Smetana, Dvorak, Suk, Ostrcil - Music for Prague | Supraphon SU43422

Smetana, Dvorak, Suk, Ostrcil - Music for Prague


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Label: Supraphon

Cat No: SU43422

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 12th April 2024



The story of the Prague Symphony Orchestra is closely related to the history of the Czech capital, which leaves an impression on their repertoire. After their successful recording of Karel Husa’s Music for Prague 1968 (Supraphon, 2021), the orchestra and its chief conductor are coming up with another album dedicated to Prague. This time, the programme is focused on the late 19th century, i.e. the period when the Czech nation fought for its language, culture and identity within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The backbone of the record is Suk’s monumental symphonic poem Praga, based on the Hussite chorale, “Ktož jsú Boží bojovníci” (Ye Who Are Warriors of God); Vyšehrad from Smetana’s famous cycle Má vlast (My Country); and a rarity: Pohádka o Šemíku (The Tale of Šemík), which is a largely unknown symphonic poem based on an ancient Czech legend connected with Vyšehrad, by Otakar Ostrčil, composed when he was nineteen. And of course, there is Antonín Dvořák. In hardly any work of his is Dvořák as explicitly patriotic as in his overture My Home (which is not very well known either). It is based on the theme of the popular song “Kde domov můj”, which later became the Czech national anthem. Another rarity of this album is Dvořák’s fanfare for the opening of the National Jubilee Exhibition in Prague. After their acclaimed recording of the composer’s Slavonic Dances, the Prague Symphony Orchestra confirm that the Czech repertoire of late Romanticism is their native and most natural language.

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