Szell conducts Czech Music = Works by SMETANA; DVORAK – Pristine Audio
George Szell excellent rendering music of Smetana and Dvorak, including his own arrangement of “From My Life” quartet.
NOVAK: In the Tatra Mountains; Lady Godiva; Eternal Longing – Buffalo Phil. Orch./ JoAnn Falletta – Naxos
Relatively neglected but richly colorful scores by Novak have opulent realization from the BPO under JoAnn Falletta. Vitezslav NOVAK: In the Tatra Mountains, Op. 26; Lady Godiva – Overture, Op. 41; Eternal Longing, Op. 33 – Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/ JoAnn Falletta – Naxos 8.573683, 52:47 (4/14/17) ****: I first encountered the often “shimmering” music […]
JANÁCEK: Orchestral Suites – Prague Radio Sym. Orch. / Tomas Netopil – Supraphon
JANÁCEK: Orchestral Suites – Prague Radio Sym. Orch. / Tomas Netopil – Supraphon SU4194-2, 52:00 (10/14/16) [Distr. by Naxos] ***: Janácek’s opera melodies reborn as orchestral suites. We know the music of Janácek best perhaps for his Sinfonietta. But the talented Czech composer was most often writing operas, and in truth, he didn’t leave us […]
DVORAK: Slavonic Rhapsodies; Symphonic Variations – Prague Philharmonic/ Jacub Hrusa – Pentatone
DVORAK: Slavonic Rhapsodies; Symphonic Variations – Prague Philharmonic/ Jacub Hrusa – Pentatone multichannel SACD PTC5186554, 60:28 [Distr. by Naxos] (10/7/16) ***1/2: Lesser known Dvorak lovingly played and very nicely recorded. For the third of his three-album series for Pentatone, the young and increasingly popular Jakub Hrusa conducts the Prague Philharmonic in an all-Dvorak program of […]
SMETANA: Ma Vlast – Evelinde Trenker and Sontraud Speidel, pianos – MD&G Gold
SMETANA: Ma Vlast – Evelinde Trenker and Sontraud Speidel, pianos – MD&G Gold Records MD&G 930 1960-6 multi-channel SACD with additional 2+2+2 80:00 (8/5/16) [Distr. by eOne] ****: A unique transcription of the Smetana classic arranged for two pianos. Smetana’s Ma Vlast is a standard part of the concert repertoire. It was the composer’s manifesto […]
DVORAK: Sym. No. 9 in e minor, “From the New World”; Sym. No. 8 in G Major – Czech Philharmonic Orch./ Frantisek Stupka – Praga Digitals stereo-only
For those unfamiliar with the veteran Czech conductor Stupka, these two Dvorak performances provide a brilliant introduction. DVORAK: Symphony No. 9 in e minor, Op. 95 “From the New World”; Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88 – Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/ Frantisek Stupka – Praga Digitals stereo-only SACD PRD/DSD 350 134, 78:23 (8/12/16) [Distr. […]
ELLIOTT MILES McKINLEY: Infinite Landscapes = Three Portraits; String Quartet No. 7 – SOLI Chamber Ens./Martinů Q. – Navona
Very compelling works with a bit of jazz feel. ELLIOTT MILES McKINLEY: Infinite Landscapes = Three Portraits; String Quartet No. 7 – SOLI Chamber Ens./Martinů Quartet – Navona NV6040, 72: 57 (5/13/16) [Distr. by Naxos] ****: The more I hear of Rhode Island based composer Elliott Miles McKinley the more I like his work. I had […]
SCHULHOFF: Works for Violin & Piano – MSR Classics
ERWIN SCHULHOFF: Works for Violin & Piano – E.Gogichavili, v./K. Hosoda-Ayer, p. – MSR Classics ****: Another Entartete composer of major importance. Schulhoff (1894-1942) was a Czech composer who ended up a victim of the Nazis, dying in a detention camp in Prague after failing to emigrate in time after receiving his Soviet citizenship. A […]
“Woodwinds of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra” – JANACEK: Mladi; MARTINU: Sextet for Piano & Winds; VERESS: Sonatina for Oboe, Clarinet & Bassoon; POULENC: Sextuor – Soloists – RCO Live
A delightful spotlight on the woodwind section of the great Concertgebouw Orch. “Woodwinds of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra” – JANACEK: Mladi; MARTINU: Sextet for Piano and Winds H. 174; SANDOR VERESS: Sonatina for Oboe, Clarinet & Bassoon; POULENC: Sextuor – Soloists – RCO Live multichannel SACD RCO15008, 59:59 *****: Antonine Reicha made the quintet of […]
RAIN WORTHINGTON: “Dream Vapors” = var. works – Navona
RAIN WORTHINGTON: “Dream Vapors” = Shredding Glass; Reversing Mirrors in the Quiet; Tracing a Dream; Fast Through Dark Winds; Within a Dance; Yet Still Night; Of Time Remembered – Czech Philharmonic Orch./Robert Ian Winstin/Moravian Philharmonic Orch./Petr Vronsky/Russian Philharmonic Orch./Ovidiu Marinescu – Navona NV6025 [Distr. by Parma], 52:58, (2/12/16) ***1/2: Very pleasant works from this emerging […]
“Cesko” – Works of SCHULHOFF, & DVORAK – Ragazze Q. – Channel Classics
“Česko” = ERWIN SCHULHOFF: String Quartet No. 1; DVOŘÁK: String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106; SCHULHOFF: Esquisses de jazz (arr. Leonard Evers) – Ragazze Quartet – Channel Classics multichannel SACD CCS SA 36815, 65:00 [Distr. Harmonia mundi] (5/15/15) ****: A very attractive program of Bohemian yin and yang. The “young Dutch/British” Ragzze […]
JANACEK: Orch. Music Vol. 1 – Sinfonietta; Capriccio; The Cunning Little Vixen – The Bergen Philharmonic/ Edward Gardener – Jean Efflam Bavouzet, p. – Chandos
Three pieces from Janácek’s late period, in excellent hi-res surround.
Ivan Moravec Twelfth Night Recital = Works by BACH,MOZART BEETHOVEN, CHOPIN, DEBUSSY – Ivan Moravec, p. – Supraphon (2 CDs)
This previously unissued 1987 recital reveals the master Ivan Moravec at the peak of his splendid form.
Emil Gilels in Prague = MOZART: Piano Sonata in F Major; BRAHMS: 4 Ballades; 7 Fantasien – Praga Digitals
Emil Gilels comes to Prague, shedding his Russian sensibilities to proffer fine renditions of Mozart and Brahms.
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Blu-ray (1970/2015)
A beautiful and quirky Czech film which creates a visual fairytale-like fantasyland.
The Confession (L’Aveu), Blu-ray (1970/2015)
A horrowing true tale from Communist block Czechoslovakia shortly before Stalin’s death.
The Metamorphosis, Blu-ray (2013)
Full frontal Kafka is not for everyone, but this production is stunning in its own right.
GLUCK: Orfeo ed Euridice (complete opera), Blu-ray (2014)
A beautifully captivating film of Gluck’s most famous work in its original guise.
Ida Haendel – Prague Recordings 1957-1965 = Supraphon (5 CDs)
Supraphon’s generous tribute to Polish violin virtuoso Ida Haendel restores her Prague recordings and appearances, many of them superlative readings.
JANACEK: Prohadka, Presto; KODALY: Sonata for Cello; GRIEG: Cello Sonata – Danjulo Ishizaka, cello/ Shai Wosner, piano – Onyx Classics
Folk-based classics for cello and piano.
“European Folkscapes” [TrackList follows] – Apollo Chamber Players – Navona
Time to pull out the musical passport again.
DVORAK: Symphony No. 8 in G; JANACEK: Sym. Suite from Jenufa – Pittsburgh Sym. Orch./ Manfred Honeck – Fresh/ Reference Recordings
Interpretatively and sonically, this is one of the best releases of the Dvorak 8th I have ever heard.