Best of Classics - the perfect present for you and your nearest and dearest, who like beautiful music in top quality.The Best of Mozart title, the first of the exquisite series of CDs featuring classical music, has met with a tremendous response on the part of listeners who always want to have the most wonderful musical gems within easy reach.
Volume one of this series was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and here Gianandrea Noseda conducts his second instalment in his Smetana Orchestral Works series. This latest programme is made up of the familiar Bartered Bride Overture and Dances with the overtures and ballets of his lesser-known operas, including his first opera The Brandenburgers - performed with the Ballet from Act I, The Kiss – which was his first collaboration with the brilliant young librettist and poet, Eliska Krasnohorska, and The Devil’s Wall all of which offer Smetana’s masterful orchestration, panache and virtuosity. They are performed with assurance by the BBC Philharmonic.
Every true believer in the music of Czech nationalist composer Bedrich Smetana will have to check out this three-disc set of his orchestral works with Vladimir Válek leading the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. Not only does it contain Smetana's orchestral masterpiece Má Vlast plus his three fairly well-known tone poems Richard III, Wallenstein's Campo, and Hakon Jarl, it also contains his nearly completely unknown four-movement Triumph Symphony, his almost totally unknown March for Shakespeare, and the Ceremonial Prelude in C major along with three short orchestral dances, the Georginen, the Louisen, and the Our Lasses Polkas.
Few chamber music groups have as proud a history as the Smetana Quartet, or a history that evokes as much nationalistic passion. Founded during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, the group's very existence was an anomaly during an era when any manifestation of Czech nationalism was outlawed. They survived into the post-Nazi era, and went on to an acclaimed international performing career, making some of the finest chamber music recordings of the 1950s and 1960s…
The birth of Russian national music culture in the 19th century is closely connected with Glinka. Balakirev was one of the initiators of the group in which musicians of varying creative inclinations & abilities came together. The oriental element is very evident in works by Borodin & he makes effective use of the exotic sound world in his only opera Prince Igor. Rimsky-Korsakov is represented as a composer in his own right on this recording by his overture Russian Easter Festival (1888). Tchaikovsky was not a member of the "Mighty Five", unlike the composers already mentioned, but he too strove to write works in which typical national features were prominent.
Highly recommended. This is one of the very best recordings of this magnificent music. The recorded sound is warm and close up, details are clearly heard. The performance reflects love and respect for the music. The Gewandhaus folks play magnificently and Neumann choses good tempos, not too fast or too slow. The feelings of joyfulness and pride are evident at every turn.