Karel Ancerl Gold Edition, Vol. 43 PAVEL BORKOVEC (1894-1972): Symphony No. 2 (April 8-11, 1957), PETER EBEN (1929-2007): Piano Concerto (Frantisek Rauch [piano]. Jan. 11-12, 1963), IVAN JIRKO (1926-1978): Piano Concerto No. 3 (Viktorie Svihlíková [piano]. Nov. 20-21, 1961), VIKTOR KALABIS (1923-2006): Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 17 (Václav Snítil [violin]. March 13-14, 1962), JAN SEIDEL (1908-1998): Oboe Concerto No. 2 (Josef Sheybal [oboe]. Feb. 2-3, 1956), JULIUS KALAS (1902-1967): The Nightingale and the Rose, Op. 81 (Sept. 12, 1960, JAN KAPR (1914-1988): Cantata In the Soviet Country for Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra (Jan Soumar [baritone], Prague Radio Choir. June 12-13, 1951), VÁCLAV DOBIÁS (1909-1978): Cantata Build Up Your Country to Reinforce the Peace for Chorus and Orchestra (Prague Philharmonic Choir, Kühn Children's Choir. May 24, 1951), ILJA HURNÍK (b.1922): Four Seasons (Vlach Quartet, members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Nov. 11-12 and 19, 1954), Ondrás ballet suite (Dec. 16-17, 1956), BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976): The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Eric Schilling [narrator]. May 3, 1958 and Feb. 7, 1963).

Catalogue Number: 06J007

Label: Supraphon

Reference: SU 3944-2

Format: CD

Price: $43.98

Description: The final edition in this long series is almost entirely devoted to contemporary Czech composers, some of whom you'll know from other Supraphon and Panton releases, some of whom will possibly be new to you. Except for Dobias' 1947 cantata, these works all date from 1951-61 and, due to the political requirements of the period, are in tonal languages which, however, vary nicely enough from composer to composer to make for satisfying listening. Hurník's Four Seasons (1952) is a half-hour-long, 20-movement set of character pieces describing "Floating Ice", "Sultriness", "A Badger Goes to Rest", "Snowflakes" and so forth, using a 13-piece chamber ensemble which has an almost didactic quality to its pictorial sections while also managing to be suitably abstract enough for older listeners elsewhere. His ballet suite (1951), five dances followed by "The Death of Ondras", is full of stylistic echoes of Janácek and Novák which also acknowledging the international giants Stravinsky and Bartók in music which is richly colored and instantly communicative. Build Up Your Country is not, in fact a piece of Socialist Realism: it predated the February 1948 Communist coup in Prague. This is pure Czech Nationalism, couched in the musical language (polka to be exact) of Smetana, with a more lyrical central section which then quotes a Hussite hymn before returning to dance-style. Kapr is Socialist Realism, on political demand, his cantata of 1950 setting a swollen and bombastic poem in honor of Stalin's 70th birthday. This is sterile, musically barren, pompous and opulently orchestrated - in short, the very thing a young composer was forced to do to get ahead at the time. Unknown, apparently even among Czechs nowadays, Kalas was a teacher and composer of film music and a music adminstrator; his 1956 setting of the Oscar Wilde tale The Nightingale and the Rose is a beautifully colored gem of a tone-poem in the tradition of his teacher, Suk. Kalabis' 1959 concerto is of the lean, tense and wiry kind familiar on both sides of the Iron Curtain at the time while Seidel (1955) is the exact opposite - a pastoral work using both real folk tunes and folk-like creations of the composer's own. Jirko, a pianist himself and author of four piano concertos writes in a very direct and uncomplicated neo-classical style indebted to Prokofiev (1958). The young Eben's piano concerto (1961) is consistently original in its solution to the soloist-orchestra problem in a style which slyly mixes in "archaic" references with its "up-to-date" musical language. Borkovec's 1955 work is a full-length, four-movement piece of 32 minutes which is in a recognizably personal style yet clearly in the tradition of Dvorák, Suk and Janácek. 4 CDs. Mid-price. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Karel Ancerl.


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