Dvorák: Czech Suite, Waltzes, Polonaise / Jakub Hrusa, Et Al
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DVO?ÁK Czech Suite, op. 39. Polonaise in E?. Waltzes, op. 54 (arr. J. Burghauser) ? Jakub Hr?Îa, cond; Prague Philharmonia ? SUPRAPHON SU 3867 (55:10)
It is easy to lose count of just how many top-notch orchestras there are in Prague: the Czech Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, Prague Radio Symphony, and the conductorless Prague Chamber Orchestra. Last but far from least is the Prague Philharmonia: soft, silky strings, colorful winds, shining brass; they, too, have it all. What a lovely disc! No masterpieces, you may carp? Just Dvo?ák being Dvo?ák is enough. The Czech Suite is filled with an easy charm, and Burghauser?s arrangements of the eight waltzes for piano are sensitive to the composer?s every nuance. Note that these are not the so-called Prague Waltzes , nor do they include Dvo?ák?s well-known arrangements for strings of the first and fourth op. 54 Waltzes. They may lack the blazing fire of the op. 46 Slavonic Dances , but have more character and color than the op. 59 Legends . If Burghauser?s orchestrations sometimes lean slightly toward Tchaikovsky, so does Dvo?ák?s 1879 Polonaise.
Hr?Îa, a 25-year-old maestro, has been conducting since elementary school. He has already led a dozen Czech and Slovak orchestras, from the Czech Philharmonic on down, has directed a world premiere at the National Theater, Prague?s foremost opera house, teaches in Berlin, conducts in Paris, and has founded a new-music ensemble. He leads relaxed, gracious performances, which succeed because every detail is fully realized: every melody caressed, every harmony sounded, every rhythm caught. I recently commented that you can?t go wrong with any number of recordings of the Czech Suite , but this may be the loveliest of them all.
Supraphon?s 2005 recording in Prague?s Domovina Studio is natural and clear; one imagines this young orchestra sounds exactly as it does on this disc. Burghauser?s orchestral arrangements have been recorded at least once before, by the Prague Symphony under Ji?í B?lohlávek on a 1982 Supraphon disc, but don?t let that keep you from this delicious program.
FANFARE: James H. North
Catalog Number: SU3867-2
Composer: Antonín Dvořák
Conductor: Jakub Hrusa
Orchestra/Ensemble: Prague Philharmonia