Václav Talich and My Country in Nazi-occupied Prague
The performance of Bedřich Smetana’s symphonic poem My Country at the National Theatre in Prague during the time of Nazi Germany’s Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was a significant demonstration of patriotism on the part of the conductor Václav Talich and the Czech Philharmonic alike. The emotional charge of the moment gave rise to his evidently best recording of My Country, capturing the concert audience’s long ovations, followed by a spontaneously singing of the Czech national anthem. The recording of this concert, and that of Antoník Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, which was held at the National Theatre eight days later, has been preserved owing to the performances’ having been directly broadcast in several European cities. Supraphon only released the unique recordings some 72 years later, in 2011, when they were discovered at the Norwegian Radio archive. In 2012, the CD containing the recordings received the Gramophone Award, which was taken over in London by Václav Talich’s granddaughters and Supraphon representatives.