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Sir Charles Mackerras

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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


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Supraphon - SU32762

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Dvořák: Orchestral Works & Concertos

Dvořák: Orchestral Works & Concertos


Dvorak:

Slavonic Dances Nos. 1-8, Op. 46 Nos. 1-8

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Three Slavonic Dances, Op. 72

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Slavonic Rhapsodies (3), Op. 45

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bohumil Gregor

The Hero's Song, Op. 111

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bohumil Gregor

Legends, Op. 59

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras

Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras

My Home Overture, Op. 62

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Hussite Overture, Op. 67

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Czech Suite, Op. 39

Prague Philharmonia, Jakub Hruša

Festival March in C major, Op. 54

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Jirí Belohlávek

Prague Waltzes, B99

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Jirí Belohlávek

Polka in B flat major, Op. 53a/1 'For Prague Students'

Prague Symphony Orchestra, Jirí Belohlávek

Polonaise in E flat major for orchestra, B100

Prague Philharmonia, Jakub Hruša

American Suite in A major, Op. 98a(b)

Prague Philharmonia, Jakub Hruša

Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44

Prague Philharmonia, Jakub Hruša

Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22

Prague Philharmonia, Jakub Hruša

Nocturne in B major for strings, Op.40 (B47)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Cello Concerto in A major, B10

Instrumentation Jarmil Burghauser, revision of the cello part Miloš Sádlo

Miloš Sádlo (cello)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33

Ivan Moravec (piano)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jirí Belohlávek

Romance in F minor, Op. 11

Václav Hudecek (violin)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jirí Belohlávek

Mazurek for violin and orchestra, Op. 49 (B89)

Václav Hudecek (violin)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jirí Belohlávek

Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53

Josef Suk (violin)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Waldesruhe (Silent woods) for cello and orchestra, Op. 68 No. 5

Miloš Sádlo (cello)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Rondo in G minor for cello & orchestra, Op. 94, B. 181

Miloš Sádlo (cello)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Miloš Sádlo (cello)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Václav Neumann


Collectors and admirers of Dvořák’s music bearing the hallmark of the Czech performance tradition can now add another comprehensive album to put alongside the previous complete Supraphon CDs mapping his chamber (SU38152, SU39212), piano (SU40182) and symphonic works (SU40902). The acclaimed recording of the symphonies, conducted by Václav Neumann, is now followed by Supraphon’s 8-CD box set featuring Dvořák’s orchestral pieces and concertos. In addition to the celebrated Slavonic Dances, it contains a number of rarely recorded symphonic works (the Hussite Overture, My Home, A Hero’s Song), as well as splendid compositions for chamber and string orchestras. Besides recordings made under the baton of Neumann, it provides scope to other great Dvořák conductors – Mackerras, Bělohlávek and the rising star Jakub Hrůša. The set of orchestral works is rounded off by recordings of concertos, ranging from the virtually unknown Cello Concerto in A major, written by the young Dvořák, to the most frequently performed, the Cello Concerto in B minor. Supraphon has again carefully put together top-quality and time-honoured recordings of works performed by world-renowned soloists.

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Suk: Asrael Symphony, Op. 27

Suk: Asrael Symphony, Op. 27

Recorded live at the Rudolfinum, Prague, on April 5-6, 2007


Suk’s Asrael – Sir Charles Mackerras’s unreleased recording with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

Josef Suk began writing the funeral symphony Asrael to commemorate his teacher and father-in-law Antonín Dvořák. During the course of work, however, Fate dealt him another crushing blow: Asrael, the Angel of Death, took away Suk’s wife and Dvořák’s daughter, Otilie. The symphony is a story of a suffering whose strength seems simply unendurable, yet also a story of its overcoming, seeking solace and hope.

Sir Charles Mackerras’s live recording of Asrael originated on a Good Friday, 6 April 2007, one hundred years after the symphony’s premiere. The Australian conductor had first heard about the Asrael some sixty years previously from Suk’s close friend, Václav Talich. In later years Mackerras confessed that he perceived the work in a completely different light after his daughter had died. Sir Charles conducted Suk’s Asrael during one of his last performances with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. It is also his last previously unreleased recording with this orchestra.

“There are so many moments that come memorably to life in this reading...the driving energy of Mackerras's conducting is thrilling, and the combination of clarity and warmth that he finds in Suk's orchestral textures comes across impressively...it's quite simply the greatest performance I've ever heard of Asrael” International Record Review, March 2011

“Mackerras has the advantage of an orchestra that has lived and breathed this music for 100 years — it was premiered exactly a century before these concerts — and his own deep involvement with Czech music gives him persuasive insights.” Sunday Times, 20th March 2011 ****

“Mackerras's performance has a wonderful objectivity about it, as well as a quiet intimacy in the more reflective moments. Superbly played, it's a perfect demonstration of why Mackerras was a great conductor, and of his ability to bring the best out of whoever and whatever he was conducting.” The Guardian, 31st March 2011 ****

“The Czech Philharmonic’s live performance breathes a conviction and beneath-the-skin rapture that you won’t find in any other recording.” Financial Times, 16th April 2011 ****

“Asrael encompasses formal experiment, superb orchestration, a magnificent grasp of scale and, above all, an unerring feel for catharsis...Charles Mackerras's performance encapsulates all of these qualities...Not only does he see the staggering originality of Suk's vision, but, effortlessly, he folds into his interpretation the depth of his knowledge of the Czech repertoire...this is the closest to the definitive version we have.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2011 *****

“Mackerras keeps a shrewdly tight rein on Suk's huge structure, while allowing impressive momentum and emotional firepower to build in the big central scherzo movement...a remarkable performance of a remarkable work.” Classic FM Magazine, June 2011 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

21st March 2011

GGramophone Awards 2011

Finalist - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2011

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - May 2011

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Life with Czech Music - Janacek & Martinu

Life with Czech Music - Janacek & Martinu


Janacek:

Jealousy (original prelude to Jenufa)

The Cunning Little Vixen - Suite

Sárka, overture

Taras Bulba

Káta Kabanová: Overture & Interludes

Schluch und Jau, music for Gerhart Hauptmann's play

Sinfonietta

Glagolitic Mass

Elisabeth Söderström (soprano), Drahomira Drobkova (contralto), Frantisek Livora (tenor), Richard Novak (bass), Jan Hora (organ)

Amarus - Cantata for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra

Kvetoslava Nemeckova (soprano), Leo Marian Vodicka (tenor), Vaclav Zitek (baritone)

Prague Philharmonic Choir

Glagolitic Mass (first version)

DVD

Eva Urbanova (soprano), Bernarda Fink (contralto), Leo Marian Vodicka (tenor), Peter Mikulas (baritone), Jan Hora (organ)

Prague Philharmonic Choir

Jealousy (original prelude to Jenufa)

DVD

Taras Bulba

DVD

Martinu:

Julietta: orchestral suite

Field Mass

Vaclav Zitek (baritone)

Prague Philharmonic Choir

Double Concerto for Strings, Piano & Timpani

Josef Ruzicka (piano), Jan Bouse (timpani)

Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca, H. 352

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra


"He was an amazing musician. There can be very few conductors who can manage stylistically the breadth that he did. But I think my favourite contribution from him was bringing Czech music to the West." This is the opera star Renée Fleming's glowing description of Sir Charles Mackerras, whose long and incredibly fruitful conducting career and life ended at the age of 84 this July. Indeed, over the past few decades Czech music has not had a more vigorous advocate and champion in the world, nor a greater fan and connoisseur. Throughout the music world, Mackerras’s name is synonymous with Czech music itself – Janáček in particular. Sir Charles fatefully encountered Janáček during the very first days of his studies with Václav Talich in Prague. Subsequently, he introduced Janáček to the wider world. "Nobody needs me to say that Mozart and Handel are great composers, whereas they did need somebody to say that Janáček is a great composer too, and that’s what I did. If I have achieved anything in my life, it is the propagation of Janáček." Supraphon had the truly great honour of co-operating with this superlative conductor until the very end. The albums featuring the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in particular have captured Mackerras’s vision of a wide scale of works by the four greatest Czech composers. The list of awards these recordings have received is long... Let us then instead spend our time listening to his musical legacy on these CDs, which Supraphon with respect and love for Sir Charles presents to all those who would like to recollect this great man.

4 CDs and DVD

“Even the recording acoustic is warm, enough sometimes to curl the music’s edges and smudge away little details. But Mackerras’s handling of this repertoire is so fresh, so responsive to the folk-music gestures embedded within, that you still listen beaming...No matter what the new year brings, these commemorative boxes should give comfort and joy.” The Times, 17th December 2010

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Supraphon - SU40422

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Life with Czech Music - Smetana & Dvorak

Life with Czech Music - Smetana & Dvorak


Dvorak:

Slavonic Dances Nos. 1-8, Op. 46 Nos. 1-8

Slavonic Dances Nos. 9-16, Op. 72 Nos. 1-8

Symphonic Variations, Op. 78

Symphony No. 6 in D major, Op. 60

Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88

Prague Symphony Orchestra

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

Prague Symphony Orchestra

Legends, Op. 59

Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66

In Nature's Realm Overture, Op. 91

Prague Symphony Orchestra

The Water Goblin, Op. 107 (B195)

The Noon Witch, Op. 108 (B196)

The Golden Spinning Wheel, Op. 109

The Wild Dove, Op. 110 (B198)

Smetana:

Má Vlast


“Mackerras extols the Czech Philharmonic’s “national” sound. And that’s what we get, with rustic woodwinds, the brass a little tart, and passionate, light-fingered strings. Nothing is bland...they all surge ahead with a natural ease and singing lyricism. You’d have thought that someone born to this repertoire was conducting.” The Times, 17th December 2010

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Supraphon - SU40412

(CD - 6 discs)

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Dvorák - Symphonic Poems

Dvorák - Symphonic Poems

Recorded at the Rudolfinum, Prague


Dvorak:

The Water Goblin, Op. 107 (B195)

The Noon Witch, Op. 108 (B196)

The Golden Spinning Wheel, Op. 109

The Wild Dove, Op. 110 (B198)


Dvorák composed his Symphonic Poems shortly after the American triumph of his “New World Symphony” and after completing his beautiful final string quartets (Opp. 105 and 106). The first three poems were first performed in1896 in London, while The Wild Dove was premiered in March 1898 in Brno by Leoš Janácek. The recordings on this CD are interpreted by the Czech Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, a paramount musician and connoisseur and champion of Czech music. The poems round off his legacy in Dvorák’s symphonic oeuvre, from which he has recorded for Supraphon, for example, Symphonies Nos. 6, 8 and 9, Slavonic Dances and Symphonic Variations.

Sir Charles’s performance of Dvorák’s works interweaves the splendid Talich tradition and profound knowledge of the composer’s work. The live recording of The Noon Witch and The Water Goblin reflects the warmly poignant atmosphere of the conductor’s parting with the Prague audience.

The triumphant recording of Martinu’s Three Fragments from the opera Juliette (Gramophone Award 2009) was made at the same valedictory concert. The studio recording of The Wild Dove is the final culmination of the long-term collaboration between Sir Charles and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Mackerras's textures are tender, while the orchestral sound has an inimitable gleam.” The Independent on Sunday, 14th March 2010

“Mackerras is a past master of this music, and in the Czech Philharmonic he has musicians whose experience of Dvorak is second to none. His way with the music is...lyrical and transparent...Mackerras underplays the more lurid and grotesque aspects of the tales...A sumptuous disc.” Sunday Times, 21st March 2010 ****

“Half-Czech by nature and experience, Mackerras brings vital qualities to these Czech Philharmonic performances...Here is surging energy, authentic Czech colouring and a strong dramatic sense.” The Times, 24th April 2010 ***

“Sir Charles...marks the Mendelssohnian drift of the big string theme in The Golden Spinning Wheel, a performance full of warmth and vitality, very realistically recorded and surely the highlight of the disc...dance rhythms are underlined but never overstated” Gramophone Magazine, July 2010

“Mackerras gives marvellously atmospheric performances, and there is plenty of contrasting melodrama...The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra is on top form throughout, and there is plenty of warm, tender playing, especially from the strings.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

GGramophone Awards 2010

Best of Category - Orchestral

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Supraphon - SU40122

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Martinu - Music from the opera Juliette

Martinu - Music from the opera Juliette


Martinu:

Three Fragments from the Opera Juliette (The Key to Dreams)

World Premiere recording

Julietta: orchestral suite


Magdalena Kožená (Juliette), Steve Davislim (Michel), Frédéric Goncalves, Michéle Lagrange & Nicolas Testé

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras

World Premiere recording of Three Fragments from the Opera Juliette.

Magdalena Kožená sings the title role of Juliette.

Sir Charles Mackerras’ final recording with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

On 11 December 2008 the sold-out Rudolfinum in Prague heard for the first time Three Fragments from the Opera Juliette, a work which ranks among Martinu’s most significant and which the composer himself highly esteemed. Martinu originally composed the opera Juliette in Czech. However, so as to ensure appropriate publicity for the work, he wanted – already armed with a French libretto – to place extracts from the most relevant scenes on French radio. Yet Three Fragments from the Opera Juliette (The Key to Dreams) was not broadcast on the radio and had to wait some 70 years for its first performance. This was entrusted to the safe hands of that most competent of conductors Sir Charles Mackerras, who has devoted a great part of his life to discovering Czech music and promoting it on world stages.

After experiencing Magdalena Kožená in the role of Juliette, it is hard to imagine another star singer in her place.

On this CD, Three Fragments is supplemented by the orchestral suite from the same opera, which sensitively treats the music of all three Acts and corresponds with the “dreamy logic” of the original.

Thanks to Martinu’s dreamily beautiful music and the remarkable engagement of all the interpreters, Sir Charle’s December leave-taking of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra was transformed into a joint triumph.

“Mackerras directs a wonderful performance and while Kožená sings the title-role beautifully she is in excellent company. The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra play superbly throughout, not least in the sensible coupling of Zbynek Vostrák's expert arrangement of the three of Julietta's orchestral episodes. ...I cannot recommend this scintillating disc highly enough.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2009

“…the ardour of the exchanges are superbly captured by Mackerras and his instrumentalists. Magdalena Kožená is magnificent as the volatile Julietta and is excellently matched by Steve Davislim's Michel. Along with three orchestral excerpts, including the opera's prelude, these fragments provide a fitting tribute to Mackerras's profound understanding of Martinu's musical character.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2009 *****

“Lovingly conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras with the Czech Philharmonic, is another tantalising affair. As in the BBC’s recent full concert performance in London (also in French), the Kozená magic suits with the opera’s heroine, a haunting girl who exists only in dreams.” The Times, 5th June 2009 ***

“A really outstanding release” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, June 2009

Presto Disc of the Week

25th May 2009

GGramophone Awards 2009

Best of Category - Recital

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2010

Opera Finalist

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Supraphon - SU39942

(CD)

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This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched.

Martinu: The Greek Passion

Martinu: The Greek Passion

Television film of the opera by Bohuslav Martinu based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis „Christ Recrucified“


John Mitchinson, Helen Field, John Tomlinson & Catherine Savory

Prague Philharmonic Choir, Kühn Children´s Chorus & Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras

Supraphon 1981 Sung in English, subtitles: Czech, German, French

“The vocal performances are without exception magnificent: John Mitchinson as Manolios and Helen Field as Katerina, respectively Christ and Mary Magdalen, deliver near definitive readings of their roles. The transfer to a realistic open air set with actors taking the vocal roles is not particularly successful.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2008 ***

“The story of Martinu's penultimate opera begins with a priest allotting roles in the local Passion play to various congregation members.
When a group of refugees arrive begging land (their village having been sacked by the Turks) the would-be actors begin to assume the roles of their characters. Thus, after the priest rejects the refugees on the pretext that they carry cholera, Manolios, assigned to play Christ, directs them towards Mount Sarakina where there is room to spare, while the pedlar Yannakos, playing Peter, repents of a scheme to deprive the refugees of their valuables in exchange for essentials.
Panait, allotted the role of Judas, is incensed by the change of heart of Katerina, playing Mary Magdalene, who is drawn into a close spiritual bond with Manolios, who rejects his fiancée, Lenio, who in turn becomes engaged to another. In the end, Manolios's identification with Christ and sympathy for the plight of the refugees becomes too much for the priest, who excommunicates him. In a confrontation outside the church, Manolios is killed by Panait and the Passion play ended.
Supraphon's film is not of a stage or even studio performance, but was made for Czech Television in 1999 as a kind of outside broadcast, set around a real stone-built village and church.
The recording is that made in 1981 in Brno using the local orchestra and Czech choruses by Sir Charles Mackerras with soloists from Welsh National Opera. The live actors, for the most part Czechs, mouth the English text very well, though differences in mime technique are at times striking.
The outdoor setting works remarkably well, centred on the village square, the church, various cottages and the hillside where the refugees attempt to eke out a new home. The recording still sounds sumptuous, the elision of certain segments has been done expertly and for those unfamiliar with Martinu's radiant score, this film – ending with the iconic image of the dead Manolios on the church steps, should prove a compelling and moving experience.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Supraphon's film… was made for Czech Television… as a kind of outside broadcast, set around a real stone-built village and church. The recording still sounds sumptuous, the elision of certain segments has been done expertly and for those unfamiliar with Martinu's radiant score, this film - ending with the iconic image of the dead Manolios on the church steps, should prove a compelling and moving experience.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2008

DVD Video

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Format: PAL

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Supraphon - SU70149

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Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527

Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527


Andrei Beschasny (Don Giovanni), Ludek Vele (Leporello), Nadezhda Petrenko (Donna Anna), Vladimír Doležal (Don Ottavio), Jirina Marková (Donna Elvira), Alice Randová (Zerlina), Zdenek Harvánek (Masetto), Dalibor Jedlicka (Commendatore)

Prague National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra, Charles Mackerras

Recorded 1st Dec 1991

DVD Video

Region: 2

Format: PAL

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Supraphon - SU70129

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Dvorak: Slavonic Dances

Dvorak: Slavonic Dances


Dvorak:

Slavonic Dances Nos. 1-8, Op. 46 Nos. 1-8

Slavonic Dances Nos. 9-16, Op. 72 Nos. 1-8


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Supraphon - SU38082

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