Václav Smetáček. Dvořák Legends. 1940 Ultraphon recording

Well, so much for being right back with a new post, as promised! It’s been a busy time for me, but don’t worry, I’ve got quite a bit in the pipeline, and being my much awaited spring break this week (albeit with Celesta duties with the HSO in Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta), I may get a couple of more things posted very soon.

Meanwhile, as promised several posts back (where Smetáček made a brief appearance), here’s a very rare Ultraphon set, and a lovely version of the Dvořák Legends it is. One has to look past some intonational deficiencies and a rather boxy recording, but it’s worth the effort to hear some affectionate music making of works that are obviously close to the heart of the players, especially during this difficult era in Czech history. By the way, you can also hear Václav Smetáček as an oboist in Janáček’s Mládí (in this post). He was a founding member of the Prague Wind Quintet.
Thanks again to Mike Gartz for the use of his copy of this set!

Dvořák: Legends, Op. 59, B.122
Dvořák: Festival March (Slavnostní pochod), Op.54a, B.88

FOK Orchestra (Symphonický orchestr hl.m.Prahy FOK)
Václav Smetáček, Conductor
Recorded November 30, 1939 & January 25, 1940 (Legends); November 9, 1939 (Festival March)

Ultraphon F 12285/87; 12326/28
(matr. 042598, 042580, 042639/44, 042578/9, 042497)

 

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6 Responses to Václav Smetáček. Dvořák Legends. 1940 Ultraphon recording

  1. Fred says:

    Oh Neal! This one was worth the wait for sure! Thanks much, Fred

  2. Hello Neal,again one more post about Czech music and Czech musicians. Don't you have some contacts in Czech republic? Otherwise I don't understand how did you come to such stuff. Tahnk you very much.DavidP.S. Official English name for "FOK Orchestra" is Prague Symphony Orchestra, as you probably know.

  3. squirrel says:

    Hi Neal, I miss your posts. Hope all is well!!Squirrel

  4. Neal says:

    I have a couple of posts ready to go, but it's been pretty difficult to come by time to get organized! This year has been the busiest ever for me, but I've got plenty to work on once the semester ends, including a VERY big series of Pfitzner as conductor! Next up, some Saint-Saens chamber music & Ferdinand Leitner in some early 50's Haydn.Cheers!Neal

  5. squirrel says:

    neal- all sounds terrific, can't wait! — S.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Neal:I recently came across your site and am amazed an grateful. You have made some fantastic recordings avaialable.Are you familiar with the Lambert/Halle recording of the Borodin 2nd? I had a damaged set of the 78s in the 1970s but recall it being a thrilling performance. It was briefly available on a Dutton CD about 15 years ago but I haven't seen it since.My OS is Windows XP and I have not had any problems with the Mediafire flac downloads but did have a problem with some of my Rapidshare MP3 downloads, which would not play if I converted them to a WAV format, even when I experimented with several different programs. I had the same experience with several tracks on different downloads, most notably the Golovanov "Pictures' but have not have problems converting the flacs.Best wishes & many thanks,Tom

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