Great Opera, Mediocre Recording
Daniel Mitrano | Ft. Lauderdale, FL | 12/03/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The good--Dvorak composed a breathtaking grand opera that has Czeck flair and supurb confidence in the musical writing. The chorus and orchestra of the Prague Radio are solid, committed, and refreshingly familiar with the material. Dyk conducts fluently and with great power and nuance. The bad--Recorded from radio broadcasts in 1951, the sound is excruciatingly insufficient to encompass the wide range of orchestral and vocal production. The singers are miked too close and the orchestra takes a back seat with balances always leaving some section of the orchestra (usually the winds and percussion) and chorus (the men) inaudible. This recording boasts a cast of the most competent Czeck singers that weren't of international fame and although they are no less than capable in this vocal writing and language, they are no more than that, failing to create living characters from the horrendous libretto. The extensive cuts in the score and the unbelievable amount of recording problems leaves this as admittedly a "historical document." The ugly--this opera, which is just as good as any French grand opera of that period if not better, deserves a better, more up-to-date recording. Long overdue for its time in the sun."
Jiri Gutman | Modrice Czech Republic | 05/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this is rare opportunity to hear a great voices of Tikalova (Vanda), Blachut (Slavoj) or Bednar (Roderich). Historical recording - not for technical fans of 5:1 chanels and J.Cura."