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Smetana: Orchestral Works Vol 1 / Noseda, et al

Album Summary

>Smetana, Bedrich : Festival Overture, for orchestra in D major ("Revolutionary"), JB 1
>Smetana, Bedrich : Richard III, symphonic poem, JB 1
>Smetana, Bedrich : Hakon Jarl, symphonic poem, JB 1
>Smetana, Bedrich : Der Fischer (Rybár), for harmonium, harp & strings, JB 1
>Smetana, Bedrich : Venkovanka (The Country Woman), polka for orchestra (or piano) in G major, JB 1
>Smetana, Bedrich : Prazsky karneval (Prague Carnival), introduction and polonaise for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands), JB
>Smetana, Bedrich : Fanfares for Richard III, for brass & timpani, JB 1
>Smetana, Bedrich : Pochod k slavnosti Shakespearove (Shakespeare Festival March), for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands) in
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Although 'Ma 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. 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 19th century.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
This is a superb disc. There have been distinguished collections of Smetana's symphonic poems 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! Indeed this, RichardIII and especially Hakon Jarl emerge afresh as symphonic poems every bit the equal of those of Liszt. The early Jubel-Overture (1848) with its thundering, frantic opening timpani and energetic folksy flavour is a real find. So, too, is the beautiful watery tableau The Fisherman, which has a Wagnerian evocation gently reminding one of the moonlight sequence in 'Vltava'.

But the key works are the first three mentioned above, Wallenstein's Camp full of vivid military invention, Richard III with its atmospheric, doom-laden portrait, including a memorable dominating theme, gently lurching to represent the king's gait. The orchestration is highly evocative, as it is in the even more ambitiously dramatic Hakon Jarl. Here the central lyrical section with its falling scalic main theme, introduced by harp and bass clarinet, is all but Tchaikovskian and leads to a superb climax. The Shakespeare March closes the programme boisterously.

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.



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Works Details

>Smetana, Bedrich : Festival Overture, for orchestra in D major ("Revolutionary"), JB 1 :: 39 (Op. 4)
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, BBC New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (03/08/2007-03/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1848-1849

>Smetana, Bedrich : Richard III, symphonic poem, JB 1 :: 70 (Op. 11)
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, BBC New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (03/08/2007-03/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1857-1858

>Smetana, Bedrich : Hakon Jarl, symphonic poem, JB 1 :: 79 (Op. 16)
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, BBC New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (03/08/2007-03/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1860-1861

>Smetana, Bedrich : Der Fischer (Rybár), for harmonium, harp & strings, JB 1 :: 97
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, BBC New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (03/08/2007-03/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1869

>Smetana, Bedrich : Venkovanka (The Country Woman), polka for orchestra (or piano) in G major, JB 1 :: 115
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, BBC New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (03/08/2007-03/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1879

>Smetana, Bedrich : Prazsky karneval (Prague Carnival), introduction and polonaise for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands), JB
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, BBC New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (03/08/2007-03/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1883

>Smetana, Bedrich : Fanfares for Richard III, for brass & timpani, JB 1 :: 92
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, BBC New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (03/08/2007-03/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1867

>Smetana, Bedrich : Festival Overture, for orchestra in D major ("Revolutionary"), JB 1 :: 39 (Op. 4)
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, BBC New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (03/08/2007-03/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1848-1849

>Smetana, Bedrich : Pochod k slavnosti Shakespearove (Shakespeare Festival March), for orchestra (or piano, 4 hands) in
  • Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
  • Ensemble: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Studio 7, BBC New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (03/08/2007-03/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1864