Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Smetana, Bedřich. (1824-1884) Má Vlast. TOP RECOMMENDATION

From my collection.
Bought in 2010.
First listen: 20-3-2010.
Second listen: 29-11-2016.
Label: Chandos.
Recording dates:  January 1993/March 1994/May 1994.
Recording venue: Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall.
Recording engineers: Dan Dene & Bob Schafer.
Running time: 72:22.
Classical relevance: Reference performance. Top recommendation.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by: Detroit SO, Neeme Järvi.

No one doubts that Má Vlast is a masterwork, but when you hear it is such a good performance your heart leaps forward in exaltation. I did not even remember this first time when I played it, how good the performance was. It gathered dust in abundance and was recently dug out of it's dusty residence, which happens when you are a avid collector.
It is amazing how much detail Järvi gets out of this music, and his perfect control of the dynamics in this orchestra. The strings are sweet, almost like Karajan did, the brass controlled in a very precise way, no one steps out of line. The music sounds like a seamless dream, and the colours Järvi gets are amazing and sublime in it's execution. It's sophisticated, well balanced, precise, alert, even to the tiniest of details, this well drilled orchestra performs on a very high level. Gorgeous pianissimos, punchy crescendos, it's all there in abundance. Plenty of colours, magical moments, and a genuine feel of nature throughout. Descriptive in all the images it evokes. 
Tempi are well judged as are the dynamics. The whole performance feels right in every quarter.
This is why I make it a top recommendation.
The recording is very good to State of the Art. The work is recorded in three sessions, and you hear the sound difference in all of them. So meaning, always excellent, but the last two movements are State of the Art. A funny experience. It all fits nicely together though.




Riisager, Knudåge. (1897-1974) The Symphonic Edition, Volume I.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: November 2017. First listen: 21--11-2017. Label: Dacapo. Recording dates: September 2010 & Februa...