A very enjoyable album
Jill Malter | firstname.lastname@example.org | 11/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are plenty of great recordings of Ma Vlast. Actually, this one (Walter Weller conducting the Israel Philharmonic) is my favorite, even though Kubelik is a close second and Levine is good too. And there's also a choice I'm almost sure you haven't thought of, the superb performance by Igor Ardasev and Renata Ardaseva as a piano duet!
When you get this version, not only do you have an unforgettable Ma Vlast, you get a second CD that includes Antal Dorati conducting the Detroit Symphony in Dvorak's Czech Suite, Nokturno, and Prague Waltzes. Plus, there's Istvan Kertesz conducting the Israeli Philharmonic in some more works by Smetana (Hakon Jarl and the Overture, Polka and Furiant from the Bartered Bride). Of these, the Prague Waltzes and the Czech Suite are my favorites.
I heartily recommend this album."
Glorious "Ma Vlast"
Sungu Okan | Istanbul, Istanbul Turkey | 06/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very good czech collection includes Smetana's best known works and Dvorak's less known but all-worth-listening works.CD 1 includes Smetana's complete symphonic poem cycle "Ma Vlast" (My Fatherland). This cycle based on six movements which, the second is ever-famous "Moldau". This cycle (as in name) tells about Czechoslovakia's historic lands and legends. As you know, Moldau is the famous river.
The other movements are:
1. Vysherad is the castle which protect the capital Prague in 13th century. 3. Sarka is the woman-hero who was lived in 13th century. She was fighted with Frenchs and but their general was fall in love to Sarka. So, she (with her charm) was deceived and then she invited the some of Frenchs for drink wine. Then, all of them (except Sarka) gets drunk and Sarka, secretly was added a poison which make them sleepy. So, all of them sleeps, and then Sarka calls her Czech army with her horn. And gradullay they comes, and all of them kills Frenchs (with their general), while they're sleeping!5. Tabor is the army of the country and then 6. Blanik is the contiuation of Tabor. Blanik is the mountain which, the army's shelter, while they're waiting the "war alarm". But, this movement ends with a triumphal finale, which includes the main "Vysherad" and "God's Warriors" chorale. This work is very succesful example of patriotic music and it is to affect nationalism.The performance of this work is very good. This is may be one of the best recordings of Walter Weller and Israel P O, too. They played this programme with emotion. CD 2 starts with the overture and polka of Smetana's best known opera "The Bartered Bride". Especially, polka is a very beautiful example of this kind. The performances by Israel P O again, but conductor is Istvan Kertesz, who always a champion in perform Czech music. And then, there is a less known tone poem, Hakon Jarl, based on a Norwegian warrior legend. Conductor is again Walter Weller.And at last, Dvorak and his beautiful Czech Suite which includes Furiant, Polka, Minuetto and like these dances. And there is a gentle work "Prague Waltzes" and a romantic "Notturno". All of these are digital recording and performed by Detroi S O, conducted by another legendary conductor, Antal Dorati.This is a very good collection and highly recommended."
Nice Czech Collection
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 11/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This two-disc set from the "Double Decker" series is a very good, if not definitive, collection of famous and lesser-known Czech orchestral works. Smetana's "Ma Vlast," a work virtually owned by conductors Kubelik and Ancerl (see my review of the latter), is performed well by Walter Weller and the Israel Philharmonic, who return for an encore on disc two with Smetana's "Hakon Jarl." Selections from Smetana's "The Bartered Bride" are done again with the IPO, but this time they are led by one of my favorite conductors, Istvan Kertesz. As much as I enjoy Kertesz, the highlights of this collection for me are the lesser-known pieces by Dvorak. Antal Dorati (another one of my favs) and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra offer us early digital recordings of the Prague Waltzes, Nocturne and Czech Suite. In all, this is a collection that will appeal to the casual fan and serious collector alike."