Magazine article Czech Music

Bedrich Smetana: Dalibor

Magazine article Czech Music

Bedrich Smetana: Dalibor

Article excerpt

Vaciav Zitek--baritone, Vilem Pribyl--tenor, Bobuslav Marsik--bass, Jaroslav Horacek--bass, Milos Jezoil--tenor, Eva Depoltova--soprano, Nad'a Sormova--soprano, Chorus of the Opera of the State Theatre in Brno, Josef PanZik--chorus master, Brno State Philharmonic Orchestra, Viclav Smetacek--conductor.

Text: Czech, English. Recorded: 1979.

Released: 20'12. TT: 79:16, 65:19. AAD. 2 CDs Supraphon SU 4091-2.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Bedrich Smetana's third opera was premiered on the very day the foundation stone of the National Theatre in Prague was laid. Even though at the time the critics accused the work of being overly "Wagnerian", today we rank Dalibor among the great composer's pivotal operatic pieces. The Czech nation regarded Dalibor as a symbol of the struggle for freedom and accordingly compared it to Beethoven's Fidelio. Smetana brought to bear his experience with compositional structure, instrumentation and creation of dramatic effect so masterfully that the opera still enjoys interest on the part of Czech and foreign audiences alike. Supraphon's recording, made in 1979 at the Stadion studio in Brno, offers high-quality performances of the soloists, chorus and the Brno State Philharmonic Orchestra, all of them steered by the steady hand of the legendary Vaclav Smetacek, a seasoned orchestra (and abroad frequently also opera) conductor. The part of Dalibor was entrusted to Vilem Pribyl, a tenor with a technically perfect tone, singular voice timbre and sense of phrasing. He garnered deserved acclaim as Dalibor in Edinburgh in the mid-60s during his first foreign tour with the National Theatre company. …

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