Smetana: Complete Orchestral Works

Smetana: Complete Orchestral Works
Composer Bedrich Smetana
Artist Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
Theodore Kuchar conductor
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 93634
EAN code 5028421936345
Release April 2006

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About this release

Bedrich Smetana was the first major nationalist composer of Bohemia. Probably best known for his opera The bartered bride and of course The Moldau (from ‘My homeland’) most of his orchestral music is rather neglected by the average symphony orchestra.

Smetana’s predilection for anything Bohemian shines through not just in his music but also particularly in the subjects of his symphonic poems and opera. A keen dancer himself, his music often echoes his native dance tunes as well. The composer also had a keen interest in the theatre. Hence the subjects of his early symphonic poems which were based on works by Shakespeare, Schiller and Oehlenschläger. Of his later symphonic poems, the series ‘Má Vlast’, especially ‘Vltava’ (the Moldau) is very well-known.

Of course no orchestra but the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Theodore Kuchar could play this music better: this is the genuine article. On this release, one can hear the ultimate performances of this most pleasant and vivacious music.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Má Vlast (My Country/Mein Vaterland): Vyšehrad
  2. Má Vlast (My Country/Mein Vaterland): Vltava (The Moldau)
  3. Má Vlast (My Country/Mein Vaterland): Šarka
  4. Má Vlast (My Country/Mein Vaterland): From Bohemia’s Meadows and Forests
  5. Má Vlast (My Country/Mein Vaterland): Tábor
  6. Má Vlast (My Country/Mein Vaterland): Blanik

Disk 2

  1. Wallenstein’s Camp, Symphonic Poem, Op. 14
  2. Håkon Jarl, Symphonic Poem, Op. 16
  3. Richard III, Symphonic Poem, Op. 11
  4. Overture to “The Bartered Bride”
  5. Three Dances from “The Bartered Bride”: Polka
  6. Three Dances from “The Bartered Bride”: Furiant
  7. Three Dances from “The Bartered Bride”: Skocna (Dance of the Comedians)
  8. Doktor Faust, Overture to the puppet-play by Matej Kopecký
  9. Venkovanka, The Peasant Woman, Polka
  10. Nasim Devam, To our Girls, Polka

Disk 3

  1. Festive Symphony in E Major, Op. 6: Allegro vivace
  2. Festive Symphony in E Major, Op. 6: Largo maestoso
  3. Festive Symphony in E Major, Op. 6: Scherzo, allegro vivace
  4. Festive Symphony in E Major, Op. 6: Finale, allegro non troppo ma energico
  5. Festive Overture in C Major
  6. Festive Overture in D Major, Op. 4
  7. Prague Carnival, Introduction & Polonaise
  8. March of the National Guard
  9. Shakespeare Festival March, Op. 20