- Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bayerischen Rundfunks Symphony Orchestra
- Conductor: Rafael Kubelik, James Levine
- Composer: Bedrich Smetana
- Audio CD (August 26, 2008)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Import
- Label: Dg Imports
- ASIN: B000024577
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,436 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Smetana: Ma Vlast, Orchestral Works Import
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Top Customer Reviews
When I found this 2 CD set with the Ma Vlast AND the 4 other Smetana symphonic poems at an HMV store in Philadelphia, my heart leaped for joy. I had owned the original LP issue of those recordings from the day they were issued, and had yearned for good CD incantations for years. I was already watering at the mouth with anticipation that the remastering of Ma Vlast would come closer to or exceed the original LP sound of that piece (see the Galleria review); to get the other pieces too was doubly pleasing. Add Levine's lively orchestral selections from the opera The Bartered Bride and you've got over two hours of some of the finest Czech symphonic repertoire in unpoarrallelled sound at a bargain price.
This issue belongs in the library of every collector of Czech music, and it makes a fine item to give some variety to the last enthusiatic listener who just wants a taste of Bohemia.
both sets of Imprompti,D 899 and 935, the Moments Musicaux, and the Sonatas in A, D664 and Bb, D960. I have not
heard Kubelik's 1990 Czech PO Ma Vlast of Supraphon, but given the circumstances can only imagine its emotional
intensity. In Kubelik's discography, the most enraptured performance, I think has been his Berlin PO Schumann
Symphony #2 which dwarfs the three other excellent BPO Schumanns and the four BRSO Schumanns. The DG Boston Ma
Vlast is wonderful in its own right, from the sunnier Ma Vlast and Bohemia's Woods and Fields to the mostly
In the considerably more rarely heard four Tone Poems/Short Symphonies, a theme which unites at least the first three is the triumph of liberation of liberators over tyranny/tyrants (e.g. Richard III and Hakon Jarl).
Obviously this music was close to Kubelik and it I find it attractive and exciting, especially Wallenstein's
Camp and Hakon Jarl.
James Levine's Bartered Bride Overture and orchestral rival Kubelik and are full peers of Szell/Sony and
Kempe/EMI in my view.
"Ma Vlast," which takes up the first disc has been digitally remastered using Deutsche Grammophon's "Original-Image-Bit-Processing," which according to DG adds presence, brilliance and greater spatial definition to the recording. I have read many bad reviews concerning this first disc's audio and I see no one but myself and another are aware of this release, because we are the only ones who have reviewed it so far. I'm sure, without question, that this 2008 release blows the original "remastered" release of "Ma Vlast" away. This is something to definitely consider when buying this. For those who have the original and don't want two copies, then sell the original and buy this one. You will be glad you did.
This set also contains some other Smetana orchestral works like "Richard III," "The Bartered Bride," etc., which are performed great.
If you're looking for a one-stop buy for Smetana, this is it. Not only are you getting his best works with the best conductor of this repertoire, but you're getting two discs for the price of one plus a newly remastered set that blows all other releases away.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful presentation of a classic work! Well worth the very reasonable cost!Published 13 months ago by David A.
I heartily endorse the other five-star reviews which preceded my brief one here. This rendition of Ma Vlast conducted by Rafael Kubelik is one of the best two or three I've heard... Read morePublished on January 1, 2013 by J. R. Trtek