SMETANA The Bartered Bride. Dana Buresova, Tomas Juhas, Jozsef Benci, Ales Voracek, Gustav Belacek, BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra / Jiri Belohlavek. Harmonia Mundi 2cds

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Smetana The Bartered Bride Dana Jiri Belohlavek Harmonia Mundi 2Cds

SMETANA

The Bartered Bride

Comic Opera in three acts to a libretto by Karel Sabina [sung in Czech]

Marenka – Dana Buresová

Kecal – Jozsef Benci

Krusina – Svotapluk Sem

Ludmilla – Stanislava Jirku

Vasek – Ales Vorácek

Ringmaster – Jaroslav Brezina

Esmeralda – Katerina Knezíková

Indian – Ondrej Mráz

Háta – Lucie Hilscherová

Micha – Gustáv Belácek

First Child – Maxim Dusek

Second Child – Babette Rust

BBC Singers

BBC Symphony Orchestra / Jirí Belohlávek

"Smetana's great comedy about the marriage market is hard to beat if done properly. The score's inventiveness never ceases to astonish, but it is also remarkably easy to misjudge its tone. Underplay its dark implications, and the opera can seem flippant. Overdo its sombre side, however, and things feel incongruous and strained. It was consequently a treat to hear a performance that got the tricky balance absolutely right.

That it did so was largely due to its authenticity. The BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers were conducted by Jirí Belohlávek, and the soloists, down to the bit parts, were all Czech or Slovak – singers who, quite simply, have the work in their systems in ways western European performers rarely do.

...Dana Buresová's tremendous Marenka, all blazing tone and fiery top notes, and a truly great Vašek from Ales Vorácek, wide-eyed and infinitely touching, the stammer beautifully done, without exaggeration or caricature. Few conduct Smetana as well as Belohlávek, meanwhile, and his understanding of the score's dexterity and wit, as well as those poignant shafts of sadness, was exceptional." Tim Ashley, The Guardian, live review, Barbican Hall, Friday, May 20, 2011

"Although it has enjoyed frequent revival on UK stages over recent years, “The Bartered Bride” seems always to have been given in English translation, so making this concert performance conducted by Jirí Belohlávek – the latest in a series which has seen welcome revivals of operas from Janácek and Martinu – the more worthwhile. ...With an all-Czech cast, moreover, there was no doubt as to the idiomatic quality of the singing... Belohlávek directed a vivid and yet perceptive account of a score with which his familiarity did not for a moment risk complacency...the commitment of the BBC Symphony Orchestra was never in doubt...“The Bartered Bride” seems certain to hold the stage for a long while yet, a performance such as this only reaffirmed its standing as a masterpiece of Romantic Opera." classicalsource.com, reviewed by Richard Whitehouse

Harmonia Mundi 2cds HMC902119-20

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Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
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Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
DVDs are charged as 2 CDs. 

Rest of world (Shipped by Airmail only)

£2.00 for the first CD, thereafter 50p per CD


Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
DVDs are charged as 2 CDs. 

Rest of world (Shipped by Airmail only)

£2.25 for the first CD, thereafter £1.00 per CD


Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
DVDs are charged as 2 CDs. 

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Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
DVDs are charged as 2 CDs.