Notes and Editorial Reviews
This collection from the legacy of Jirí Belohlávek was put together during the year after the demise of this outstanding conductor. It is intended mainly as a recollection of this extraordinary musician and person. His life can be briefly described by enumerating the greatest of his achievements (Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, guest conductor with the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, appearances at the MET, Glyndebourne, etc.; holder of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire /CBE/ title). The Maestro himself may have preferred a sharing of memories to recordings; yet the set of twenty-three pieces taken from the almost three hundred pieces from Supraphon archives and recorded in the years 1971 – 2016 is a wonderful illustration of Belohlávek’s professional maturing. They capture him as a conductor of several leading Czech orchestras, beginning with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and concluding by the Czech Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonia. In the very centre of Belohlávek’s repertoire we find compositions by Dvorák (From the New World), Smetana (My Country), Suk, Janácek and, notably, Martinu, whom he introduced to the world. The collection is enriched by several side-steps into other areas of repertoire including Mozart, Ravel, Mahler and Bartók, which documents the amazing scope of the conductor’s focus.