The career of Czech conductor Zdeněk Chalabala (1899-1962) is identified primarily with the opera house (in Brno and the Prague National Theater primarily), and a number of his excellent operatic recordings remain in print on Cd (Smetana’s The Kiss and The Bartered Bride, Dvořák’s The Devil and Kate and Rusalka). I don’t know how much time he spent in the concert hall, but he made a handful of memorable records of symphonic repertory, including a fabulous stereo set of four of the late symphonic poems of Dvořák, a mono Rimsky-Korsakov Night on Bald Mountain and Scheherezade (the latter is available on this bizarre Cd, which amazingly, is a fine sounding version licensed from Supraphon!), and this Khachaturian, which has yet to see a Cd issue.
Chalabala plays the score for all it’s worth…and temporarily silences doubt as to what it IS worth! The Czech Philharmonic does not disappoint, playing with great beauty and tremendous verve.
Khachaturian: Gayaneh: Ballet suites Nos. 1 & 2
Zdeněk Chalabala, Conductor
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Supraphon LPV 330
Recorded September 30, 1953
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