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Vítezslav Novák (1870-1949)

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Bohemian Impressions

Bohemian Impressions


Dvorak:

Czech Suite, Op. 39: Preludium & Romance

In Nature's Realm Overture, Op. 91

Fibich:

At Twilight, Symphonic Poem for Orchestra, Op. 39

Janacek:

Pilky (No. 6 from Lachian Dances)

The Cunning Little Vixen: Introduction

Martinu:

Bouquet of Flowers. A cycle of Compositions to Folk Texts for Mixed (Children´s) Choirs, Soloists and Small Orchestra, H. 260

Novák, V:

Slovácká svita, Op. 32: The Amorous Couple

Slovácká svita, Op. 32: The Country Musicians

Smetana:

Má Vlast: Z ceských luhu a háju

Suk:

A Summer's Tale, Op. 29: Intermezzo – Blind Musicians


The names of Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů are rightly synonymous with the global fame of Czech music. And it was frequently the compositions inspired by the beauty of the beloved homeland (and its folk music) that brought its creators to the attention of listeners worldwide.

A case in point is Smetana’s My Country, yet other composers too reflected the land of their heart, its natural and folk motifs in their works (Janáček’s Lachian Dances, Novák’s Moravian-Slovak Suite, Dvořák’s Czech Suite, Martinů’s Bouquet of Flowers, etc.). Bohemian Impressions is a selection of the most beautiful melodies that grew out of this inspiration – a gallery of images and reminiscences from the places where one feels most alive and keeps returning to.

Amid the wide harmonies – how wide are the horizons seen from the Vysočina hills? – flash the sparks of lively colours with which a composer let himself be carried away by the rhythms of folk dances at a village ball. This is a musical landscape singing of love, colours, scents and tranquillity; a landscape in which you will feel alive. The most beautiful music from Bohemian fields and groves – a landscape of the heart to which we keep returning.

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Czech Classical Hits

Czech Classical Hits


Dvorak:

Slavonic Dance No. 1 in C Major, Op. 46 No. 1

Čert a Káča: Prelude to Act Three

Waltz in A major (No. 1 from Waltzes, Op. 54)

Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88: III. Allegretto grazioso

Polonaise in E flat major for orchestra, B100

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World' - Allegro

Nedbal:

The Tale of Simple Johnny: Valse triste

Novák, V:

Slovácká svita, Op. 32: The Amorous Couple

Smetana:

The Bartered Bride Overture

Má Vlast: Sárka

Nasim devám, polka for orchestra in D major

Suk:

Serenade for String Orchestra in E flat, Op. 6: Andante con moto

Longing


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Czech Opera Rarities

Czech Opera Rarities

Baritone arias from lesser-known Czech operas


Bendl:

Ó ještě čekat...V líbezném klínu (from Lejla)

Dvorak:

Přichází v šraňky...Hory, kde les vroubí zelený (from Vanda)

Fibich:

Jsem-li hříčka v moci pekla (from Hedy)

Foerster, J:

O lásko, zdroji žití (from Jessika)

Myslivecek:

Siam passegieri erranti (from Abramo e Isaco)

Nápravník:

Kdo věřil by (from Dubrovskij)

Novák, V:

Je-li nutno, pane vévodo...Svatý Václave (from Karlštejn)

Ostrčil:

Šum háje, jara vonný dech (from The Death of Vlasta)

Pauer, J:

A co je nového...Láska k životu (from Zuzana Vojířová)

Rozkošný:

Anděli jasný, z krajů tajemných (from The Rapids of Saint John)

Šebor:

V slunci lásky jsem se zhlížel...Zprávu ti přináším (from The Templars in Moravia)

Skuherský:

Aj hle, k tmavému nábřeží (from Lora)

Smetana:

Tvůj obraz, dívko (from Branibori v Cecháach)

Zvonař:

A mlčel k tomu bohů hněv (from Záboj)


Ivan Kusjner (baritone)

Ivan Kusnjer has rightly been awarded the title of “King of Czech Singers” by the music critics. The fruits of his single-minded work are worthy of admiration: successes at international voice competitions, guest appearances on opera stages worldwide (Berliner Staatsoper, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro la Fenice, La Scala, Teatro Real, Théâtre Châtelet, Opéra-Bastille, etc.) and in prestigious concert halls (Albert Hall, Barbican, Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall), collaboration with renowned conductors (Mackerras, Albrecht, Harnoncourt, Gardiner, Pešek, Kout, Bělohlávek, etc.), the remarkable range of operatic roles he has portrayed (primarily for the National Theatre in Prague), songs and cantatas he has performed, as well as numerous accolades he has received (the 2001 Gustav Mahler European Prize, three Thalia Awards)...

A special chapter is Ivan Kusnjer’s keen interest in lesser-known Czech operas. Works linked with the time of their origin only rarely pass the test of time. Yet the carefully prepared selection on this album indicates just how much interesting music remains in the archives, and the recording is hence a must for all opera lovers.

The CD comprises previously unreleased arias, as masterfully performed by Ivan Kusnjer.

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Famous Czech Miniatures

Famous Czech Miniatures


Blodek:

Moonrise from the opera In the Well

Dvorak:

Humoresque in G flat major, Op. 101 No. 7

Waltz in A major (No. 1 from Waltzes, Op. 54)

Fibich:

Poème

Foerster, J:

Polka from the Opera Deborah, Op. 41

Janacek:

Pilky (No. 6 from Lachian Dances)

Kovarovic:

Miners' Polka

Nedbal:

The Tale of Simple Johnny: Valse triste

Novák, V:

Devil's Polka, Op. 55, No. 21

Smetana:

Nasim devám, polka for orchestra in D major

March of the Prague Student Legion

Suk:

Love Song, Op. 7 No. 1


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Janácek, Novák & Nedbal - Sonatas for Violin and Piano

Janácek, Novák & Nedbal - Sonatas for Violin and Piano

Recorded at the Martinu Hall, Academy of Music, Prague, December 8–10, 2008


Janacek:

Violin Sonata

Nedbal:

Sonata for Violin and Piano in B minor, Op. 9

Novák, V:

Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor


Ivan Ženatý (violin) & Martin Kasík (piano)

Following the highly acclaimed recording of J. B. Foerster’s violin concertos (BBC Symphony Orchestra / Jirí Belohlávek, Supraphon SU 3961-2), the violinist Ivan Ženatý – who has gained international renown as both a virtuoso and pedagogue – and the pianist Martin Kasík have chosen violin sonatas by three Czech composers from the turn of the 20th century. Nedbal’s and Novák’s not overly known and in stylistic terms distinctly romantic works contrast with Janácek’s sonata, an opus of the mature Master whose modernity places it firmly in the 20th century.

In Janácek’s third (yet only preserved) violin sonata there are distinctly “Russian” undertones, reflecting the period it began to originate: the outset of World War I. Novák’s romantically flamboyant sonata was written under Dvorák’s supervision and is clearly influenced by Chopin and Liszt; Novák’s Sturm und Drang is referred to on occasion. Oskar Nedbal’s early work bears witness to his mastery of both instruments and rich melodic invention.

The intensity of the listener’s experience is augmented by the technical bravura and musical maturity with which the two performers have undertaken this repertoire.

“A finely recorded recital from a spirited pair of musicians. …Zenatý and Kasík play with a quick sensitivity about when to simplify, when to intensify the expression.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2009

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Little Pearls of Czech Classics

Little Pearls of Czech Classics


Dvorak:

Humoresque in G flat major, Op. 101 No. 7

Polonaise (from the opera Rusalka)

Fibich:

At Twilight, Symphonic Poem for Orchestra, Op. 39

Fucik:

Florentiner Marsch

Janacek:

Pilky (No. 6 from Lachian Dances)

Martinu:

Bouquet of Flowers: Idyll

Nedbal:

The Tale of Simple Johnny: Valse triste

Novák, V:

Slovácká svita, Op. 32: The Amorous Couple

Smetana:

The Bartered Bride Overture

The Bartered Bride: Polka

The Kiss Overture

Suk:

Towards a New Life, Op. 35c


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Smetana Trio - Smetana, Suk & Novak Piano Trios

Smetana Trio - Smetana, Suk & Novak Piano Trios


Novák, V:

Trio for piano, violin & cello in D minor, Op. 27 'Quasi una ballata'

Smetana:

Trio in G minor

Suk:

Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 2


Smetana Trio

“a recording which is both realistic and vibrant, these performances are a magnificent tribute to the excellent state of Czech chamber music today.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2006

BBC Music Magazine

Chamber Choice - August 2005

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Talich Special Edition 2

Talich Special Edition 2


Novák, V:

Slovácká svita, Op. 32, for piano or small orchestra (orchestral version)

Smetana:

Czech Song

Suk:

A Fairy Tale, Op. 16


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The Best of Czech Classics - String Quartets

The Best of Czech Classics - String Quartets


Dvorak:

String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major, Op. 51 (B92)

String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 'American'

String Quartet No. 13 in G major, Op. 106 (B192)

Janacek:

String Quartet No. 1 'The Kreutzer Sonata'

String Quartet No. 2 'Intimate Letters'

Novák, V:

String Quartet No. 2 in D major, Op. 35

Smetana:

String Quartet No. 1 in E minor 'From My Life'

String Quartet No. 2 in D minor

Suk:

Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale Saint Wenceslas for String Orchestra, Op. 35a


The string quartet is a genre that was neglected by few great composers of the Romantic era, and the Czech masters contributed a number of significant works to its international repertoire.

Smetana’s quartet “From My Life,” Dvorák’s “American” quartet and Janácek’s “Intimate Letters” rank among the mature works of their composers and have become essential repertoire for quartets throughout the world.

Furthermore, Dvorák and Suk founded an uninterrupted interpretational tradition which gave rise to a number of world-famous Czech ensembles.

A direct line of descent can be traced from the Smetana Quartet, which has performed Smetana’s music on hundreds of concert stages, to the Panocha Quartet, which has recorded a highly esteemed recording of the complete Dvorák quartets, and also to the Škampa Quartet, whose Janácek seethes with inimitable raw energy.

This compilation offers the best known works of the Czech quartet repertoire performed by the greatest masters of the art.

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Vitezslav Novak: Piano Works

Vitezslav Novak: Piano Works


Novák, V:

Piano Sonatinas, Op. 54 Nos. 1-6 (complete)

Bagatelles, Op. 5

My May - Four Piano Pieces, Op. 20

Songs of a Winter Night for piano solo, Op. 30

Youth, Op. 55

Two Czech Dances


Frantisek Rauch (piano)

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