Martinů: The Symphonies / Meister, VRSO

Regular price $22.99
Added to Cart! View cart or continue shopping.

Bohuslav Martinů has suffered the fate of not enjoying the same popularity and wide appeal like Bedrich Smetana, Antonín Dvorák und Leoš Janácek on the podium. This often goes so far that his singular skill is referred to, but that the wealth of his oeuvre in all the salient genres is hardly familiar. For decades, Martinu had shied away from composing a symphony. The first one was finally to be written in the USA in 1942, followed by another one every year until 1946 (the sixth was only added to the work catalogue in 1953). For this reason, there is sometimes talk of the ‘American’ symphonies. The symphonies do mirror the events of the time, but at the same time long passages must be regarded as absolute music. Cornelius Meister is regarded as one of the finest young conductors of our day and age, and here he fantastically interprets these six symphonies with transparency, emotion, and aplomb.


It is always good to discover new recordings of Martinů’s symphonies, a sequence all the more remarkable for the short period, in which the first five symphonies were composed. Cornelius Meister, with the ORF Orchestra, provides us with a distinctive vision of Martinů’s symphonies. These performances sit very much in the Austro-German traditions of interpretation. Some moments are almost Brahmsian, phrasing is weighty, structure is emphasized.

Cornelius Meister is one of the most interesting of the younger conductors around. He has a superb rapport with his orchestra, whose playing is very fine throughout.

-- MusicWeb International

The appearance of this complete set of six symphonies on three CDs, recorded live in Vienna from 2011 to 2017, serves to reinforce the essential importance of Martinů as a 20th century orchestral composer. Although it doesn’t supplant the splendid Belohlávek Onyx set, it's nonetheless a very fine cycle. The sound is clear and lifelike, with most of the advantages of live recording, a sense of occasion and excitement and a more organic and natural arc to the performance, without too many of the disadvantages. The audience is mainly well-behaved and the applause is edited out.

-- Music for Several Instruments

Product Description:

  • Release Date: October 06, 2017

  • Catalog Number: C5320

  • UPC: 845221053202

  • Label: Capriccio

  • Number of Discs: 3

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Bohuslav Martinů

  • Conductor: Cornelius Meister

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra


  1. Symphonies Nos. 1-6

    Composer: Bohuslav Martinů

    Ensemble: Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Cornelius Meister