WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Smetana: Ma Vlast / Berglund, Dresden Staatskapelle

Release Date: 06/27/2000 
Label:  Emi Seraphim Catalog #: 73736   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Paavo Berglund's 1979 Dresden recording of Smetana's Má Vlast appeared in EMI's double-forte series and is now released by itself on Seraphim. Bargain Má Vlasts don't get better than this. Its sumptuous sonics, for one, bring out all the warmth and evocative textures of Smetena's orchestration. Only the percussion seems undermiked. By contrast, Vysehrad's famous harp opening is overly spotlit in proportion to its surroundings. But who can resist the gilded elegance of the Dresden Staatskapelle's brass section, or its darkly alluring winds (so different from their more tart-sounding Czech Philharmonic counterparts on Supraphon). Berglund lets the burnished strings sing their collective hearts out, yet their rich sonority never cloys. Read more Sometimes Berglund's tempo changes and transitions lack breathing room and dramatic clarity. At the same time, his direct approach to the cycle's concluding movements prevent the music's nationalist countenance from spilling into jingoism. For a few extra dollars, the more transparent and incisive Dorati/Concertgebouw and Ancerl/Czech Philharmonic versions rank with Kubelik's soulful, valedictory live recording (also with the Czech Philharmonic). At budget price, though, Berglund's beefier traversal is a veritable steal. Go for it.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Má vlast by Bedrich Smetana
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Czech Republic 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Smetana Ma Vlast October 8, 2016 By Jay Ginsburg (Norristown, PA) See All My Reviews "This is one of the best recordings available of Smetana's legendary work. Beautifully done." Report Abuse
Review This Title