Holiday Shop


Zdenek Chalabala

Biography

Born: April 18, 1899; Uherské Hradisté, Moravia   Died: March 4, 1962; Prague, Czech Republic  
Zdenek Chalabala was among the major conductors in twentieth century Czechoslovakia and may have been the greatest native conductor of Czech opera. Born in the Moravian capital of Uherské Hradiste, Chalabala received formative musical training from his mother, who was an amateur pianist. Although at first intending to study hilosophy, Chalabala took his first formal music instruction from Vitezslav Novák at Prague Conservatory and continued at Read more Brno Conservatory with Frantisek Neumann, taking master classes there with composer Leos Janácek. The decade 1925-1936 marked one of teaching at Brno Conservatory for Chalabala and taking on occasional theatrical assignments at the Brno State Theater; among Chalabala's most promising students during this time was ill-fated composer Vítezslava Kaprálová.

In 1936, Chalabala worked as an apprentice under eminent conductor Václav Talich at the Prague National Theater, a position he held until 1944 when the Nazis closed its doors. Upon its reopening in 1945, Talich was dismissed, but Chalabala was not selected to replace him, so he embarked upon a variety of assignments in Ostrava, Brno, and Bratislava, building his reputation as he went along. Chalabala was finally named the principal conductor of the Prague National Theater in 1953 and held onto this position until his premature death at age 62 in 1962; from 1957 to 1959, he also led successful opera productions as a guest conductor at the Great Theater in Moscow.

Although Chalabala's activity as a recording artist did not begin until relatively late in his career, his work is of inestimable value in carrying over performance traditions of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Czech operas into posterity. Chalabala was particularly renowned for his interpretation of Dvorák's Rusalka, which he recorded, famously, in 1958. However, Chalabala also recorded all of the most important Smetana operas and several of Dvorák's symphonic poems. These mostly monophonic recordings are studied by conductors worldwide as a means of getting a grip on the unusual rhythmic accents and interpretive nuances in the great Czech operas, details germane to the style, but not always apparent from the printed page. Read less
Browse 1-6 of 6 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade; Khachaturian: Gayane Suite; Mussorgsky / Chalabala, Czech Philharmonic
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4094 Release Date: 05/15/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Aram Khachaturian
    Conductor:  Zdenek Chalabala
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $18.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    Czech Opera Highlights
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4026 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Performer:  Daniela Sounová-Brouková,  Ivana Mixová,  Benno Blachut,  Gabriela Benacková  ... 
    Conductor:  Jiri Pinkas,  Zdenek Kosler,  Jaroslav Krombholc,  Zdenek Chalabala  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague National Theatre Orchestra,  Brno Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    Fibich: Sarka / Chalabala, Hanzalikova, Havlak, Bednar, Krasova
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3983 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Zdenék Fibich
    Performer:  Marie Podvalová,  Lubomir Havlak,  Vaclav Bednar,  Ludmila Hanzalíková  ... 
    Conductor:  Zdenek Chalabala
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague National Theatre Chorus,  Prague National Theatre Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    Dvorak: Kate And The Devil / Chalabala, Prague National Theater
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3943 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Karel Berman,  Lubomir Havlak,  Jaroslav Horacek,  Vera Krilová  ... 
    Conductor:  Zdenek Chalabala
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague National Theatre Chorus,  Prague National Theatre Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    Smetana: The Kiss / Chalabala, Kalas, Cervinková, Et Al
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3878 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Performer:  Ludmila Cervinková,  Karel Kalas,  Benno Blachut,  Premysl Kocí  ... 
    Conductor:  Zdenek Chalabala
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague National Theatre Orchestra,  Prague National Theatre Chorus
    CD: $24.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 6.
    Dvorák: Rusalka / Chalabala, Subrtova, Haken, Et Al
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 7008 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Ivo Zedek,  Milada Subrtova,  Eduard Haken
    Conductor:  Zdenek Chalabala
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague National Theatre Chorus,  Prague National Theatre Orchestra
    DVD: $14.99
    Back Order
    DVD:  $14.99 Add DVD to Cart