Magazine article Czech Music

Vaclav Talich-Special Edition 3

Magazine article Czech Music

Vaclav Talich-Special Edition 3

Article excerpt

Vaclav Talich--Special Edition 3

Leos Janacek: Taras Bulba

Josef Suk: Zrani [Ripening]

The Women's Choir of the Czech Choir, Choirmaster Jan Kuhn, the Czech Philharmonic, Vaclav Talich, assistant Zdenek Bilek. Production: Jana Gonda, Petr Kadlec, Petr Vit. Text: Eng., Ger., French, Czech. Recorded: 1954, 1956. Published: 2005. ADD Mono. 1 CD Supraphon SU 3823-2.

The third CD in the new Talich series offers two titles that are entirely fundamental to the history of modern Czech music. Both recordings were for years considered to be model and without competitors, they were the only ones broadcast on the radio and what was once the only Czechoslovak recording company hesitated to make new recordings (Taras Bulba was recorded with Karel Ancerl in 1961, and Zrani [Ripening] with Vaclav Neumann not until 1984!).

Suk's musical poem Zrani played a key role in the life of the conductor himself. Its ravishing premiere immediately after the establishment of Czechoslovakia, at the end of October 1918, ensured Talich's appointment as the new principal conductor of the Philharmonic and so opened the most celebrated chapter in the history of the Czech Philharmonic. Vaclav Talich was a close friend of Josef Suk and a great propagator of the composer's work throughout his life. Interestingly, it was with Suk's Ripening that Talich's career as a conductor ended as well! And precisely with this recording, surrounded by so many memorable incidents and accidents--from the huge number of rehearsals for the studio recording session in the Rudolfinum (more than the today unimaginable number of ten) to the rather unconventional end of the story. The tired musicians asked the conductor for a run-through of the whole work and quietly persuaded the recording team headed by the unforgettable sound master Frantisek Burda to record the "rehersal". …

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