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Karel Sejna: Great Czech Conductors
Rarely mentioned in the same breath as his illustrious colleagues Talich, Kubelík and Ančerl, Karel Šejna (1896-1982) was perennially second-in-command, yet despite failing to receive the credit he deserves he too played a crucial role in shaping the history of the Czech Philharmonic. Initially solo double-bass of the orchestra, he began conducting upon Václav Talich’s request and in 1939 was officially named its second conductor. And he also remained deputy after the departure of Talich, who was replaced by Rafael Kubelík, as well as after Kubelík’s emigration, when Karel Ančerl was appointed (originally against the orchestra members’ will) to the vacant post of chief conductor. Consequently, still playing “second fiddle”, Šejna went on to conduct dozens of concerts and make numerous recordings, which today rank among the finest in the Supraphon archives. Period critics branded him a flexible and vivid conductor who always required an understanding of the style and consistently worked with detail. In 1972, Šejna rounded off a half-century of work for the Czech Philharmonic with Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Šejna’s sensitively remastered recordings from 1950-1962, from the bracing Mozart played “with a light hand” to Mahler’s fourth, are now released by Supraphon for the first time on CD.
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Mozart: Missa Brevis & Symphony No. 38
12 Deutsche Tänze, Hob.IX/12: excerpts
recorded in Turin on 24th January 1961
Orchestra Sinfonica “Alessandro Scarlatti” della Rai
Symphony No. 38 in D major, K504 'Prague'
recorded in Turin on 5th January 1960
Orchestra Sinfonica 'Alessandro Scarlatti' della RAI
Missa Brevis in C major, K220 'Spatzenmesse'
recorded in Naples on 10th October 1961
Giuliana Raimondi (soprano), Miti Truccato Pace (mezzo), Petre Munteanu (tenor) & James Loomis (bass)
Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro “Alessandro Scarlatti” della Rai
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
Charles Munch conducts Mozart & Handel
Access to the publicly broadcast BSO concerts from this era has been extremely difficult even for researchers. This series of DVDs will make these performances available for the first time since they were broadcast.
Munch launched the BSO into television in 1955. He was an immensely popular conductor and well suited to being filmed.
This material represents some of the earliest televised concerts with the Boston Symphony and Charles Munch, and has been restored using the greatest care and state-of-the-art techniques.
It is of exceptional musical interest and rare historic value.
Munch was particularly fond of the Sir Hamilton Harty arrangement of Handel’s Water Music Suite, having performed it 53 times with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and having recorded it with the BSO for RCA in 1950.
His interpretations of the two Mozart symphonies are characteristically lively and exhilarating with the usual committed performances from the BSO.
Never commercially recorded by Munch, both Mozart symphonies are completely new to his discography. The booklet note contains references to an interview the writer conducted with Doriot Anthony Dwyer, the BSO’s principal flautist, who was appointed by Munch and remained in the position for 38 years. It gives a fascinating insight into Munch as a conductor and his interaction and relationship with the orchestra.
Two of ICA’s BSO DVDs featuring Charles Munch as conductor have been awarded the Diapason d’Or in France’s Diapason magazine.
Sound format: Enhanced Mono
Picture format: 4:3
Running time: 62’
Menu languages: English
Booklet languages: E/F/G
Region code: 0
Territory Restrictions: None
“Exhilarating performances of Mozart's Linz and Prague Symphonies and a splendid Handel Water Music, all from 1959-60. Occasional picture fuzziness.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ****
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Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 38 & 39
“… played with great verve and polish on modern instruments by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra…. Harnoncourt is certainly generous in the matter of repeats. The Prague (No. 38) includes every repeat
possible: the first movement runs to 19'26", and the performance overall must be the longest on record at just over 38 minutes … The effect is very dramatic, with a high adrenalin level …” Symphony 39 in E flat
major “… has an exhilarating finale running to 7'53“ which many will welcome, for it fizzes along vivaciously.” Gramophone Magazine
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
Mozart - Symphonies Nos. 32, 35, 36, 38 & 39
Sir Charles Mackerras’s performances of Mozart’s Symphonies with the Prague Chamber Orchestra were considered to be benchmark recordings when they first appeared. This specially priced 2-CD set includes five of the late symphonies, Nos. 32, 35 “Haffner”, 36 “Linz”, 38 “Prague”, and 39.
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.
Edition Staatskapelle Dresden - Volume 24
For the next installment of Profil’s Staatskapelle Dresden Edition, they present Bernard Haitink conducting the Staatskapelle Dresden for Bruckner’s Eight Symphony and Mozart’s Prague Symphony. Symphony No. 8 is one of Bruckner’s most memorable scores and regarded as the quintessence of his accomplishments in the form.
Haitink was Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden from 2002 to 2004 and has also proven himself to be an outstanding Bruckner-interpreter. For this recording the maestro shows a perfect Symphony No. 8.
“The Bruckner Eighth… a valuable addition to the Haitink discography. …this is both vital and grand. The Dresden playing is superb, mellow and golden-toned, caught in an acoustic that has warmth and elasticity. The Mozart receives a well bred performance, stylish and free-flowing.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2009
(also available to download from $20.00)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)