KUBELIK, RAFAEL Great Czech Conductors. Works by Dvorak, Shostakovich, Martinu, Dobias. Supraphon 2cds

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Kubelik Rafael Great Czech Conductors Shostakovich Martinu Dobias Supraphon 2Cds

RAFAEL KUBELIK

Great Czech Conductors

CD 1

Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)

Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 (B 163, 1889) 37:44

1/ I. Allegro con brio 9:47

2/ II. Adagio 10:49

3/ III. Allegretto grazioso 6:42

4/ IV. Allegro ma non troppo 10:21

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G minor, Op. 33 (B 63, 1876, rev. 1883) 37:09

5/ I. Allegro agitato 17:19

6/ II. Andante sostenuto 8:46

7/ III. Finale. Allegro con fuoco 11:00

CD 2

Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975)

Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70 (1945)* 27:04

1/ I. Allegro 4:45

2/ II. Moderato 10:31

3/ III. Presto 4:09

4/ IV. Largo 1:38

5/ V. Allegretto 5:53

Bohuslav Martinů (1890–1959)

Symphony No. 4, H 305 (1945) 31:47

6/ I. Poco moderato 6:13

7/ II. Scherzo. Allegro vivo 7:54

8/ III. Largo 10:13

9/ IV. Poco allegro 7:16

10/ Memorial to Lidice for Symphony Orchestra, H 296 (1943)* 9:01

Václav Dobiáš (1909–1978)

11/ Stalingrad. Cantata for Baritone, Male Chorus and Orchestra (1945)* 11:33

Text by Jiří Miloslav Novák

Rudolf Firkušný – piano (CD1 / 5–7)

Zdeněk Otava – baritone, Army Recitation Corps, Typografia Male Chorus (CD2 / 11)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Rafael Kubelík

Recorded in Prague at the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House on November 30, 1944 (CD1 / 1-4),

December 13, 1945 (CD2 / 1-5), probably on March 14-15, 1946 (CD2 / 10) and on November 7, 1945

(CD2 / 11), at the Rudolfinum on June 4, 1946 (CD1 / 5-7), at the Domovina Studio on June 10, 1948 (CD2 / 6-9)

Groundbreaking early recordings made by the legendary Czech conductor Rafael Kubelík.

The name of Rafael Kubelík symbolically opens the Supraphon series of archival recordings featuring the most celebrated Czech conductors. Kubelík’s journey to catharsis, which was represented by the legendary performance of My Country at the first liberated Prague Spring festival in 1990, lasted more than half a century.

He first conducted the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra when he was twenty and at the age of twenty-eight (1942) became its chief conductor. The precious recordings on this double CD were made between 1944 and 1948, prior to Kubelík’s emigration. When it comes to Dvořák’s music, one of the cornerstones of the Czech Philharmonic’s repertoire, unique recordings of Kubelík’s singular interpretation of Symphony No. 8 and the Piano Concerto with a spellbinding performance by the young Rudolf Firkušný have been preserved. Yet Kubelík also boldly presented a contemporary repertoire.

The live recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 dating from December 1945 (a mere three months after the work was completed!) is probably the very first recording of the work. The onerous experience of the war is also reflected in Martinů’s Symphony No. 4. The unique recordings of the Memorial to Lidice and Dobiáš’s Stalingrad cantata depict the atmosphere of a difficult time. Kubelík’s recordings from the 1940s are a testament to a legendary figure who after another 40 years of conducting leading orchestras abroad would in the spring of 1990 make a triumphant return to liberated Prague.

Supraphon 2cds SU40802

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