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Cat. No. CHAN 10413 Price: £7 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10413 - Smetana: Richard III/ Wallenstein's Cam/Hakon Jarl/Prague Carnival
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Available From: 01 September 2007
This recording features symphonic poems that preceded the composition of Smetana’s now iconic symphonic cycle Má vlast. Although Má vlast has always overshadowed his other orchestral music, Smetana developed a symphonic style which made a fundamental contribution to the identity of Czech national music.
BR>The three symphonic poems from Smetana’s ‘Swedish period’, Richard III, Wallenstein’s Camp and Hakon Jarl, are now regularly performed in concert halls; however, the remainder of the disc presents lesser-known repertoire, mainly composed along Lisztian lines.

The genre of the symphonic poem was very important to Smetana and it was not long after his ‘Swedish period’ that nationalism gradually came to prominence in his music, especially once he had returned to his native land. The other works on the disc demonstrate this nationalistic turn, and include Prague Carnival, one of his most fascinating works. Due to its ‘cacophony’ it was not popular on its initial performances; yet it is in fact one of Smetana’s most imaginative, if challenging scores.

Masterfully performed by Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic, these works provide an important introduction to Smetana‘s orchestral output and confirm Smetana’s status as one of the greatest Czech composers of the nineteenth century.

"This is simply the finest compilation of Smetana’s colourful symphonic poems ever put on disc.... the Chandos disc triumphs by its demonstration-quality, state-of-the-art recording. Not to be missed."
The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

Critic’s Choice Ivan March

This is a superb disc. There have been distinguished collections of Smetana’s symphonic poems (notably a vintage Kubelik disc) but none quite to compare with this in excitement, richness of detail and, in the case of ‘Wallenstein’s Camp’, sonic spectacle – how well Smetana writes for the brass!… Gianandrea Noseda draws wonderfully characterful and spontaneous playing from the BBC Philharmonic, and the Chandos engineers surpass themselves with the realistic vividness of the sound and the naturalness of the balance. Not to be missed.

Editor’s Choice and Critic’s Choice

Noseda and his BBC forces infuse these with tremendous panache and colour… Noseda’s single disc is the better buy
BBC Music Magazine

Reviews of recent releases:
Noseda conducts the BBC Philharmonic orchestra in scintillating, compellingly atmospheric, deeply considered and richly coloured performances.

The Sunday Times

Given the music’s sense of Liszt with a Bohemian accent, it proves an apt follow-up to the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda’s fine series of the Hungarian’s tone poems
The Telegraph

With excellent recorded sound and Noseda right into the idiom, this is a promising start to the series from Chandos.
Livepool Daily Post

This is highly recommendable to anyone who wishes to investigate the orchestral music of Smetana beyond Ma Vlast and the Overture and Dances from the Bartered Bride.

This is highly recommendable to anyone who wishes to investigate the orchestral music of Smetana beyond Ma Vlast and the Overture and Dances from the Bartered Bride.

The orchestra has developed beautifully under Noseda… A superlative performance.
The Independent on Sunday

Excellent Noseda conducts a vibrant programme of theatre music and symphonic poems inspired by literature. There’s more to Smetana than Ma Vlast.
Classic FM


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