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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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Supraphon - SU41232

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Smetana: Má Vlast

Smetana: Má Vlast


Prague Philharmonic, Jakub Hrůša

The most recent Supraphon recording of My Country dates back to the halcyon days of 1990. In the first year of freedom, at the euphoric opening concert of the Prague Spring festival the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by the 76-year-old Rafael Kubelík, who had just returned from exile. Twenty years on, the festival entrusted this honourable task to the 28-year-old conductor Jakub Hruša, who emulated the legendary Václav Neumann in becoming the youngest conductor in history to open the festival.

Hruša, while respecting the time-honoured interpretational tradition, primarily focused on faithful and well-considered reading of the score. Owing to the legendary vigour, musical fidelity and sheer engagement of the Prague Philharmonia, those in attendance at Prague’s Rudolfinum were witness to a truly remarkable and inspired performance of this symbol of Czech music. The more chamber-like configuration lets the fine planes ring out in an unusually transparent sound, so that the water nymphs really are water nymphs... By contrast, the extreme drama of Šárka resounds with a surprising power. As evidenced by the rapturous response to the concert, the conductor certainly succeeded in achieving his goal – retelling My Country in a manner that would make the audience feel as though they were hearing it for the first time.

“Hruša builds towards that climax intelligently, and his shaping is always utterly natural, while in both Vltava and From Bohemia's Woods and Fields he...exploit[s] the transparency of the lighter body of strings to highlight much telling detail.” The Guardian, 14th October 2010 ***

“Part bucolic, part combative, always nationalistic, Bedrich Smetana’s Má Vlast cycle of symphonic poems needs Czech musicians to make the music fuse and fly. Captured live in concert, Hrusa’s Prague Philharmonia glory as much in the clamorous battle scenes as in the rippling waters of Vltava, the best-known segment.” The Times, 13th November 2010 ****

“Hrůša derides anything resembling pomposity in Má vlast interpretation, preferring instead relatively swift tempi (swifter sometimes than suggested in the score), transparent textures and colourfully varied dynamics.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

“The trump card of this [performance], given at last year's Prague Spring Festival, is its superlative but modest orchestral line-up, showing you don't need big symphonic forces for the music's non-stop inspiration to make its mark. Hrůša's bombast-free conducting secures playing of poised grace besides vividness and panache” Classic FM Magazine, January 2011 *****

“[Hrusa] shows a most impressive grasp of the work's architecture...[He] has a fine sense of line and his players phrase most lyrically...sensitive, purposeful and obviously warm-hearted - all very welcome qualities in this music” International Record Review, January 2011

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Supraphon - SU40322

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Dvorak in America

Dvorak in America


Dvorak:

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

Te Deum, Op.103, B.176

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

Sonatina for violin and piano in G major, Op. 100

String Quintet No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 97 'American'

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

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

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

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

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104


Gabriela Benackova (soprano), Jaroslav Soucek (baritone), Josef Suk (violin, viola), Josef Hala (piano), Milos Sadlo (cello) & Josef Chuchro (cello)

Panocha Quartet and Smetana Quartet, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra & Philharmonia, Jakub Hruša, Václav Neumann & Jiří Bělohlávek

The “From the New World” symphony, Cello Concerto in B minor, the “American” quartet... A title with such a selection could without the slightest exaggeration bear the designation “The Best of Dvorák”. It almost defies belief that all these compositions, which brought Dvorák world fame, were written within a mere three years (1892-95) during his sojourn in America.

The music is extremely inspired and profound, perfectly built and immensely amiable for the listener – simply beautiful. It reflects the powerful new sources of inspiration Dvorák discovered in America, yet also echoes homesickness, missing the family and familiar landscape. Josef Suk, the Panocha Quartet, the Czech Philharmonic under Václav Neumann and Jirí Belohlávek – such names are a guarantee of a profound tradition of performing Dvorák’s music. Accordingly, these 3 CDs comprise the gems of the most international of Czech composers as interpreted by artists who further spread and are still spreading the fame of Dvorák’s music worldwide, from America to Japan.

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Supraphon - SU40252

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Martinu, Foerster & Novak - Cello Concertos

Martinu, Foerster & Novak - Cello Concertos


Foerster, J:

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 143

World Première Recording

Martinu:

Cello Concerto No. 1, H.196

Novák, J:

Capriccio for Cello and Small Orchestra


Jirí Bárta, who for a number of years has been considered one of the finest cellists both at home and abroad, has certainly not chosen the three concertos on this CD at random. Bohuslav Martinu’s first concerto, in the definitive 1955 version, is among the works Bárta most cherishes and performs most frequently. At the same time, this opus bridges the imaginary space between the other compositions. Its first version originated in 1930, at the time when J. B. Foerster was completing his one and only cello concerto. This work of a composer with a Czech soul and European experience has its world premiere on this recording.

From an entirely different world is Jan Novák’s syncopated Capriccio, a piece with distinct jazz elements in which the solo instrument is accompanied by a big band. Novák, sharing with his teacher Martinu the fate of an émigré who would never again see his homeland, completed Capriccio a short time after Martinu, in the twilight of his life, gave his first concerto its definitive form. Capriccio too is released here for the first time on CD and features Jirí Bárta accompanied by the best Czech chamber orchestra under its chief conductor, the rising star Jakub Hruša.

“…Jirí Bárta… plays with a warm, unselfconscious expressiveness that connects with all three works, and the Prague Philharmonia is with him every step of the way.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2009

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2009

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Supraphon - SU39892

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Janácek - Lachian Dances & Taras Bulba

Janácek - Lachian Dances & Taras Bulba


Janacek:

Lachian Dances

The Cunning Little Vixen: Entr'actes from the Opera

arr. František Jílek)

Taras Bulba


Many seasoned conductors keep returning to Janácek’s symphonic works – owing to their sparkling expressiveness, colourful emotions and lucid purity drawn deep from the wellspring of folk music.

Jakub Hruša proves that fascination with Janácek’s music applies to the youngest generation of conductors too.

The recording opens with six ebullient Lachian Dances and when it comes to The Cunning Little Vixen, Jakub Hruša has chosen the rarely performed version of the Suite arranged by František Jílek, a connoisseur of Janácek’s ouvre. His Suite retains Janácek’s original instrumentation and spans the trajectory of the opera’s action.

The recording is crowned by the rhapsody for orchestra Taras Bulba. Janácek’s initial title for the work – Slavonic Rhapsody – reflects not only national but also Slavonic pride, which is celebrated here in the character of the fearless Cossack leader Taras Bulba.

Janácek masterfully succeeded in transposing his fascination with the culture of Tsarist Russia into a composition which on this CD is undertaken by a young conductor fascinated in turn by Janácek’s work.

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Supraphon - SU39232

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Dvorák - Serenades

Dvorák - Serenades


Dvorak:

Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22

Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44

Suk:

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


“In my opinion, as soon as Dvorák starts to be pompous, frilly, over-stylized, even rash or studiously virtuoso, the approach is wrong. My goal was to emphasize its simplicity and naturalness, because when this is lost, Dvorák isn’t Dvorák anymore.” These words of Jakub Hruša shine through the young onductor’s third CD, in which he again juxtaposes the works of teacher Antonín Dvorák and his student Josef Suk.

“Still in his mid-twenties, Jakub Hrusa is a conductor to look out for. A pupil of Jiri Belohlavek, he has built up a formidable career in Europe and America. Here he draws superb playing from the orchestra which Belohlavek founded.Hrusa's performances could not be more winning, and the Supraphon recording is full and vivid” Gramophone Magazine, April 2007

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Supraphon - SU39322

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Dvorak: Suite in A

Dvorak: Suite in A


Dvorak:

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

Suk:

Fantastické Scherzo Op. 25

Serenade for String Orchestra in E flat, Op. 6


“Still in his mid-twenties, Jakub Hruša is a conductor to look out for. A pupil of Jirí Belohlávek, he has built up a formidable career in Europe and America. Here he draws superb playing from the orchestra which Belohlávek founded.
Dvorák's American Suite can easily seem square and uninspired but Hruša directs a magical performance.
The descending opening phrase immediately brings echoes of a spiritual. It is fresh and rustic-sounding, growing more magnetic as it is repeated in melodic ostinato. The Trio brings a brisk idea like a Slavonic Dance, and the lively second-movement Allegro offers a lyrical Trio. The Moderato third movement echoes a polonaise or polacca in its light and jaunty dotted rhythms. The fourth movement is a warmly lyrical Nocturne opening with a lovely oboe theme, while the vigorous finale brings folk-like accented repeated chords again with oboe prominent, slowing down before a final brisk pay-off.
The two items by Josef Suk are given similarly fresh and inspired performances. Suk was still in his teens and a pupil of Dvorák when in 1892 he completed his Serenade for Strings, and it remains one of his most delightful works. There are many echoes of Dvorák, not least in the long third-movement Adagio; but already Suk was beginning to reveal a distinctive voice, and the writing for strings throughout is astonishingly assured for a teenager.
The Scherzo fantastique is darker and more distinctive, inventive in its contrasted sections, with a swinging episode in triple-time lightening the mood with a waltz-like episode. Again Hruša's performance could not be more winning, and the Supraphon recording is full and vivid.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Supraphon - SU38822

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Dvorak: Czech Suite & Waltzes & Polonaise

Dvorak: Czech Suite & Waltzes & Polonaise


Dvorak:

Czech Suite, Op. 39

Waltzes & Polonaise


" All the performances are excellent with Jakub Hrusa, still in his mid – twenties, drawing colourful and alert playing from the Prague Philharmonic, reflecting the fact that he is the talented pupil of Jiri Belohlavek, the founder of the orchestra. First rate sound."Edward Greenfield - Gramophone

“All the performances are excellent with Jakub Hrůša, still in his mid-twenties, drawing colourful and alert playing from the Prague Philharmonia…” Gramophone Magazine, June 2006

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Supraphon - SU38672

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