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SMETANA: Festive Symphony
Lothar Zagrosek, Bedrich Smetana, ORF Symphony Orchestra Vienna
SMETANA: Festive Symphony
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1


     
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CD Details

All Artists: Lothar Zagrosek, Bedrich Smetana, ORF Symphony Orchestra Vienna
Title: SMETANA: Festive Symphony
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Marco-Polo
Release Date: 8/4/2009
Genre: Classical
Styles: Forms & Genres, Symphonies, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 730099312028

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CD Reviews

A plodder
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 03/15/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The Festive Symphony (or, actually, the 'Triumph-Symphonie', as it is called in German) is an early work by Smetana, later revised somewhat. He wrote it in honor of the marriage of the heir to the Austrian throne, Franz Joseph, and although he dedicated it to the royal couple, they never acknowledged receipt of it and it was never played until years later. It is Smetana's only symphony. And it is clear that classic symphonic elaboration of musical materials is not Smetana's forte. The working out of the sonata-form of the first movement is predictable and, well, clunky. The language is rather like Schumann or early Brahms, but the materials are pedestrian and what he does with them doesn't turn them into gold. The second movement, largo maestoso, makes use of the Austrian imperial anthem (as do the first and last movements) and goes on much too long. The best movement of the four is the folk-tinged scherzo which shows some of the lively tune-making that Smetana later became famous for in his shorter, more Bohemian works. In later life Smetana himself conducted only this movement, possibly because by then the Austrian hymn had less positive connotations to his listeners. The performance by the ORF Symphony led by Lothar Zagrosek is competent and they couldn't have been expected to raise this piece above its own level. The sound is somewhat murky."