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Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47)

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Mendelssohn, Berg & Bruch: Violin Concertos

Mendelssohn, Berg & Bruch: Violin Concertos


Berg:

Violin Concerto 'To the Memory of an Angel' (1935)

Bruch:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26

Mendelssohn:

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64


“Teetering on the brink of expressive exaggeration in the more reflective moments of the first movement [of the Berg] and resisting queasy intimacy in the second in favour of a very public kind of emotional outpouring, the sheer conviction of the whole enterprise carries all before it.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2010

“Suk at his incomparably eloquent, unaffacted best. Ancerl and the Czech PO provide luminous support, and Supraphon's mid-60s sound has come up very freshly.
Josef Suk gives an outstanding performance of the Mendelssohn – his playing combines his usual technical polish and fine tone with unaffected expression. The orchestra has exemplary internal balance and rhythmic poise. The Bruch has similar virtues, and there's more great music-making in the Berg. The sound has been remastered and is uncommonly clear: highly recommended.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Collection

Building a Library

First Choice - October 2004

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Supraphon Ancerl Gold Edition - SU36632

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Mendelssohn & Schubert - Piano Trios

Mendelssohn & Schubert - Piano Trios


Mendelssohn:

Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49

Schubert:

Piano Trio No. 2 in E flat major, D929


Smetana Trio

After focusing on the Czech trio literature (on highly acclaimed recordings ranging from Dvorák to Martinu) and paying a visit to Tchaikovsky (SU 3949-2), the Smetana Trio has turned to the very heart of the Romantic repertoire for their newest album. Both of the pieces on this disc rank among the most frequently played trios; in both of them, the composers succeeded in striking a rare balance in the texture as well as in the instrumentation, placing all three instruments on an even footing. The success of the Schubert trio, which makes use of Swedish folk melodies, is attested to by the fact that it was the only one of the composer’s works to be published abroad during his lifetime.

Coincidentally the piece received Robert Schumann’s highest praise in his comment on the Mendelssohn trio: “It is a contemporary masterpiece, a work such as Beethoven’s trios were in their day, or Schubert’s Trio in E flat Major, a very beautiful composition which still pleases grandchildren and great-grandchildren years afterwards.” Both pieces find excellent performers in the Smetana Trio, with its sense of ensemble playing. In Schumann’s words, may Mendelssohn and Schubert “still please grandchildren and greatgrandchildren years afterwards” on this recording as well.

“Ardent, emotionally vibrant, spiritually probing and rhythmically vital, they combine great polyphonic clarity with an almost orchestral breadth and depth of sound, the strings moving seamlessly from the soloistic to the sonorously blended...a well-nigh ideal performance.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2010 *****

“The Smetana's reading of the D minor Trio is forthright and strongly soloistic...It's an interpretation full of incident: the opening movement is less a single sweep than a series of episodes” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2010

“I like the Smetana Trio’s no-nonsense approach. They play incisively and with plenty of passion, offering variety of dynamic and colour. But there’s also an earthy unpretentiousness to their music-making.” Sunday Times, 13th June 2010 ***

“...ensemble is everything; the players serving the music, rather than the music serving the players.” The Observer, 20th June 2010

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Supraphon - SU40082

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Mendelssohn: Octet & Piano Trio No. 1

Mendelssohn: Octet & Piano Trio No. 1


Mendelssohn:

Octet in E flat major, Op. 20

Janacek Quartet, Smetana Quartet

Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49

Suk Trio


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Supraphon - SU36022

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Mendelssohn: Scottish & Italian Symphonies

Mendelssohn: Scottish & Italian Symphonies


Mendelssohn:

Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 'Scottish'

Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 'Italian'


Prague Philharmona, Jiří Bělohlávek

“A fine new coupling of the Scottish and Italian Symphonies… beautifully played and warmly recorded…” Gramophone Magazine, Awards 2006

“This Czech-accented performance is notable for its spontaneity of nuance, often courtesy of the glorious wind battalion.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2009

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Supraphon - SU38762

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Antonio Pedrotti in Prague

Antonio Pedrotti in Prague


Brahms:

Variations on a theme by Haydn for orchestra, Op. 56a 'St Anthony Variations'

Debussy:

Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Falla:

Noches en los jardines de Espana

Mendelssohn:

Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 'Italian'

Mussorgsky:

Pictures at an Exhibition

orch. Ravel

Ravel:

Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No. 2

Ma Mère l'Oye

Pavane pour une infante défunte

Respighi:

Roman Festivals

Fountains of Rome

La Boutique Fantasque, PP120

Pines of Rome


“Regardless of his reputation and engagement elsewhere, the Czech cultural scene definitely has to count Antonio Pedrotti among the international élite of conductors,” a music critic wrote with regard to Pedrotti’s stirring performance with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Indeed, the world wanted Italian conductors willingly showing their southern temperament. There was no place for Pedrotti whose style of work was far from portentous and possessed an almost “non‐Italian” carefulness. Yet he became the most beloved foreign conductor with the Czech Philharmonic in the 1950s and 1960s.

He was one of the first conductors to visit the orchestra from behind “the iron curtain” after Kubelík’s emigration. The musicians still remembered the high professional demands uncompromisingly required by Václav Talich, which was precisely what Pedrotti could follow up successfully. He conducted without score or baton, was consistent and always went straight to the point, yet he had a very humane approach.

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Supraphon - SU41992

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Music for Clarinet & Orchestra

Music for Clarinet & Orchestra


Bruch:

Concerto in E minor for clarinet, viola and orchestra Op. 88

Alexander Besa (viola)

Mendelssohn:

Concert Piece No. 2 in D minor for clarinet, basset horn & piano/orchestra, Op. 114

Nicolas Baldeyrou (basset horn)

Concert Piece No. 1 in F major for clarinet, basset horn, & piano/orchestra, Op. 113

Nicolas Baldeyrou (basset horn)

Rossini:

Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet & Orchestra

Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra


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Supraphon - SU35542

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The Greatest Romantic Violin Concertos

The Greatest Romantic Violin Concertos


Brahms:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

Mendelssohn:

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Sibelius:

Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47

Tchaikovsky:

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35


Václav Hudeček (violin)

Václav Hudeček ranks among the most gifted violinists, not only on a Czech but also an international scale, to have graced a 20th-century concert stage. Following his debut in London (at the tender age of 15!) with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, he appeared at the most prestigious concert venues (Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, Osaka Festival Hall, Sydney Opera) with worldrenowned orchestras (Berliner Philharmoniker, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, NHK Philharmonic Orchestra, Gewandhaus Leipzig, etc.). David Oistrakh, who immediately recognised Hudeček’s exceptional talent, was his teacher and mentor, and on several albums accompanied him as a conductor too.

Hudeček made the recordings of the four greatest Romantic violin concertos for Supraphon (between the ages of 22 and 28) with Jiří Bělohlávek and Václav Smetáček. They bear witness to the remarkable musicality and technical skill of the Czech representative of the Russian violin school and many years later have lost none of their power and should occupy a place in the collections of all lovers of the violin’s passionate tone.

The four most beautiful Romantic concertos rendered in the rich timbres of Václav Hudeček’s violin.

“In the Canzonetta of the Tchaikovsky, Hudeček's playing is vividly expressive, with a sense of freedom in followingthe fluctuating emotional moods.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2011

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Supraphon - SU40552

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Wolfgang Sawallisch in Prague

Wolfgang Sawallisch in Prague


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21

Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 'Pastoral'

Dvorak:

In Nature's Realm Overture, Op. 91

Eben:

Prague Nocturne for Orchestra

Janacek:

Glagolitic Mass

Martinu:

Field Mass

Symphony No. 4

Mendelssohn:

Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52 'Lobgesang'

Mozart:

Symphony No. 41 in C major, K551 'Jupiter'

Adagio for Violin and Orchestra in E, K261

Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K550


Wolfgang Sawallisch (26.8.1923–22.2.2013) debuted at the age of thirty with the Berliner Philharmoniker and four years later in Bayreuth. He led the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande for ten years and subsequently the Bavarian State Opera for over two decades (1971–92). During his tenure in Munich, Sawallisch was a frequent and extremely popular guest of the Czech Philharmonic. This compilation presents a selection of the recordings that were the fruit of the co-operation between the conductor and the orchestra. Sawallisch’s programmes in Prague repeatedly included – perhaps surprisingly – pieces by Mozart and Beethoven, as well as major works by Czech composers (Smetana, Janáček, Martinů, Kalabis, Eben, etc.). He made for Supraphon the still unequalled recordings of Dvořák’s Requiem and Stabat mater. Sawallisch’s relationship to Czech music is probably best described by the following quotation from a contemporary review: “He apprehends and interprets music by Czech composers as though he himself had been brought up in their language.” The precious Czech Radio live recordings are released by Supraphon for the very first time to mark the 90th anniversary of the late conductor’s birth.

Previously unreleased Prague footprints of the modest maestro Wolfgang Sawallisch.

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Supraphon - SU41402

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