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Cat. No. CHAN 10518 Price: £7 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10518 - Smetana: Orchestral Works, Vol.2 - Bartered bride / The Two Widows etc.
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Available From: 01 June 2009
Smetana: Orchestral Works, Vol.2 - Bartered bride / The Two Widows etc.

Volume one of this series was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and here Gianandrea Noseda conducts his second instalment in his Smetana Orchestral Works series.

This latest programme is made up of the familiar Bartered Bride Overture and Dances with the overtures and ballets of his lesser-known operas, including his first opera The Brandenburgers - performed with the Ballet from Act I, The Kiss – which was his first collaboration with the brilliant young librettist and poet, Eliska Krasnohorska, and The Devil’s Wall all of which offer Smetana’s masterful orchestration, panache and virtuosity.

They are performed with assurance by the BBC Philharmonic.


Even the most familiar pages of the Bartered Bride come up as fresh as paint, the BBC Philharmonic’s immaculate virtuosity as musicianly and refined as it is sparkling. However rapid and propulsive the tempo, noting is pushed or over-driven. The Polka’s grandiose opening leads to music of a courtly charm, enough to set even the least susceptible heads nodding and feet tapping. The Furiant’s catchy cross-rhythms lead to suavely romantic melody and in the Overture to The Secret there is a typical Smetana progression from sobriety to lightness and exultance… Everything is permeated with a sense of Czech pride and ideals, a mood memorably captured by Noseda. Chandos’ sound is exceptional and there are outstanding accompanying notes by Jan Smaczny.
Gramophone Editor's Choice

That such a résumé is ideal for CD makes it the more surprising there are no comparable collections currently available, with several of these items being obtainable only within integral recordings. Nosda’s disc thus fills a notable gap, with the excellence of the BBC Philharmonic’s response marched by that of the recorded sound and Jan Smaczny’s booklet note. A fine instalment in another worthwhile Chandos series.
International Record Review


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