There are so many essential recordings of Má vlast, that it’s nearly impossible to keep the list down to a handful. Talich (3 versions), Kubelik (at least 5!), Sejna, Krombholc & Ancerl, are just some of the Czech conductors who made important recordings of the work. This Jeremiáš version is one of three wartime versions, along with one by Karel Jirák and the Prague National Theater Orchestra on Esta (released on an early lp set by Mercury), and Vaclav Talich’s HMV recording (released on cd by Biddulph). This Jeremiáš reading makes most of its points in an understated way. It’s not without the requisite drama, but it’s very much an organic part of a more lyrically and linearly conceived approach. The playing is quite fine…it’s difficult to find a poorly played recording by a Czech orchestra!
I offered this recording several years ago (only as an Mp3), and decided to revisit my original files and improve the side joins rather than simply convert my older transfer to Flac.
Smetana: Má vlast
Otakar Jeremiáš, conductor
Prague Radio Orchestra
Ultraphon G 12535-44
Recorded c. 1940/41
Read Robert Cowan’s survey of Má vlast on record from Gramophone Magazine here.