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Great Czech Conductors: Rafael Kubelik - Dvorak, Martinu, Shostakovich / Rudolf Firkusny, piano

Audio Samples

>Dvorak, Antonin : Symphony no 8 in G major, Op. 88/B 163
>Dvorak, Antonin : Concerto for Piano in G minor, Op. 33/B 63
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 9 in E flat major, Op. 70
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Symphony no 4
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Memorial to Lidice
>Dobias, Vaclav : Stalingrad, cantata for voice, male chorus & orchestra

Album Summary

>Dvorak, Antonin : Symphony no 8 in G major, Op. 88/B 163
>Dvorak, Antonin : Concerto for Piano in G minor, Op. 33/B 63
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 9 in E flat major, Op. 70
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Symphony no 4
>Martinu, Bohuslav : Memorial to Lidice
>Dobias, Vaclav : Stalingrad, cantata for voice, male chorus & orchestra
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The name of Rafael Kubelík symbolically opens the SUPRAPHON series of archival recordings featuring the most celebrated Czech conductors. Kubelík's journey to catharsis, which was represented by the legendary performance of My Country at the first liberated Prague Spring festival in 1990, lasted more than half a century. He first conducted the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra when he was twenty and at the age of twenty-eight (1942) became its chief conductor. The precious recordings on this double CD were made between 1944 and 1948, prior to Kubelík's emigration. When it comes to Dvorák's music, one of the cornerstones of the Czech Philharmonic's repertoire, unique recordings of Kubelík's singular interpretation of Symphony No. 8 and the Piano Concerto with a spellbinding performance by the young Rudolf Firkuný have been preserved. Yet Kubelík also boldly presented a contemporary repertoire. The live recording of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9 dating from December 1945 (a mere three months after the work was completed!) is probably the very first recording of the work. The onerous experience of the war is also reflected in Martinu's Symphony No. 4. The unique recordings of the Memorial to Lidice and Dobiá's Stalingrad cantata depict the atmosphere of a difficult time. Kubelík's recordings from the 1940s are a testament to a legendary figure who after another 40 years of conducting leading orchestras abroad would in the spring of 1990 make a triumphant return to liberated Prague.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
Supraphon spares no effort on the lavish booklet - plenty of program notes and thorough documentation of the provenance of each recording. None of these accounts is indispensable to the Kubelik discography. If you want to hear him at his best, you'll have to turn to his later commercial recordings. This is a fine opportunity for serious collectors and fans to hear him in formative years, leading the orchestra that gave him a sense of what he wanted from every orchestra. There seems to be a bit of the Czech Phil in every Kubelik recording. Maybe it was his way of remembering his homeland.



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Works Details

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Symphony no 8 in G major, Op. 88/B 163
  • Conductor: Rafael Kubelik
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 37 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Concerto for Piano in G minor, Op. 33/B 63
  • Performer: Rudolf Firkusny (Piano)
  • Conductor: Rafael Kubelik
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: ?08/??/1876-09/14/1876.
  • Running Time: 37 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 9 in E flat major, Op. 70
  • Conductor: Rafael Kubelik
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1945.
  • Running Time: 26 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1945
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Symphony no 4
  • Conductor: Rafael Kubelik
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 04/01/1945-06/14/1945.
  • Running Time: 31 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral

>Martinu, Bohuslav : Memorial to Lidice
  • Conductor: Rafael Kubelik
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Smetana Hall of the Municipal House (03/14/1946-03/15/1946)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 08/03/1943
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Václav Dobiás (1909 - 1978) : Stalingrad, cantata for voice, male chorus & orchestra
  • Performer: Zdenek Otava (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Rafael Kubelik
  • Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 11 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1945
  • Studio/Live: Live