Jiří Bělohlávek is a world-renowned conductor of the works of Bohuslav Martinů, including the symphonic, operatic, oratorio and cantata literature. Martinů's oratorio The Epic of Gilgamesh (1955)is unusual and, in a way, unique in all the international literature, as exciting and mysterious as the ancient tale on which it is based. The epic, one of the oldest extant examples of written culture, dates back to the beginning of Babylon, and Martinů devoted a number of years to the study of its philosophical basis before beginning to set to music Thompson's translation of its Neoassyrian version. Martinů's conception and execution are truly ingenious making use of early Baroque forms. Outstanding performances by the soloists, chorus and orchestra enhance the unrepeatable atmosphere of this masterful work.
The Epic of Gilgamesh. Cantata on the Words of the Old-Babylonian Epic for Soloists, Speaker, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra, H. 351