Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Sun, 26 Jan 2020 23:53:33 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Antonin Dvorak - Alfred (2014) Antonin Dvorak - Alfred (2014)

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Disc 1
1.Tragic Overture, B. 16a by Symfonický orchestr Českého rozhlasu	15:41 	
2.Act I: Auf, auf, tapfre Gesellen zum Feste by Jörg Sabrowski	8:49 	
3.Act I: Hoch töne Trompetengeschmetter by Ferdinand von Bothmer	9:42 	
4.Act I: Geh', Alter, geh' by Ferdinand von Bothmer	5:25 	
5.Act I: Ballet by Symfonický orchestr Českého rozhlasu	4:15 	
6.Act I: Ich stehe nicht in Odins Gunst allein (Live) by Ferdinand von Bothmer	7:30 	

Disc 2
1.Act II: Wohl euch, ihr tapfern Streiter! (Live) by Felix Rumpf	5:49 	
2.Act II: Mein König! (Live)	by Peter Mikuláš	7:27 	
3.Act II: In des Thurmes Nacht gefangen by Petra Froese	5:26 	
4.Act II: Was spürt ihr herum? by Jörg Sabrowski	3:01 	
5.Act II: Vergebens, gestrenger Gebieter by Tilmann Unger	2:00 	
6.Act II: Des langen Kampfes müde by Felix Rumpf	8:11 	
7.Act III: Sei uns willkommen, freundlicher Morgen! by Tilmann Unger	3:50 	
8.Act III: Alvina! by Tilmann Unger	4:42 	
9.Act III: Alfred und Sieg! by Petra Froese	6:31 	
10.Act III: Noch find' ich keine Spur von unser'm Helden by Tilmann Unger	8:50 	
11.Act III: Hier in festverschloss'nen Mauern by Ferdinand von Bothmer	7:53 	
12.Act III: Welch ein Ton? Was mag er bedeuten? by Petra Froese	1:26 	
13.Act III: Alfred und Sieg! Sieg! by Ferdinand von Bothmer	8:42 

Alvina – Petra Froese (soprano)
Harald – Ferdinand von Bothmer (tenor)
Alfred – Felix Rumpf (baritone)
Gothron – Jörg Sabrowski (baritone)
Sieward – Peter Mikuláš (bass)
Dorset / Bote – Tilmann Unger (tenor)
Rowena – Jarmila Baxová (soprano)

The Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
Heiko Mathias Förster - conductor

rec. Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic, 16-17 September 2014


When he was writing his first opera, 29-year-old Dvorak had already been a violist with the Provisional Theatre Orchestra for eight years. Performing various operas from past and present on an almost daily basis had a major impact on his career as a composer. Moreover, during the course of the 1860s, the repertoire also began to feature important works from the Czech environment, in particular, Bedrich Smetana’s The Brandenburgers in Bohemia, The Bartered Bride and Dalibor. Dvorak by that time already had a series of works from different genres to his name: symphonies, string quartets and songs, among others. Dvorak’s resolve to now master the operatic form was, however, conditional upon finding a suitable libretto, which was not easy by any means: Czech librettos were few and far between and their standard was dubious to say the least. As Bedrich Smetana complained in an article: “There is a greater shortage of good librettos than good composers”. In addition, as a composer, Dvorak was still completely unknown, and he didn’t have the funds to purchase a new libretto. He thus decided to use a German text written almost sixty years previously, entitled Alfred der Grosse, whose author was the Neo-Romantic German poet Karl Theodor Korner (1791-1813). The libretto, which is set somewhere in England in the year 878, during the war between the English and the Danes, had already been set to music in the past by Johann Philip Schmidt, Josef Joachim Raff and Friedrich von Flotow, and apparently Ludwig van Beethoven had also expressed an interest in the material even prior to this. The same story was also set to music by Gaetano Donizetti, however, his Alfredo il Grande is written to a different text. This is the only time that Dvorak wrote music to a German libretto and, if he initially thought of staging his work at the Czech Provisional Theatre, he may have assumed that the libretto would be translated into Czech. This practice wasn’t at all unusual at that time, as in the case of operas by Skroup or Skuhersky; even the libretto for Smetana’s Libuse was originally written in German.

In the libretto the story was originally arranged into seven tableaux, but Dvorak separated the first of these and combined others to create three acts. The musical setting was greatly influenced by Dvorak’s special – and, at that time, still considerably uncritical – interest in Wagner’s music. The score for Alfred bears a series of traits typical of the Bayreuth Master: copious use of leitmotifs, a compact orchestral setting, and “endless”, richly modulating melodies. When the opera was first staged many years later, the critics even noted that “the score of Alfred is more Wagnerian than Wagner; Dvorak’s submission to his great example is here almost unqualified in its sincerity”. The work may be seen as formally fragmented and indistinctive in terms of expression, yet it is nevertheless a promising demonstration of the composer’s sense of the impact of choral scenes and the full orchestral sound. We will note an interesting compositional detail in the leitmotif characterising King Alfred, which is almost identical to the melody of the De Geyter Internationale. However, neither of the composers could have “copied” this tune: Pierre De Geyter only wrote his Internationale eighteen years later and Dvorak’s opera was never performed during his lifetime.

Although the overture was performed – under the title “Tragic Overture” – for the first time within a year of the composer’s death, at a Czech Philharmonic concert on 4 January 1905, listeners weren’t able to hear further extracts from the work until 6 February 1938 during a German broadcast at Prague Radio. It was only in December of that year that the opera was staged in its entirety for the first time. The first – and, to date, the only – staging of Alfred took place in Olomouc in what was then known as the Czech Theatre. The opera was presented in a Czech translation by Anna Richterova, who also sang the role of Alvina; the production was conducted by Adolf Heller. The premiere naturally attracted a lot of attention, a number of musicians travelled to Olomouc, along with the composer’s daughter Magda and son Antonin. The next (and evidently also the last) time audiences were given the chance to hear at least a cross-section of the opera occurred on the 120th anniversary of Dvorak’s birth, 8 September 1961, when excerpts from the work were broadcast by Plzen Radio, performed by the Plzen Radio Orchestra conducted by Josef Blacky, featuring soloists from the Plzen Opera. The world premiere of the opera featuring the original German libretto was held as a concert performance on 17 September 2014 during the Dvořák Prague International Music Festival.

Even though this early Dvorak opera will never become part of the repertoire and, where the composer’s operatic oeuvre is concerned, it will always be regarded as more of a rarity, it is worthy of closer examination at the very least since it gives us a greater understanding of the continuity of Dvorak’s compositional development and the ideas upon which he built his compositional style during the late 1860s and early 1870s. Certain methods the composer used in this early work then thread their way through his subsequent operas, right up to his final opera, Armida.


The early opera of Antonín Dvorák recorded here definitely falls into the historical oddity category. It's in German, not Czech, set to a libretto by a poet long dead by 1870, when the work was composed, and it is unknown why Dvorák would have undertaken such a sizable project. The subject is a British king, Alfred the Great, who also inspired the opera by Thomas Arne that contains Rule, Brittania, and even shows up in the Vikings television miniseries. Although it was primarily Brahms off whom Dvorák's deepest ideas bounced creatively, the dominant models in this opera are Wagner (or the emerging mainstream simplification of his language: those who've heard Arthur Sullivan's Ivanhoe might be reminded of that work) and, in the active use of the chorus, French grand opera. The music is ponderous in spots, and some might argue that the whole thing doesn't quite hang together, but there are also impressive passages like the 15-minute overture (it's almost as if the composer was itching to get back to instrumental music), and those interested in the early part of Dvorák's career will be interested to see how he picks apart the structure of the libretto. The work is convincingly performed by a cast of largely unknown (at least internationally) Czech and German singers, and conductor Heiko Mathias Förster and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra keep things moving along. The live sound from the Rudolfinum (not Rudofinum, as the graphics have it) is better than expected, and the opera seems to have held the attention of the audience. Not something to rewrite the history books, and there is very little of the mature Dvorák in it, but at the same time it is of considerable interest to those who love this composer and are especially intrigued by his long years of struggle. ---James Manheim, AllMusic Review

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Sun, 02 Sep 2018 13:16:01 +0000
Antonin Dvorak - Cello Concerto in B minor, B. 191 (Op. 104) [1996] Antonin Dvorak - Cello Concerto in B minor, B. 191 (Op. 104) [1996]

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1. Dvorák: Cello Concerto In B Minor, Op.104 - 1. Allegro	15:44	
2. Dvorák: Cello Concerto In B Minor, Op.104 - 2. Adagio ma non troppo	12:40
3. Dvorák: Cello Concerto In B Minor, Op.104 - 3. Finale (Allegro moderato)	12:57

Mstislav Rostropovich – cello
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan - conductor


Having said that let me comment that the Rostropovich/Karajan partnership is an inspired one and these are great performances. Rostropovich's sense of nostalgia in the secondary material of the finale of the Dvorak Concerto is quite memorable (especially towards the close) and he brings a comparable feeling of Russian melancholy to the lyrical pages of Tchaikovsky's splendid variations. Musically this is in a class of its own. --- Ivan March, Gramophone [3/1985],


Mstislav Rostropovich is the world's greatest cellist, and he has actually made at least five recordings of this greatest of all cello concertos. I have a certain preference for his later version, with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra on Erato. This version has long been a prime recommendation, and in this new remastering at mid-price, it's an even better deal now. Herbert von Karajan accompanies with his usual expertise. ---David Hurwitz,

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Thu, 12 Sep 2013 15:54:24 +0000
Antonin Dvorak - Der Jakobiner (2012) Antonin Dvorak - Der Jakobiner (2012)

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1. Akt I
2. Akt II
3. Akt III

Graf Wilhelm von Harasov (Bass)… Jan Martinik
Bohus, sein Sohn (Bariton)… Svatopluk Sem
Julia, dessen Gattin (Sopran)… Dana Buresova
Adolf, Neffe des Grafen (Bariton)… Jiri Hajek
Burgvogt (Bass)… Jozef Benci
Jirí (Tenor)… Ales Voracek
Benda, Lehrer, Chorleiter und Komponist (Tenor)… Jaroslav Brezina
Terinka, seine Tochter (Sopran)… Lucie Fiser Silkenova
Lottinka, alte Beschließerin (Alt)… Lynette Alcantara
Bürger, Bürgerinnen, Musikanten, Jugend, Wachen, Landleute (Chor)

BBC Singers 
Andrew Griffiths (Chorus master)
Trinity Choir School 
David Swinson (chorus-master)
Kenneth Richardson (Director)
Trinity Boys Choir 
David Swinson (chorus-master)

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jiri Belohlavek (Conductor)


Dvorák set two librettos by Marie Èervinková-Riegrová, completing the first of these, Dimitrij, in 1882. The other, Jakobin was written expressly for the composer. Dvorák had Jakobin in hand as early as 1883, but waited several years before composing, noting in a letter to the librettist that he first wanted to show it to the critic Eduard Hanslick (1825 - 1904). Dvorák hesitated further because he wasn't sure it was a work that would bring him international recognition, owing to the Bohemian setting. In late 1887, however, he decided to proceed with the opera, apparently because the character Benda reminded him of Antonín Leihmann, a church organist and German teacher at Dvorák's school in Zlonice. He finished the score on November 18, 1888, and the first performance took place in the Prague National Theater on February 12, 1889.

Jakobin was neither a failure nor a great success. In 1894, Dvorák asked Èervinková-Riegrová to make revisions, which the composer incorporated into the opera in 1897. Nearly all of Dvorák's changes were for Act III; consequently, this part of the opera is in a more mature style than are the first two acts. Important structural changes, such as moving a duet for the characters Benda and Count Vilém to the third act, proved to make the revised opera a success at its premiere on June 19, 1898. It is this form of Jakobin that survives.

Jakobin is through-composed, with numbers, and features motivic unification and references. The most prominent of the motives forms part of a lullaby sung by Julie, Bohuš's wife. This comes to be associated with Bohuš, as it is the lullaby his mother sang to him as a child. This fragment of the lullaby appears in few, but important, moments in the opera. The way Dvorák blends elements in the numbers of the opera is impressive. For example, in the first act, Filip, the count's steward, tries to woo Terinka, Benda's daughter. In the midst of his clumsy courting, a chorus of men in the town square mock him, blending elements of aria and chorus in a comic atmosphere typical of the lighthearted first act.

A type of musical play-within-a-play concept is integral to the second act, as Benda rehearses an instrumental serenade to be performed later in the count's home. Its rustic melody sets it apart from the music of the opera per se, and Dvorák adds effects such as the tuning of violins for a touch of realism. Music is also the subject of the duet, "My cizinou jsme bloudili" (We wandered in foreign lands), in which Bohuš and Julie convince Benda to allow them to take shelter at the school.

Music plays an important role in the third act as well. Count Vilém, who believes his son is a Jacobin and refuses to reconcile with him, is swayed by the sound of "Synáèku mùj kvìte" (Little son, my flower), the lullaby his dead wife used to sing to his son. --- John Palmer, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Thu, 08 May 2014 15:53:47 +0000
Antonin Dvorak - Rusalka (Met 2014) Antonin Dvorak - Rusalka (Met 2014)

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1. Act I
2. Act II
3. Act III

Piotr Beczala - Der Prinz
Emily Magee - Die fremde Fürstin
Renée Fleming - Rusalka
John Relyea - Der Wassermann
Dolora Zajick - Jezibaba
Vladimír Chmelo - Heger
Julie Boulianne - Küchenjunge
Dísella Làrusdóttir - 1. Elfe
Renée Tatum - 2. Elfe
Maya Lahyani - 3. Elfe 
Alexey Lavrov – Jäger

Metropolitan Opera Choir and Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin – conductor

8.02.2014, Metropolitan Opera, New York


The nameless heroine of Dvorak’s Rusalka is one of those hybrid creatures that crops up so often in myth and fairy tale, half woman and half fish. The Met’s current quickie revival of this opera is also a half-and-half sort of thing: a charming musical performance welded to a dramatic production so old and stale that, like fish left out too long, it’s starting to smell.

It often happens in opera that there’s a disconnect between music and narrative. With Rusalka, the divide is wider than usual. The story is derived from central European tales of wood nymphs and water nymphs, who seek to seduce and destroy mortal males. This opera is a later, softer take on the legend, in many ways paralleling Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid, most familiar from Disney’s 1989 film version.

The Rusalka (it’s not a proper name, but a generic term meaning “water nymph”) longs for love, which she can find only in the arms of a human man. Though her father, Vodnik (“water goblin”), warns against it, Rusalka seeks the help of the witch Jezibaba, who transforms her into a human at the cost of her ability to speak. Rusalka’s lover, the Prince, betrays her, dooming them both: She becomes a demon whose kiss kills her lover before she returns, soulless, to the depths of the lake.

For an opera running two-and-a-half hours, this is a very skimpy story. Even the Disney film, barely half that length, tricks the tale out with divertissements about wisecracking seagulls and calypso-singing crabs. In contrast, Jaroslav Kvapil’s libretto concentrates on poetic evocation of mood, with Dvorak’s score functioning more like a symphony with voices than a musical drama.

Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s reading surged and glimmered like the dark waters of Rusalka’s lake, with a wealth of clearly defined detail in the yearning woodwind writing of the first act. In the flamboyant second act polonaise, a section where most conductors let the brass and percussion run wild, Mr. Nézet-Séguin kept the Met orchestra on a tight rein: The number sounded for once like real court music instead of a Hollywood soundtrack.

The one spot in the score where he seemed to take a false step was in the opera’s most famous moment, the aria “Mesicku na nebi hlubokem,” which English-speaking critics call “Song to the Moon.” It’s a piece that his production’s Rusalka, Renée Fleming, has performed since her student days more than a quarter of a century ago; by now, it’s essentially her theme song. Unfortunately, at this point, she seems unwilling to let the piece run its natural course, slowing the tempo to immobility. As a showcase of her superb breath control and ravishing high notes, Ms. Fleming’s performance is exemplary, but as a depiction of a wistful girl’s longing for love, it’s overdone and self-indulgent.

Ms. Fleming took a less interventionist attitude toward the rest of the score, singing cleanly, with a lovely shimmering lyric soprano. The effect might be called “Botoxed”—the sound is seamless, unblemished, creamy but lacking in expression. She has all the notes and doesn’t seem to tire, but the performance as a whole feels small-scale—not the sort of thing you’d expect from a diva so celebrated she does guest spots on The Late Show with David Letterman and sings the National Anthem at the Superbowl.

By contrast with Ms. Fleming’s pleasant blandness, the other performers seemed all the more vivid. Most exciting was Piotr Beczala as the Prince, his lyric tenor darting into the theater like a silver arrow. Though his role isn’t nearly as long as Ms. Fleming’s, it includes what is probably the most gorgeous solo in the score, a wide-ranging melody leaping up to a high C as the Prince begs for the deadly kiss. Mr. Beczala unfurled these phrases as slowly as Ms. Fleming had sung in her aria, but this time, the daring choice of tempo didn’t seem like such a stunt.

As Jezibaba, mezzo Dolora Zajick made the most of a worn voice, concentrating on the extreme ends of her range, booming down below and rattling the balcony with a massive high B-flat. Less imposing was John Relyea as the Vodnik, an attractive lyric bass in a role for a dramatic bass-baritone. In the short and ungrateful part of the scheming Foreign Princess, Emily Magee made a promising debut, disclosing a firm, colorful dramatic soprano with an easy top. Particular praise is due to the trio of Dísella Làrusdóttir, Renée Tatum and Maya Lahyani as Rusalka’s sisters. They both blended beautifully and sounded distinctly individual in solos, a tricky balance to strike.

Had this been a concert, I would have had very few complaints. But the Met presents staged opera, and this 1993 production by Otto Schenk hardly scratches the surface of Rusalka as drama. The core story may be a fairy tale, but as with mythic material in general, Rusalka does not deal in trifles.

Recent productions of the opera elsewhere have focused on Rusalka’s status as a representative of the femme fatale archetype, a sort of embodiment of societal concerns about female sexuality. For the Bavarian State Opera, for example, director Martin Kusej shunted aside the fairy tale plot in favor of a psychodrama suggested by the scandalous case of Elisabeth Fritzl, an Austrian woman confined in a basement and sexually abused by her father for more than 20 years. Released from the fantasy world she has concocted in self-defense, Rusalka is overwhelmed by real life, ending up confined to a mental institution. Unsupervised for a moment, she murders the Prince, who is visiting her.

In a very different production seen recently in a number of European cities, director Stefan Herheim interprets the story as a Jungian dream. Rusalka is not a real woman or even quite a real character; rather, she is the projection of the insecure sexuality of the Vodnik character. This secondary figure becomes the protagonist, not a shadowy water demon but rather an elderly working-class man who, prompted by a glimpse of the streetwalker Rusalka, relives his unhappy history of failed relationships with women. This version finishes with an eerie poetic touch: The Vodnik is led away from the house where he has murdered his wife, and Rusalka, unscathed, attracts the attention of an onlooker to the tragedy.

Even in a more literal production the darkness and depth of the story could be brought out far better than they are at the Met. The sets for the forest and the Prince’s palace offer the unthinking romanticism of a Disney World ride, and Ms. Fleming’s glitzy costumes are scaled-up Barbie dresses. Jezibaba, played mostly for laughs, exudes as much menace as a witch in a puppet show, and even Vodnik, the Father God, is reduced to popping his head out of a trap door like a big blue Whac-A-Mole.

Before the staging is retired once and for all, this Rusalka will make an appearance on the Met’s “Live from HD’ series on Feb. 8. Mr. Nézet-Séguin will take good care of the music, and clever camera work can perhaps make the “trees” and “lake” look less like cardboard and tinsel. About Ms. Fleming’s permasmirk, however, there is little to be done. ---James Jorden,

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:04:51 +0000
Antonin Dvorak - Serenade for Strings in E-Major, op. 22 Antonin Dvorak - Serenade for Strings in E-Major, op. 22

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1.    Moderato						play
2.    Tempo di Valse
3.    Scherzo: Vivace
4.    Larghetto
5.    Finale: Allegro vivace

Ensemble Instrumental de Grenoble
Marc Tardue – conductor


Antonín Dvořák's Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22, was composed in just two weeks in May 1875. It remains one of the composer's more popular orchestral works to this day.

1875 was a fruitful year for Dvořák's composing. This was the same year that he wrote his Symphony No. 5, String Quintet No. 2, Piano Trio No. 1, the opera Vanda, and the Moravian Duets. These were happy times in his life. His marriage was young, and his first son had been born. For the first time in his life, he was starting to be recognized as a composer, and was able to live stably without fear of poverty. He received a generous stipend from a commission in Vienna, which allowed him to compose his Fifth Symphony and several chamber works as well as the Serenade.

Allegedly, Dvořák wrote the Serenade in just 12 days, from 3–14 May. The piece was premiered in Prague on 10 December 1876 by Adolf Čech and the combined orchestras of the Czech and German theatres. It was published in 1877 in the composer's piano duet arrangement by Emanuel Starý in Prague. The score was printed two years later by Bote and Bock, Berlin.

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Mon, 19 Dec 2011 13:31:07 +0000
Antonin Dvorak - Slavonic Dances (2001) Antonin Dvorak - Slavonic Dances (2001)

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Opus 46

No. 1 in C major (Furiant)
No. 2 in E minor (Dumka)
No. 3 in A-flat major (Polka)
No. 4 in F major (Sousedská)
No. 5 in A major (Skočná)
No. 6 in D major (Mazurka)
No. 7 in C minor (Skočná)
No. 8 in G minor (Furiant).

Opus 72

No. 1 (9) in B major (Odzemek)
No. 2 (10) in E minor (Starodávny)
No. 3 (11) in F major (Skočná)
No. 4 (12) in D-flat major (Dumka)
No. 5 (13) in B-flat minor (Špacírka)
No. 6 (14) in B-flat major (Starodávný ("Ancient"))
No. 7 (15) in C major (Kolo)
No. 8 (16) in A-flat major (Sousedská)

Cleveland Orchestra
George Szell – conductor


Szell’s miraculously detailed and immaculately phrased recording of the complete Slavonic Dances has seldom been out of the catalog, though its sonics have never matched its artistic value. Even as currently remastered on Essential Classics, the recording still sports woodwinds that pop out of the mix front and center whenever they have the tune, against a somewhat dark and thick-textured accompaniment. Nothing can quite solve this basic problem, but as transferred here to SACD stereo, there truly is just a touch more clarity to the basic sound. And so Szell’s characteristically careful way with the percussion can now be heard to better effect right from the very first dance, and subsidiary lines and rhythmic figures no longer congeal into such a dark mass of midrange tone. Nothing, of course, will make these performances technically marvelous, but this is the closest that Sony has come so far to doing their musical merits full sonic justic ---David Hurwitz,

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Wed, 24 Feb 2010 22:13:53 +0000
Antonin Dvorák - Stabat Mater Op. 58 (Kubelik) [1977] Antonin Dvorák - Stabat Mater Op. 58 (Kubelik) [1977]

A 	I. Quartetto E Coro. Andante Con Moto - "Stabat Mater Dolorosa" 	18:24 	
B1 	II. Quartetto. Andante Sostenuto - "Quis Est Homo, Qui Non Fleret" 	11:10 	
B2 	III. Coro. Andante Con Moto - "Eja, Mater, Fons Amoris" 	7:18 	
B3 	IV. Bass Solo E Coro. Largo - "Fac, Ut Ardeat Cor Meum" 	8:04 	
C1 	V. Coro. Andante Con Moto, Quasi Allegretto - "Tui Nati Vulnerati" 	5:08 	
C2 	VI. Tenore Solo E Coro. Andante Con Moto - "Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere" 	7:36 	
C3 	VII. Coro. Largo - "Virgo Virginum Praeclara" 	6:28 	
D1 	VIII. Duo. Larghetto - "Fac, Ut Portem Christi Mortem" 	5:25 	
D2 	IX. Alto Solo. Andante Maestoso - "Inflammatus Et Accensus" 	6:27 	
D3 	X. Quartetto E Coro. Andante Con Moto - "Quando Corpus Morietur" 	7:14 	

Edith Mathis – Soprano
Anna Reynolds – Alto
Wieslaw Ochman – Tenor
John Shirley-Quirk – Baritone

Bavarian Radio Chorus
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Kubelik – conductor


A successful interpretation of Dvorák’s profoundly moving Stabat mater must keep a balance between the lyric and epic. Kubelík brings out the work’s abundant melody without losing any of its breadth. He may not match Talich’s searing vision of the piece, but his thoughtful performance, with excellent soloists, has enormous appeal. Even without the bonus of an affectionate and idiomatic reading of Dvorák’s beguiling Legends, this version of the Stabat mater will come near the top of anyone’s list. ---Jan Smaczny,

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Thu, 22 Oct 2009 13:36:06 +0000
Antonin Dvorak - Symphony No. 9 (Bernstein) [2001] Antonin Dvorak - Symphony No. 9 (Bernstein) [2001]

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0:00   I. Adagio - Allegro molto 
11:05  II. Largo 
25:48  III. Scherzo. Molto vivace 
32:20  IV. Allegro con fuoco 

New York Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein – conductor


There's no such thing as a "definitive" recording, but if there were, this one would come close to that imagined ideal. Its special qualities haven't dimmed a bit in the four decades since it was recorded, and every interpretive decision comes across with the inevitability of fate itself. First, you get the first-movement exposition repeat (very unusual for its time), then there's the very slow (but still very flowing) Largo, gorgeously played and far from the trudge-fest that Bernstein would make of it in his lousy later recording for DG. The scherzo goes like the wind, the fastest ever, and the finale offers simply the last word in excitement. It all sounds better than ever in SACD stereo: brighter, more present, with a sharper rhythmic kick. If you don't own this performance in some form, then you don't know the "New World". --- David Hurwitz,

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Fri, 31 Aug 2012 17:11:00 +0000
Antonin Dvorak - Violin Concerto - Romance in F (Niziol) Bartek Niziol plays Antonín Dvořák (1995-96)

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1.Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53 (B.108)
-I Allegro ma non troppo [00:00]
-II Adagio ma non troppo [10:18]
-III Finale: Allegro giocoso ma non troppo [21:24]

Bartlomiej Niziol - violin
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Talmi Yoav – conductor

Date of recording : 27.10.1995

2.Romance in F minor, Op. 11 (B. 39) [31:59]

Bartlomiej Niziol - violin
Maria Szwajger-Kułakowska – piano

Date of recording : 17.05.1996


The Violin Concerto in A minor is considered one of the masterpieces of Dvorak’s so-called Slavic period. It was written in close proximity to his first series of Slavonic Dances, the Czech Suite, the Slavonic Rhapsodies and Symphony No. 6 in D major, with which it shares its compelling folkloric melodies and overall positive expression. In his stylisation of the violin part the composer makes the most of the instrument’s lyricism, while again betraying his sense of the full, resonant orchestral sound. The piece is one of Dvorak’s most popular and most frequently performed works and is today an essential part of the international violin repertoire. ---


Romance in F minor originated thanks to an initiative from leader of the Provisional Theatre Orchestra Josef Markus. Markus requested from Dvorak a new piece for his appearance at the annual concert organised by the Theatre Orchestra and Choir Pension Association, which was held at Prague’s Zofin on 9 December 1877. For his new piece Dvorak borrowed the introductory part of the second movement of his String Quartet No. 5 in F minor, written in 1873. In addition to this segment, which became the main theme of Romance, Dvorak added two new themes, treating them in traditional sonata form. The composer then wrote an arrangement immediately after this for violin with piano accompaniment, a version he dedicated to his friend, the violin virtuoso Frantisek Ondricek. Romance has an exceptionally beautiful melody and its orchestral version is also graceful and temperate. For these qualities it has become one of the most popular compositions of its type. Its orchestral version (and also an accompanying piano score in an arrangement by Josef Zubaty) was brought out by Simrock in 1879; Dvorak’s version with piano was only published in 1955 as part of a collected critical edition of the composer’s works. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:16:21 +0000
Antonin Dvorak – Armida (1956) Antonin Dvorak – Armida (1956)

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1. Act I
2. Act II
3. Act III
4. Act IV

Hydraot, King of Damascus (bass) - Ladislav Mraz
Armida, his daughter (soprano) - Milada Subrtova
Ismen, the ruler of Syria and a wizard (baritone) - Zdenek Otava
Bohumir of boullion (baritone) - Jan Soumar
Peter, the hermit (bass) - Karel Berman
Rinald, knight (tenor) - Ivo Zidek
Gernald, knight (bass) - Jaroslav Horasek
Dudo, knight (tenor) - Antonin Votava
Ubald, knight (bass) - Jiri Joran
Sven, knight (tenor) - Antonin Zlesak
Roger, knight (tenor) - Bohumir Vich
Herald (bass) - Jindrich Jindrak
Muezzin (baritone) - Jiri Bar
Siren (soprano) - Stanislava Souckova
Prague Radio Chorus
Chorusmaster Josef Blacky
Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Vaclav Jiracek

Recording of the Czech Radio, Prague
Recorded at Prague from 24 November to 6 December 1956


Armida is an opera by Antonín Dvořák in four acts, set to a libretto by Jaroslav Vrchlický that was originally based on Torquato Tasso's epic La Gerusalemme liberata. Dvorak's opera was first performed at Prague's National Theatre on 25 March 1904; the score was published as opus 115 in 1941.

In terms of genre, Armida represents the culmination of Dvorak's experimentation with a Wagnerian style of opera composition, though much of the music belongs to Dvorak's own genre. Vrchlický's libretto parallels the one that Philippe Quinault wrote for Jean-Baptiste Lully in their opera of the same name.


In the royal gardens of Damascus the call to prayer is heard. Ismen enters with news of the approaching Franks, but tries to dissuade the King from a confrontation: let him instead send his daughter (whose hand Ismen has been seeking) to sow dissention. She balks, but changes her mind when Ismen uses his magic to show her the enemy camp, recognizing Rinald as the knight she has just dreamed of.

Armida arrives in the crusader's camp and meets Rinald, who brings her to into the council where she tells a story of an usurping uncle having blinded the king and chased her into the desert. Rinald cannot wait for the commander of an expedition to restore her kingdom to be chosen by lot and is caught leaving camp with her by the hermit Peter, but the lovers are aided in their escape by Ismen, driving a chariot pulled by dragons.

Rinald and Armida are entertained in her garden by sirens and fairies. Ismen is disguised as an old man and tries to destroy the palace, but finding his powers no match for Armida's sorcery, he goes to Rinald's companions and claims to be a convert. Glad of his help, they accept from him the Archangel Michael's diamond shield, which they use to bring Rinald out of the palace, which collapses as soon as Armida gives way to grief.

Rinald asks forgiveness for abandoning his comrades and his mission. As the crusaders advance on Damascus the battle passes through the camp and Rinald kills Ismen and faces a black knight, who drops his sword when he curses Armida's name. Only after stabbing her does he recognize her and baptise her as she dies in his arms. ---wikipedia

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]]> (bluesever) Dvorak Antonin Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:51:20 +0000