Pavel Vranicky

Article excerpt

Pavel Vranicky

Symphony in D major op. 52, Symphony in C minor s. op., Symphony in D major op. 36, Symphony in C major op. 11.

The Dvorak Chamber Orchestra, Bohumil Gregor. Production: not stated.

Text: Cz., Eng., Ger., Fr. Recorded: September 1988 (CD I, CD II/5-7), Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum, May 1990 (CD II/1-4), Domovina Studio, Prague.

Released: 2006. TT: 55:48, 56:31. DDD. 2 CD Supraphon SU 3875-2.

It is now several months since the release of 2 CDs of recordings of four symphonies by a composer who was part of what is known as the Czech musical emigration of the later 18th century--Pavel Vranicky (1756-1808), brother of the five-years younger and later perhaps better known composer Antonin Vranicky. It is certainly a very good thing that we now have this music on CD, because the symphonies of Pavel Vranicky are among the real treasures of the Czech school of music. Their compositional qualities, especially the imaginative treatment of themes and motifs and ingenuity of sound effects only confirm that Bohemia in the 18th century truly deserved the name of "conservatory of Europe". The opening movements with slow introductions show the influence of the Haydn style and are proof that our masters were in no way lagging when it came to the musical trends of the day. These two CDs offer Vranicky symphonies roughly from the period 1790-1805, i.e. the period when composers, influenced by the revolutionary events in Europe, were sometimes inclined to adopt certain "military" techniques. We can hear these overtones in several passages in Vranicky's symphonies, and should add that (not only) the brass players show that the Dvorak Chamber Orchestra can boast very high professional standards and that they have carried off what are often relatively difficult tasks with distinction. …