on a musical experiment that ultimately showed that, as a composer, she can tear down the established limits of film music being seen only as a mere accompaniment to the film. The combination of restrained orchestrations supported by jazz variations (there’s no denying that this genre is simply firmly embedded in Hlavenková) and light reinterpretations of our (Czech) folk songs – all this has eventually beautifully fallen into place.” Dan Hájek, Musicserver

“It is evident that Hlavenková entered the topic of the fascinating life and personality of Emil Zátopek with great determination, feeling, enthusiasm and unspoilt joy. Apart from the emotions of suspense, longing, expectation, restlessness, and worries, her music brings up a number of other important and lovely associations. The motives of hope, bravery, patience and love, of course, all resound in her soundtrack. The music by Hlavenková is a fantastic example of a creative, soulful and distinctive approach. As such, it should deserve the attention of not only the film spectators who can already get it on a red vinyl which has the colour of Zátopek’s shorts (or in an electronic format as well), but also of experts when push comes to shove during the awarding of prizes by art institutions.” Milan Bátor,

“Brilliant music by Beata Hlavenková” Jana Patočková,

“The captivating atmosphere of the film is supported by excellent music by Beata Hlavenková and the acting performances are a story unto themselves.” Irena Hejdová,

“Underline the word ‘sensitively’ twice, since Hlavenková is capable of balancing the intimate effect with the demands of an epic and contagiously optimistic sports drama. As if with one eye, she’s peeking at the scores by Hans Zimmer for A League of Their Own (1992) and by Richard Horowitz for Any Given Sunday (1999). Only the result is not a desperate attempt to approximate to some attractive foreign model. On the contrary: using a self-assured and universally comprehensible language, her music speaks of who the Zátopek spouses were for the world, for the Czechoslovaks and most importantly for themselves.” Jan Hamerský,


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