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Smetana: Symphonic Poems CD


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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Václav Neumann, Vladimír Válek, Jirí Belohlávek
  • Composer: Bedrich Smetana
  • Audio CD (1 Dec. 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Supraphon
  • ASIN: B00002528T
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 279,425 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Richard III. Symphonic Poem, Op. 11Václav Neumann, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra13:05Album Only
Listen  2. Wallenstein's Camp. Symphonic Poem, Op. 14Václav Neumann, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra15:58Album Only
Listen  3. Hakon Jarl. Symphonic Poem, Op. 16Václav Neumann, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra16:08Album Only
Listen  4. Solemn March for Shakespeare CelebrationsVáclav Neumann, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra 7:06£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Solemn Prelude in C major on the occasion of laying the foundation stone for the National TheatreVladimír Válek, Prague Symphony Orchestra 3:28£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Country Woman. PolkaVladimír Válek, Prague Symphony Orchestra 4:10£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Prague Carnival. Introduction and Polonaise (1883)Ji?í B?lohlávek, Prague Symphony Orchestra 6:29£0.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. To Our Girls. PolkaVladimír Válek, Prague Symphony Orchestra 4:13£0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Poèmes symph. Richard III, Le Camp de Wallenstein, Hakon Jarl - Marche à la gloire de Shakespeare / Philharmonie Tchèque, dir. Vaclav Neumann - Carnaval de Prague, Ouv. de fête, La Paysanne, À nos jeunes filles... / Orch. Symph. Prague, dir. Jiri Belohlavek & Vladimir Valek

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This has been an unusual and very welcome musical experience for me: it is not often that after sixty years' infatuation with good music I can find a discful of works, by a composer I am particularly fond of, not a note of which I had ever heard before. However my five stars are not just a measure of my delight at a novelty, and I am not suggesting that the set is perfect (however that might be understood). What the rating means is that this recital preserves a performing tradition that can never now be recaptured.

There is no pretending that either the Czech Philharmonic of the 70's or the Prague Symphony Orchestra of 1980/1 was up to the standard of the best western orchestras. They are hearty, committed and heartfelt in this music, which is their own music. Karajan and the Berlin Phil could certainly have shown them a thing or two in matters of refinement and subtlety, but the Czech bands possessed another basis for interpretation, the marrow of their bones, which was of the same origin as the composer's own. The post-war communist authorities in what was then Czechoslovakia had been anxious to preserve their native musical tradition pure of alien influences. Then came Dubcek's Prague Spring, at whose downfall in August 1968 I was myself present as a helpless onlooker. Politically, that reset the clock, but a musical tradition can't survive that kind of thing unscathed. The old way of doing things had been exposed to the open air and had absorbed some of the dreaded western style. This mid-way culture lasted until the iron curtain apparatus finally fell apart, and it had a distinctive sound of its own. And this is what we can hear on this disc, with the three symphonic poems plus a march-number recorded in 1974 and the smaller works dating from 1980 and 1981.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Poste Italiane S.p. A. on 1 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The CD contains rare ouvertures and symphonic poems. Many people fon of musicology are searching for this compilation. I am very glad because I found in the track 1 "Richard III"!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
PRAGUE CARNIVAL AND THE PRAGUE SPRING 5 May 2013
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This has been an unusual and very welcome musical experience for me: it is not often that after sixty years' infatuation with good music I can find a discful of works, by a composer I am particularly fond of, not a note of which I had ever heard before. However my five stars are not just a measure of my delight at a novelty, and I am not suggesting that the set is perfect (however that might be understood). What the rating means is that this recital preserves a performing tradition that can never now be recaptured.

There is no pretending that either the Czech Philharmonic of the 70's or the Prague Symphony Orchestra of 1980/1 was up to the standard of the best western orchestras. They are hearty, committed and heartfelt in this music, which is their own music. Karajan and the Berlin Phil could certainly have shown them a thing or two in matters of refinement and subtlety, but the Czech bands possessed another basis for interpretation, the marrow of their bones, which was of the same origin as the composer's own. The post-war communist authorities in what was then Czechoslovakia had been anxious to preserve their native musical tradition pure of alien influences. Then came Dubcek's Prague Spring, at whose downfall in August 1968 I was myself present as a helpless onlooker. Politically, that reset the clock, but a musical tradition can't survive that kind of thing unscathed. The old way of doing things had been exposed to the open air and had absorbed some of the dreaded western style. This mid-way culture lasted until the iron curtain apparatus finally fell apart, and it had a distinctive sound of its own. And this is what we can hear on this disc, with the three symphonic poems plus a march-number recorded in 1974 and the smaller works dating from 1980 and 1981.

For anyone as unfamiliar as I was until the other day with the symphonic poems, they are early works reflecting the young composer's impressionable enthusiasm for comparable works by Liszt. If that has you dreading the prospect of fifteen minutes of one indifferent tune per piece, be assured it's not like that. Smetana was full of melody. It is also an interesting coincidence that the composition which he later entitled Richard III should have some prospect of arousing fresh interest just as that monarch's remains have been identified positively and are making headlines. The three symphonic poems and the Shakespeare-inspired march come to us from the Czech Philharmonic under Neumann, although it would be interesting to know how the work was seemingly allocated between two recording directors, about whom the back of the box tells us that Pavel Kuhn directed tracks 1-4 while Milan Slavicky shouldered the burden in nos 1,2 and 4.

There is an interesting but distinctly odd liner note which talks as if it had as much space as it could use when it is a matter of the symphonic poems, then has a little about Smetana's projected Prague Carnival, and nothing at all about the Shakespearean march or the short prelude to accompany the laying of the foundation stone for the National Theatre or the two delightful polkas. Except for the march, these come from the Prague SO under two different conductors. The Prague Carnival was apparently to have been a suite along the lines of Ma Vlast, and we are given the prelude and polonaise, although for some reason not two other numbers that Smetana seems to have managed to complete. The recorded sound, like the playing, is a little rough-edged by comparison with what the west was able to offer at that time, but this is where we come to the question What are we looking for in a reissue like this? I know what I am looking for, and it's what I find here and could not even begin to look for elsewhere.
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