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A Festival of Fucík: Waltzes, Marches & Polkas / Royal Scottish Nat'l Orch.; Neeme Järvi

Album Summary

>Fucik, Julius : Marinarella, overture for orchestra, Op. 215
>Fucik, Julius : Uncle Teddy, march for orchestra, Op. 239
>Fucik, Julius : Donausagen (Danube Legends), waltz for orchestra, Op. 233
>Fucik, Julius : Die lustige Dorfschmiede, Op. 218
>Fucik, Julius : Der Alte Brummbar (The Old Grumbler), comic polka for bassoon & orchestra, Op. 210
>Fucik, Julius : Einzug der Gladiatoren, Op. 68
>Fucik, Julius : Miramare, overture for orchestra, Op. 247
>Fucik, Julius : Florentiner-Marsch, for orchestra, Op. 214
>Fucik, Julius : Winterstürme (Winter Storms), for orchestra, Op. 184
>Fucik, Julius : Hercegovac, march for orchestra, Op. 235
>Fucik, Julius : Die Regimentskinder Marsch (Children of the Regiment), Op. 169
>Fucik, Julius : Ballerinas (Baletky), waltz for orchestra, Op. 266
>Fucik, Julius : Mississippi River, march for orchestra, Op. 160
>Fucik, Julius : Pod admirálskou vlajkou (Under the Admirals Flag), march for orchestra, Op. 82
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Thirty years after having recorded Dvorák's complete Symphonies on Chandos, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and its laureate conductor Neeme Järvi tackle another romantic Czech composer: Julius Fucík, famous for his more than 400 polkas, marches, and waltzes, some of the best of which are featured here. Full of energetic, effervescent Bohemian cross-rhythms, tuneful brass melodies (often now associated with a circus atmosphere), but also more lyrical expressions, this album is a festival in itself.

Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2015
Nicely crafted and highly enjoyable music, played with all the life and fizz it requires by JSrvi and his Scottish-based colleagues. What he lacks in memorable melody he makes up for with swagger, immense charm and foot-tapping brio - and, my goodness, this career bandmaster certainly knew how to orchestrate. The sound picture is a Chandos spectacular.

BBC Music Magazine, December 2015
JSrvi and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra deliver this excellently recorded anthology with great enthusiasm, throwing themselves into these brightly coloured scores without a hint of condescension or irony... this is a highly enjoyable reminder of the delights of Romanticism's popular side.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015).



Reviews

"The Merry Blacksmith"
While the name, Julius Ernst Fucik (1872-1916), may not be readily familiar, one brief march he composed is known far and wide because of its association with, of all the things, the circus. We are, of course, talking about Entry of the Gladiators from 1899. It became known as Thunder and Blazes when it was later arranged for band and consequently took on a new life vis-ŕ-vis the “Big Top”. However, there is much more to consider than this one huge success. Fucik wrote countless waltzes, polkas and marches throughout his distinguished career. This excellent new disc offers a generous helping of goodies. As you might expect, there is nothing groundbreaking or challenging here. Instead, we have a wealth of good tunes, infectious rhythms and piquant orchestrations. Maestro Jarvi and his former band the SNO embrace this material with punch, swagger and a true sense of occasion. If Maestro Jarvi seems to drive his players here and there, no matter, this material actually benefits by such an approach. The SA recorded sound is vivid and three dimensional: a real orchestra captured in a real space. Chandos would hardly deliver anything less. For a good cross section of Fucik’s art, try the following tracks: 2, 8, 9, 11, 13 and 22.
Submitted on 10/23/15 by Allen Cohen 
Light classical fun
Most people have never heard of Julius Ernst Wilhelm Fucik -- although they're very familiar with his music. Fucik, sometimes called the "Bohemian Sousa" wrote a work entitled "Entrance for the Gladiators" in 1887. It was quickly adopted by circus bands, and is now known almost exclusively as the clown's entrance music.

Neemi Jarvi and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra do an admirable job stripping away almost a century of circus music tradition to get at the heart of this work. Originally it was a slow, dignified march that (hopefully) conjured up the glory of Rome. In that, they succeed. The "Entrance of the Gladiators" sounds like a late romantic characteristic piece, more in line with the rest of Fucik's ouevre.

Fucik's musical career included stints with military bands, so it's no surprise that his marches have all the appropriate flourishes and gestures. In that regard, his music does have a superficial resemblance to Sousa's. Fucik, though, was a student of Dvorak and to my ears his music has a distinctively European sound.

This recital features several concert works by Fucik, including "The Old Grumbler," a showpiece for bassoon (an instrument Fucik played). Also included are some of his waltzes and other short orchestral works, making for a well-balanced program. There's no question that these are light classical works. But Fucik is an imaginative composer, and these pieces sparkle and shine in an appealing way.

If you have the choice, I recommend purchasing the SACD version of this release. The added detail SACD playback brings to the music made me fully appreciate Fucik's talents as an orchestrator -- and the performing ability of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Neemi Jarvi.
Submitted on 12/04/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Fucik, Julius : Marinarella, overture for orchestra, Op. 215
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Ensemble: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 11 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1908

>Fucik, Julius : Uncle Teddy, march for orchestra, Op. 239
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1910

>Fucik, Julius : Donausagen (Danube Legends), waltz for orchestra, Op. 233
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1909

>Fucik, Julius : Die lustige Dorfschmiede, Op. 218
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1908

>Fucik, Julius : Der Alte Brummbar (The Old Grumbler), comic polka for bassoon & orchestra, Op. 210
  • Performer: David Hubbard (Bassoon)
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907

>Fucik, Julius : Einzug der Gladiatoren, Op. 68
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1899

>Fucik, Julius : Miramare, overture for orchestra, Op. 247
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1912

>Fucik, Julius : Florentiner-Marsch, for orchestra, Op. 214
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1907

>Fucik, Julius : Winterstürme (Winter Storms), for orchestra, Op. 184
  • Performer: Aleksei Kiseliov (Cello)
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1906

>Fucik, Julius : Hercegovac, march for orchestra, Op. 235
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1908

>Fucik, Julius : Die Regimentskinder Marsch (Children of the Regiment), Op. 169
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1905

>Fucik, Julius : Ballerinas (Baletky), waltz for orchestra, Op. 266
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1909

>Fucik, Julius : Mississippi River, march for orchestra, Op. 160
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1902

>Fucik, Julius : Pod admirálskou vlajkou (Under the Admirals Flag), march for orchestra, Op. 82
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Notes: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (02/16/2015/02/17/2015)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1901