Theodore Kuchar: Dvorák, Shostakovich, Smetana, Nielsen

Theodore Kuchar: Dvorák, Shostakovich, Smetana, Nielsen
Composer Antonín Dvorák, Bedrich Smetana, Carl Nielsen, Dmitri Shostakovich
Artist Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Theodore Kuchar conductor
Format 13 CD
Cat. number 95932
EAN code 5028421959320
Release April 2019

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About this release

The complete Brilliant Classics recordings of a masterful modern maestro with a touch of genius in little-known repertoire.

In the extensive booklet interview, the conductor Theodore Kuchar recalls how, as a boy growing up outside Cleveland to Ukrainian-born parents, he learnt his music at the feet of Lorin Maazel, sitting in the cheap seats every week. Sound training and determination took him to Helsinki as violist and part-time conductor for the Finnish Opera, thence to Brisbane for his first musical directorship in charge of the Queensland Philharmonic.

But it was in 1992 that Kuchar discovered his roots and began to establish an international reputation when he took over the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine. Together they have given lengthy tours worldwide, hundreds of concerts and made many recordings for several labels. The theatre music by Shostakovich was particularly successful and holds a treasured place in Kuchar’s heart: ‘The Bolt is absolute genius. I’ve done it with every orchestra I’ve had a long relationship with, and every time it knocks an audience sideways.’

In the early 2000s Kuchar also worked regularly with the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra based in Ostrava, formerly known as the Czech Radio Orchestra. Together they recorded the major – and most of the minor – orchestral works by Smetana, the best-known tone-poems of Dvořák and even the complete symphonies of Carl Nielsen, which became a critical hit. Since then Kuchar has conducted orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. As music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Venezuela he led a vibrantly colourful collection of Latin-American orchestral classics (by Ginastera, Moncayo and Revueltas among others) for the last disc on this retrospective, recorded in 2011.

‘Theodore Kuchar is one of today's most dynamic, most successful young conductors… every instrumental effect comes through beautifully… Tempos are generally rapid and spirits high… this is a lot of fine Dvorák for a very low price.’ (Fanfare) ‘This is a recording of very high worth by a conductor of genius. Each and every minute of every piece on this three-CD [Smetana] set is emotionally committed, tautly controlled, propulsive, and stunning. I haven’t heard a Má vlast or Bartered Bride Overture this good on records in eons.’ (Fanfare)

‘These performances [of Latin-American classics] are very slick. The tightness of ensemble in Moncayo’s Huapango shows up the sloppiness of most other versions. Kuchar sets and maintains a perfect tempo here and elsewhere. The recording quality is sharp-edged and bright, adding to the excitement. (Fanfare)

‘Theodore Kuchar leads what is without question the most exciting complete Nielsen symphony cycle available, making this the set to get for Nielsen newcomers.’ (Classics Today)

This set brings together the recordings conductor Theodore Kuchar made for Brilliant Classics: the complete symphonies by Carl Nielsen, the Symphonic Poems by Dvorák, the orchestral works by Smetana, ballet suites by Shostakovich and a recording of Latin American classics. All these recording have met with enthusiastic critical acclaim: “10/10: first recommendation in this repertoire..terrific sonics..irresistable package..”(Classicstoday on Shostakovich), “Theodore Kuchar is an extremely exciting and talented conductor..thrilling, with uninhibited abandon”(Classicstoday on Dvorák), “Theodore Kuchar leads what is without question the most exciting complete Nielsen symphony cycle available, 9/9”(Classicstoday on Nielsen), “with plenty of enthusiasm and vigor..hard to beat..one of the best versions available..”(Classicstoday on Smetana). The Latin-American program was nominated for a Latin Grammy.
Theodore Kuchar (1963) was born in New York. He studied the viola and conducting, and was for a period principal violist of the Cleveland Orchestra. He is one of the most sought-after conductors of his time, active with the Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine, Janacek SO, Venezuelan SO and others.

Listening

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Antonín Dvorák: Czech Suite in D Major, Op. 39: I. Praeludium
  2. Antonín Dvorák: Czech Suite in D Major, Op. 39: II. Polka
  3. Antonín Dvorák: Czech Suite in D Major, Op. 39: III. Sousedská
  4. Antonín Dvorák: Czech Suite in D Major, Op. 39: IV. Romance
  5. Antonín Dvorák: Czech Suite in D Major, Op. 39: V. Finale
  6. Antonín Dvorák: My Home Overture in C Major, Op. 62
  7. Antonín Dvorák: Husitska Overture, Op. 67
  8. Antonín Dvorák: In Nature´s Realm Overture in F Major, Op. 91
  9. Antonín Dvorák: Otello in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 93

Disk 2

  1. Antonín Dvorák: Symphonic Variations in C Major, Op. 78
  2. Antonín Dvorák: Carnival Overture in A Major, Op. 92
  3. Antonín Dvorák: Water Goblin in B Minor, Op. 107
  4. Antonín Dvorák: Noon-Day Witch in C Major, Op. 108

Disk 3

  1. Antonín Dvorák: Golden Spinning Wheel in F Major, Op. 109
  2. Antonín Dvorák: Wood Dove in C Minor, Op. 110
  3. Antonín Dvorák: A Hero´s Song in B-Flat Minor, Op. 111

Disk 4

  1. Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1: I. March
  2. Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1: II. Dance No. 1
  3. Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1: III. Dance No. 2
  4. Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1: IV. Little Polka
  5. Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1: V. Lyric Waltz
  6. Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1: VI. Waltz No. 1
  7. Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1: VII. Waltz No. 2
  8. Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 1: VIII. Finale
  9. Dmitri Shostakovich: Overture on Russian and Kirghiz Themes, Op. 115
  10. Dmitri Shostakovich: Jazz Suite No. 1: I. Waltz
  11. Dmitri Shostakovich: Jazz Suite No. 1: II. Polka
  12. Dmitri Shostakovich: Jazz Suite No. 1: III. Foxtrot
  13. Dmitri Shostakovich: Novorossijsk Chimes
  14. Dmitri Shostakovich: Festive Overture, Op. 96

Disk 5

  1. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Bolt, Ballet Suite, Op. 27a: I. Overture
  2. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Bolt, Ballet Suite, Op. 27a: II. Polka
  3. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Bolt, Ballet Suite, Op. 27a: III. Variation
  4. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Bolt, Ballet Suite, Op. 27a: IV. Tango
  5. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Bolt, Ballet Suite, Op. 27a: V. Intermezzo
  6. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Bolt, Ballet Suite, Op. 27a: VI. Finale
  7. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Limpid Stream, Ballet Suite, Op. 39a: I. Waltz
  8. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Limpid Stream, Ballet Suite, Op. 39a: II. Russian Lubok
  9. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Limpid Stream, Ballet Suite, Op. 39a: III. Galop
  10. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Limpid Stream, Ballet Suite, Op. 39a: IV. Adagio
  11. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Limpid Stream, Ballet Suite, Op. 39a: V. Pizzicato
  12. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Golden Age, Ballet Suite, Op. 22a: I. Overture
  13. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Golden Age, Ballet Suite, Op. 22a: II. Adagio
  14. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Golden Age, Ballet Suite, Op. 22a: III. Polka
  15. Dmitri Shostakovich: The Golden Age, Ballet Suite, Op. 22a: IV. Dance

Disk 6

  1. Dmitri Shostakovich: Hamlet Suite: I. Prelude
  2. Dmitri Shostakovich: Hamlet Suite: II. The Ball at the Palace
  3. Dmitri Shostakovich: Hamlet Suite: III. The Ghost
  4. Dmitri Shostakovich: Hamlet Suite: IV. In the Garden
  5. Dmitri Shostakovich: Hamlet Suite: V. Hamlet & Ophelia
  6. Dmitri Shostakovich: Hamlet Suite: VI. Arrival of the Actors
  7. Dmitri Shostakovich: Hamlet Suite: VII. Poisoning Scene
  8. Dmitri Shostakovich: Hamlet Suite: VIII. Duel and Death of Hamlet
  9. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: I. Overture
  10. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: II. Contradance
  11. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: III. Folk Feast
  12. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: IV. Interlude
  13. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: V. Waltz “Barrel Organ”
  14. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: VI. Galop
  15. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: VII. Introduction
  16. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: VIII. Romance
  17. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: IX. Intermezzo
  18. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: X. Nocturne
  19. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: XI. Scene
  20. Dmitri Shostakovich: Gadfly, Suite, Op. 97a: XII. Finale

Disk 7

  1. Bedrich Smetana: Má Vlast, JB 1:112: I. Vyšehrad
  2. Bedrich Smetana: Má Vlast, JB 1:112: II. Vltava
  3. Bedrich Smetana: Má Vlast, JB 1:112: III. Šarka
  4. Bedrich Smetana: Má Vlast, JB 1:112: IV. From Bohemia’s Meadows and Forests
  5. Bedrich Smetana: Má Vlast, JB 1:112: V. Tábor
  6. Bedrich Smetana: Má Vlast, JB 1:112: VI. Blanik

Disk 8

  1. Bedrich Smetana: Wallenstein’s Camp, Op. 14
  2. Bedrich Smetana: Håkon Jarl, Op. 16
  3. Bedrich Smetana: Richard III, Op. 11
  4. Bedrich Smetana: Overture to “The Bartered Bride”, JB 1:100
  5. Bedrich Smetana: Three Dances from “The Bartered Bride”, JB 1:100: I. Polka
  6. Bedrich Smetana: Three Dances from “The Bartered Bride”, JB 1:100: II. Furiant
  7. Bedrich Smetana: Three Dances from “The Bartered Bride”, JB 1:100: III. Skocna
  8. Bedrich Smetana: Doktor Faust, Overture to the puppet-play by Matej Kopecký in C Minor, JB 1:85
  9. Bedrich Smetana: Venkovanka, The Peasant Woman in G Major, JB 1:115
  10. Bedrich Smetana: Nasim Devam, To our Girls in D Major, JB 1:86

Disk 9

  1. Bedrich Smetana: Festive Symphony in E Major, Op. 6: I. Allegro vivace
  2. Bedrich Smetana: Festive Symphony in E Major, Op. 6: II. Largo maestoso
  3. Bedrich Smetana: Festive Symphony in E Major, Op. 6: III. Scherzo, allegro vivace
  4. Bedrich Smetana: Festive Symphony in E Major, Op. 6: IV. Finale, allegro non troppo ma energico
  5. Bedrich Smetana: Festive Overture in C Major
  6. Bedrich Smetana: Festive Overture in D Major, Op. 4
  7. Bedrich Smetana: Prague Carnival, Introduction & Polonaise in A Minor, JB 1:126
  8. Bedrich Smetana: March of the National Guard in D Major, JB 1:37
  9. Bedrich Smetana: Shakespeare Festival March in E Major, JB 1:90

Disk 10

  1. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 7: I. Allegro orgoglioso
  2. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 7: II. Andante
  3. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 7: III. Allegro comodo
  4. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 7: IV. Finale, allegro con fuoco
  5. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 2, Op. 16: I. Allegro collerico
  6. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 2, Op. 16: II. Allegro comodo e flemmatico
  7. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 2, Op. 16: III. Andante malincolico
  8. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 2, Op. 16: IV. Allegro sanguinoso

Disk 11

  1. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 3, Op. 27: I. Allegro espansivo
  2. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 3, Op. 27: II. Andante pastorale
  3. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 3, Op. 27: III. Allegretto un poco
  4. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 3, Op. 27: IV. Finale, allegro
  5. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, Op. 29: I. Allegro
  6. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, Op. 29: II. Poco allegretto
  7. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, Op. 29: III. Poco adagio quasi andante
  8. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, Op. 29: IV. Allegro

Disk 12

  1. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 5, Op. 50: I. Tempo giusto
  2. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 5, Op. 50: II. Allegro
  3. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 6, CNW 30: I. Tempo giusto
  4. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 6, CNW 30: II. Humoreske, allegretto
  5. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 6, CNW 30: III. Proposta seria, adagio
  6. Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 6, CNW 30: IV. Theme & Variations

Disk 13

  1. José Pablo Moncayo: Huapango
  2. Arturo Márquez: Danzón No. 2
  3. Aldemaro Romero: Tocatta bachiana y Pajarillo Aldemaroso
  4. Silvestre Revueltas: Janitzio in A Major, R.36
  5. Alberto Ginastera: Four Dances from Estancia: I. Los trabajadores agrícolas
  6. Alberto Ginastera: Four Dances from Estancia: II. Danza del trigo
  7. Alberto Ginastera: Four Dances from Estancia: III. Los peones de hacienda
  8. Alberto Ginastera: Four Dances from Estancia: IV. Danza final
  9. Yuri Hung: Kanaima
  10. Oscar Lorenzo Fernández: Batuque