Prague Philharmonic Choir

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Dvorak: Stabat Mater, Op. 58

Dvorak: Stabat Mater, Op. 58


Eri Nakamura (soprano), Elisabeth Kulman (contralto), Michael Spyres (tenor), Jongmin Park (bass)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic Choir, Jiří Bělohlávek

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

Maestro Bělohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic present an authentic interpretation of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater; a great Czech work performed by Czech musicians with an innate understanding of the music of their homeland.

Dvořák’s Stabat Mater is performed here by Jiří Bělohlávek, the Czech Philharmonic and leading soloists Eri Nakamura, Elisabeth Kulman, Michael Spyres and Jongmin Park.

“This is a wonderfully idiomatic account which really bears out a remark Bělohlávek once made about the ‘singing art of playing [Dvořák]’...he captures the work’s strange synthesis of baroque influences and Verdian grandeur without overegging the pudding in either direction...All in all, this is surely set to become both an award-winner and a benchmark choice for this work.” Presto Classical, 12th May 2017

“[Bělohlávek’s] relaxed though steadfast approach is immediately apparent…the Prague Philharmonic Choir’s contributions are disciplined and impassioned…[the solo quartet] are uniformly superb…Bělohlávek perfectly judges the delicate balance between singers and orchestra” Gramophone Magazine, June 2017

“Bělohlávek’s performance is masterful in its pacing...There’s a spacious, burnished quality to the sound, the orchestra’s dark-timbred strings and emollient, airborne flutes; the choir all warmth and substance, even if one could occasionally wish it a touch more incisive. The four soloists fit their differing roles well.” The Guardian, 15th June 2017 ****

“The Czech orchestra and chorus have this music in their blood...Belohlavek’s choice of an international solo quartet is unusual...but [they] blend as a fine team...Spyres is the standout with his radiant singing of the “Brahmsian” Fac me vere tecum flere. An outstanding follow-up to Belohlavek’s outstanding symphonies and concertos set with the Czech Phil.” Sunday Times, 18th June 2017

Presto Disc of the Week

12th May 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Decca - 4831510

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $14.00

Special: $12.75

(also available to download from $10.00)

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Janacek: Amarus

Janacek: Amarus

Live performances from Czech Radio, Smetana Hall, Prague


Janacek:

Amarus - Cantata for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra

March 28, 1974

Vera Soukupová & Vilém Pribyl

Prague Philharmonic Choir

The Cunning Little Vixen - Suite

March 3, 1988

From the House of the Dead: suite

March 3, 1988

František Jílek

From the House of the Dead: Overture

March 28, 1974

František Jílek


This recording offers listeners over an hour of music by Leos Janácek. From the cantata 'Amarus' to orchestral music from 'The Cunning Little Vixen' and 'From the House of the Dead', Václav Neumann leads the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, soloists and the Prague Philharmonic Choir in idiomatically accurate and stunningly powerful performances. Neumann has been called the undisputed successor to legendary Czech conductors Václav Talich and Karel Ancerl.

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Praga Digitals - DSD250308

(SACD)

$14.25

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Janacek: Glagolitic Mass & The Eternal Gospel

Janacek: Glagolitic Mass & The Eternal Gospel


Janacek:

Glagolitic Mass

The Eternal Gospel


Prague Philharmonic Choir & Prague RSO, Tomáš Netopil

Brand new recording of a Janacek masterpiece, along with a lesser know gem!

In the wake of the highly acclaimed recording of Janáček’s symphonic works (SU41312) which was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, August 2013, Tomáš Netopil and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra have focused on the composer’s choral pieces.

The Glagolitic Mass is a well known work, yet not in the composer’s original “September 1927” version, as it was performed at the premiere in Brno, which has been recorded for the very first time for this CD. It is fascinating to observe how many distinct traits of Janáček’s expressive musical language have vanished from the work as a result of its later modifications.

The Eternal Gospel, on the other hand, is a piece virtually unknown worldwide (the only previous Supraphon recording was made almost fifty years ago). Janáček was inspired by, and created the libretto on the basis of, Jaroslav Vrchlický’s poem about the medieval monk Joachim de Fiore, to whom an angel appeared, bringing tidings of the arrival of a realm of love. Janáček worked on the piece concurrently with the opera The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Moon and completed it in the spring of 1914, a few months prior to the outbreak of World War I.

Netopil’s new recording may facilitate bringing the remarkable work back to concert stages. A premiere recording of the Glagolitic Mass’s original version.

“Raw and thrilling, this is Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass in its never-before-recorded original 1927 version, later toned down by the composer for practical rather than aesthetic reasons. It’s performed with suitably full-throated vigour by Czech forces under Tomas Netopil.” The Times, 4th October 2014 ****

“Netopil's performance seethes with nervous energy, his soloists are dedicated, and so are his chorus and orchestra...The Eternal Gospel hasn't been recorded in aeons...Again, the performance is excellent.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2014

“Elements of drama and complex discourse that had to be toned down in the interests of performers also assert themselves with a special impact here, with chorus and soloists fearless and forthright in expression and the orchestra dynamic and propulsive. The Eternal Gospel of 1914 makes for a radiant coupling.” The Telegraph, 4th November 2014 ****

“It’s rawer, more stringent, and more confrontational than what we are used to hearing now, and even more difficult to perform; many of the revisions that Janáček made were to reduce the demands on the singers and players, and he took away some of the piece’s wildness in the process. The performance is a nicely detailed one, with adequate rather than outstanding soloists.” The Guardian, 5th November 2014 ***

“Netopil directs an excellent performance which, appropriately enough, reflects the operatic world of The Cunning Little Vixen and the Excursions of Mr Broucek...[the Credo] is beautifully shaped and genuinely thrilling. If not entirely perfect, this reading, along with a fine performance of The Eternal Gospel is well worth investigating.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2015 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2014

Supraphon - SU41502

(CD)

$14.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Leif Ove Andsnes: The Beethoven Journey (Piano Concerto No. 5 & Choral Fantasy)

Leif Ove Andsnes: The Beethoven Journey (Piano Concerto No. 5 & Choral Fantasy)


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 'Emperor'

Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C minor, Op. 80

Prague Philharmonic Choir


The celebrated Norwegian pianist completes his multi-annual collaborative journey with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, dedicated to Beethoven’s five piano concertos. The Beethoven Journey is a four-year collaborative project between celebrated pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Together they have recorded all of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos, as well as the Choral Fantasy, with Andsnes not only playing but also directing the orchestra. The series began with the live recording of the Piano Concertos 1 & 3 at the Prague Spring Festival in the historic Rudolfinum building. The second CD, Piano Concertos 2 & 4, was recorded in London in 2013, and the final album was recorded again live at the Prague Spring Festival in 2014. Leif Ove Andsnes has devoted the majority of his performing and recording activities in the last 3 years to the music of Beethoven. Although Andsnes has an extensive discography, “The Beethoven Journey” is his first Beethoven recording ever.

“Andsnes manages to be lithe and spontaneous-sounding, and doesn't overplaying hints of melodrama...In a way Andsnes reminds me of Schnabel in his sureness of touch, albeit in a very different style...The unanimity in the closing bars between Andsnes and his orchestra says it all. Having used up my stash of superlatives, all I can say is: go buy.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2014

“There is no absence of weight here or of rhythmic sinew, but the range of softer dynamics and the flux of light and shade are truly remarkable. With Andsnes, every note counts, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra complements him in definition and refined phrasing. These are Beethoven performances of arresting maturity, stylistic acumen and utter delight.” The Telegraph, 10th January 2015 *****

“Andsnes's view of the Emperor Concerto's slow movement may strike some listeners as less contemplative and poetic than usual, and it may be that his interpretation of the piece will deepend over time, but it's beautifully played...Particularly notable in Andsnes's performance of the first movement is the mysterious approach to the recapitulation, where he and the orchestra vividly convey the feeling of the music holding its breath.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 *****

Presto Discs of 2014

Finalist

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2014

Sony Leif Ove Andsnes The Beethoven Journey - 88843058862

(CD)

$13.00

(also available to download from $11.00)

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Martinu: Field Mass

Martinu: Field Mass


Martinu:

Field Mass

Vaclav Zitek (baritone)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic Choir

Double Concerto for Strings, Piano & Timpani

Josef Ruzicka (piano), Jan Bouse (timpani)

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca, H. 352

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra


Supraphon - SU32762

(CD)

$10.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Janacek: Glagolitic Mass & Taras Bulba

Janacek: Glagolitic Mass & Taras Bulba


Janacek:

Glagolitic Mass

Taras Bulba


Eduard Haken (bass), Vera Soukupova (contralto), Beno Blachut (tenor), Libuse Domaninska (soprano), Jaroslav Vodrazka (organ)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic Choir (=Czech Philharmonic Chorus), Karel Ancerl, Josef Veselka

Building a Library

First Choice - February 2003

Building a Library

First Choice - April 2005

Supraphon Ancerl Gold Edition - SU36672

(CD)

$10.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Martinu: Cantatas

Martinu: Cantatas


Martinu:

Legend of the Smoke from Potato Fires

Mikes of the Mountains

The Opening of the Wells

Dandelion Romance


Pavla Vykopalova (soprano), Ludmila Hudeckova (contralto), Martin Slavik (tenor), Jiri Bruckler (baritone), Petr Svoboda (baritone), Jaromir Meduna (recitation) & Ivo Kahanek (piano)

Members of the Bennewitz Quartet & Prague Philharmonic Choir, Lukas Vasilek

When Miloslav Bureš sent his first poem Song of the Ruby Spring to Bohuslav Martinů in 1955, he seemed to have touched the deepest spot of the composer’s heart. The poet set his verses into the landscape of the Czech Highlands, the region of Martinů’s childhood and a rich source of his memories. The composer must have identified strongly with the character of the pilgrim returning to his birthplace, because he wrote The Opening of the Springs within nine days. Later he set to music three more poems by Bureš, finishing the last one, Mikeš of the Mountains, half a year before his death. For Martinů, the cantatas represented an important link to his homeland at a time when the political situation and later also his poor health were diminishing his hopes of coming back home. One can only imagine what he felt when he was sitting in Schönenberg, Switzerland, listening to the vinyl record with the first recording of his Opening of the Springs published by Supraphon, or when his friends were sending him reports about the Czech premieres of his works...

Recorded in the Rudolfinum, Prague, October and December 2015

“The Prague choir gets the balance right: vivid character and resonant voices but never saccharine and rhythmically taut. This is the ensemble that premiered three of the cantatas (in a previous guise) and it’s hard to imagine singing of more authority in Martinů’s music.” The Guardian, 15th December 2016 ****

“Baritone Jirí Brückler is superb here, and the top-quality professional Prague Philharmonic Choir master the most harmonically rich cantata of the four, a tale of a girl who doesn’t recognise her long-lost love returning from the wars…valuable messages for our or indeed any time, and superlatively performed. Unmissable” BBC Music Magazine, March 2017 *****

“This is a singularly exotic issue for Czechs and non-Czechs alike...I cannot imagine these cantatas being better performed or recorded than here; Lukáš Vasilek is an outstanding conductor, and the Prague Philharmonic Choir respond to his every interpretative intuition. Very highly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2017

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2017

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - March 2017

Supraphon - SU41982

(CD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Janáček: Rhymes,Youth

Janáček: Rhymes,Youth


Various Artists, Alfréd Holeček, Alois Rybín

Prague Wind Quintet, Prague Philharmonic Choir, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jan Kühn

Supraphon - VT7718-2

Download only from $10.00

Available now to download.

Weinberg: The Passenger, Op. 97

Weinberg: The Passenger, Op. 97

Live from the Bregenz Festival, 2010


Michelle Breedt (Lisa), Roberto Sacca (Walter), Elena Kelessidi (Martha), Artur Rucinski (Tadeusz), Svetlana Doneva (Katja), Liuba Sokolova (Bronka), Angelica Voje (Krzystina)

Wiener Symphoniker, Prague Philharmonic Choir, Teodor Currentzis, David Pountney (stage director)

Set Designer Johan Engels

Costume Designer Marie-Jeanne Lecca

Continuing its tradition of unearthing little-known 20th-century operas, the Bregenz Festival presented the first staged production of Polish-Russian composer Mieczysław Weinberg’s 'The Passenger' in 2010.

Written in 1967/68, the opera relates the chance meeting of a former concentration camp guard and one of her former inmates on an ocean liner years after the war. Bringing the work to vibrant life are the Wiener Symphoniker under Teodor Currentzis. Topping the cast are Michelle Breedt and Elena Kelessidi.

The work is well served by David Pountney’s stage direction and Johan Engels’ two-level set, with the ocean liner above and the concentration camp below.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.0

Picture Format: 16:9

Languages: DE, RUS

Subtitles: DE, EN, ES, FR, PL, RUS, KOR

2 x DVD 9 / NTSC

Running Time: 161 mins + 21 mins (Bonus)

FSK: 0

Region Code: 0

Worldwide available

“[This] production had the knife-edge atmosphere of a major rediscovery, and it features strong performances from most of the principals and from the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Teodor Currentzis (most of whom have a distinct edge over their counterparts at the ENO performances in September 2011). The entire thing is superbly filmed and recorded” Gramophone Magazine, February 2016

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Summer Opera Sale

Arthaus Musik - 109079

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $27.75

Special: $22.20

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Weinberg: The Passenger, Op. 97

Weinberg: The Passenger, Op. 97

Live from the Bregenz Festival, 2010


Michelle Breedt (Lisa), Roberto Sacca (Walter), Elena Kelessidi (Martha), Artur Rucinski (Tadeusz), Svetlana Doneva (Katja), Liuba Sokolova (Bronka), Angelica Voje (Krzystina)

Wiener Symphoniker, Prague Philharmonic Choir, Teodor Currentzis, David Pountney (stage director)

Set Designer Johan Engels

Costume Designer Marie-Jeanne Lecca

Continuing its tradition of unearthing little-known 20th-century operas, the Bregenz Festival presented the first staged production of Polish-Russian composer Mieczysław Weinberg’s 'The Passenger' in 2010.

Written in 1967/68, the opera relates the chance meeting of a former concentration camp guard and one of her former inmates on an ocean liner years after the war. Bringing the work to vibrant life are the Wiener Symphoniker under Teodor Currentzis. Topping the cast are Michelle Breedt and Elena Kelessidi.

The work is well served by David Pountney’s stage direction and Johan Engels’ two-level set, with the ocean liner above and the concentration camp below.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

Languages: DE, RUS

Subtitles: DE, EN, ES, FR, PL, RUS, KOR

Blu-ray Disc 25 GB (Single Layer)

Resolution: 1080i High Definition

Running Time: 161 mins + 21 mins (Bonus)

FSK: 0

“[This] production had the knife-edge atmosphere of a major rediscovery, and it features strong performances from most of the principals and from the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under Teodor Currentzis (most of whom have a distinct edge over their counterparts at the ENO performances in September 2011). The entire thing is superbly filmed and recorded” Gramophone Magazine, February 2016

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Summer Opera Sale

Arthaus Musik - 109080

(Blu-ray)

Normally: $33.25

Special: $26.60

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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