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Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn
For almost forty years the name of Václav Talich was synonymous with the great orchestra he conducted, the Czech Philharmonic. When he made these records in November 1935, he was at the height of his career as the most charismatic Czech conductor in history. The orchestra’s autumn London visits, beginning in 1935, were eagerly awaited events, not least by the HMV technicians at Abbey Road Studios, where the art of 78rpm recording had been brought to its peak.
The Slavonic Dances give Talich the chance to show the full panoply of his skills in subtlety of rhythm and orchestral colour. In Carnival, the strings’ natural portamento lends lovely curves to the second theme, while in the quiet interlude the delicately rustic Czech woodwinds come into their own.
Talich was to return to all this music in the 1950s but these 1935 recordings catch an immortal partnership in full flood and vigour.
Antonin Dvorak: Slavonic Dances, Series 1, Op. 46, B. 83
No. 1 in C major
No. 2 in E minor
No. 3 in A flat major
No. 4 in F major
No. 5 in A major
No. 6 in D major
No. 7 in C minor
No. 8 in G minor
Antonin Dvorak: Slavonic Dances, Series 2, Op. 72, B. 147
No. 1 in B major
No. 2 in E minor
No. 3 in F major
No. 4 in D flat major
No. 5 in B flat minor
No. 6 in B flat major
No. 7 in C major
No. 8 in A flat major
Antonin Dvorak: Carnival, Op. 92, B. 169
Carnival, Op. 92, B. 169
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.