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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have, 23 Feb 2003
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This review is from: K. u. K. Festkonzert, Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
The essential companion to the all-Fucik 'Festkonzert Vol. 1', this disc includes Fucik's second best march (after Entry of the Gladiators) the 'Florentine', which brims over with humour and energy. Also 'Two happy blacksmiths', which includes two anvils amongst the instrumentation, and Nedbal's sad and beautiful 'Valse Triste'; part of an opera that the composer never saw performed because he jumped to his death from the roof of the theatre on the opening night (!). The other marches and waltzes in this collection are extremely fine renditions of early 20th century Czech musical lollipops. It must be emphasised that this is the Czech Philarmonic on holiday, playing light music which is as much part of their musical heritage as the 'national' composers, Dvorak and Smetana. Their familiarity with the pieces shines through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part two of a two disc survey of Bohemian light music, 15 Mar 2013
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I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: K. u. K. Festkonzert, Vol. 2 (Audio CD)
This disc, recorded in 1983, is mostly made up of marches and dances representing the Bohemian range of composers writing at about the same time as the Strauss family in Vienna. Of these, the best known is probably Fucik and whose music completes the disc with five of the thirteen tracks. Of these the most familiar is the Florentine march that finishes the disc on a suitably joyful note.

Other composers featured are Ladsky, Kaspar, Vackar and Nedbal, the last two of which account for a further six tracks. So the bulk of the disc focuses on the music of Vackar, Nedbal and fucik therefore.

These pieces are well known in Slavonic countries and are kept in the public consciousness through the Carnival concerts given by the Czech Philharmonic. In effect these are the Bohemian alternative to the VPO New Year's Day concerts and the music is appealing in much the same way. One thing worth noting is that the Czech PO as recorded in 1983 had a distinct Slavonic sound which has since been lost as orchestras have become more international in their personnel. The disc therefore has something of an historical importance as well as being of interest for its compositional program.

All the pieces are played well and with verve under Vaclav Neumann. The recording captures the sound of the orchestra faithfully.

I would suggest that this disc would be of interest to purchasers interested in either the musical content or in the changing sounds of orchestras. There is an equally interesting volume 1.
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K. u. K. Festkonzert, Vol. 2
K. u. K. Festkonzert, Vol. 2 by Czech Philharmonic Orches (Audio CD - 1986)
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