Josef Vlach, Czech Chamber orchestra

Legendary Recordings

Catalogue Number: SU 4203-2
Published: 24th June 2016
Genre: Chamber Music
Format: 4 CD
Josef Vlach & the Czech Chamber Orchestra / Legendary recordings

Antonín Dvořák - Serenade in E major, Op. 22; Czech Suite in D major, Op. 39.** Josef Suk - Serenade in E flat major, Op. 6.* Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Serenade in C major, Op. 48; Andante cantabile (from String Quartet in D major, Op. 11). W. A. Mozart - Serenade in G major, K 525, "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"; Divertimento in D major, K 136; Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K 546.* Benjamin Britten - Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge.* Henry Purcell - King Arthur. Suite for String Orchestra.* Claude Debussy - Danse sacrée et danse profane for harp and string orchestra.* Ottorino Respighi - Gli uccelli (The Birds), Suite for small orchestra.** Igor Stravinsky - Apollon Mussag?te.* Ilja Hurník - Concerto for Oboe, Piano and String Orchestra.* Jiří Pauer - Symphony for Strings.*

* For the first time on CD

Czech Chamber Orchestra, ** Prague Chamber Orchestra, conductor: Josef Vlach

The violinist and conductor Josef Vlach (1923-1988), who played a crucial role in cultivating the superlative Talich tradition and quality, is far from being as well known as he deserves to be. At the age of 23, Vlach co-founded the Czech Chamber Orchestra for Václav Talich, who after being falsely accused of collaborating with the Nazis was banned from working with the Czech Philharmonic and the National Theatre. The young orchestra soon proved to be a sensation (Pierre Fournier branded it the best chamber formation in the world), yet following the Communist coup in 1948, it rather opted for diluting than renouncing Talich. The maestro's stringent requirements for the utmost artistic quality, diligence and engagement served as the fundamental principles for the Czech Chamber Orchestra, revived by Josef Vlach in 1957. They went on to gain great acclaim worldwide, with the most noteworthy triumphs including the performance in Osaka in 1960 (standing in for the Boston Symphony Orchestra), the concert at the Salzburger Festspiele in 1962 (broadcast by some 180 radio stations), tours of the USA, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, France, Belgium ... The orchestra then returned from the limelight to the twilight at home, rehearsals in a dingy basement, to a country where they were more tolerated than supported. Yet even amidst such unfavourable circumstances Vlach's exceptionable musical qualities and the Talich credo would bear extraordinary fruits. According to Ivan Moravec's reminiscences, Josef Vlach was "in everyday life a person absolutely unexceptional, humble yet rather absent-minded, whereas his imagination as regards music was so immense that I can hardly conceive of Talich's successor possessing a greater, ampler and more compelling vision."
The presented recordings, made between 1960 and 1982 (most of them before 1966) are among the most precious gems from the Supraphon archives. They have all been carefully remastered, with half of them now being released on CD for the very first time.

Josef Vlach and the Czech Chamber Orchestra - recordings abounding in torrential energy, a legend arising from the feted Talich tradition.

CD 1

Antonín Dvořák
Serenade for String Orchestra in E major, Op. 22, B 52
1. Moderato 04:02
2. Tempo di valse 06:29
3. Scherzo. Vivace 05:47
4. Larghetto 06:00
5. Finale. Allegro vivace 06:08
Josef Suk
Serenade for String Orchestra in E flat major, Op. 6
6. Andante con moto 05:30
7. Allegro ma non troppo e grazioso 05:21
8. Adagio 09:36
9. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo presto 07:02
Antonín Dvořák
Czech Suite in D major, Op. 39, B 93
10. Preludio (Pastorale). Allegro moderato 03:52
11. Polka. Allegretto grazioso 05:18
12. Sousedská (Minuetto). Allegro giusto 04:44
13. Romanza. Andante con moto 04:47
14. Finale (Furiant). Presto 05:36

CD 2

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Divertimento for String Orchestra in D major, K. 136
1. Allegro 06:17
2. Andante 04:16
3. Presto 03:49
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
4. Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546 09:18
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Serenade in G major for String Orchestra No.13 (Eine kleine Nachtmusik), K. 525
5. Allegro 06:14
6. Romance. Andante 06:11
7. Menuetto. Allegretto 02:14
8. Rondo. Allegro 03:43
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11
9. Andante cantabile 07:19
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Serenade for String Orchestra in C major, Op. 48
10. Pezzo in forma di sonatina 09:13
11. Waltz 03:59
12. Elegy 08:07
13. Finale (Teme Russo) 07:32

CD 3

Benjamin Britten
Variation on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10
1. Introduction and Theme 02:07
2. Adagio 02:11
3. Marche 01:09
4. Romance 01:26
5. Aria Italiana 01:22
6. Bourré classique 01:34
7. Wiener Waltzer 02:34
8. Moto perpetuo 01:10
9. Funeral Marche 03:33
10. Chant 01:40
11. Fugue and Finale 06:47
Claude Debussy
Dances. Two Dances for Harp and Strings Orchestra
12. Danse sacrée 04:28
13. Danse profane 04:56
Ilja Hurník
Concerto for Oboe, Piano and String Orchestra
14. Allegro con brio 04:08
15. Andante pesante 04:53
16. Allegretto 02:21
17. Presto 06:07
Jiří Pauer
Symphony for Strings
18. I. Allegro 05:41
19. II. Andante 08:55
20. III. Animato 07:58

CD 4

Henry Purcell
King Arthur. Suite for Strings from the Opera
1. Overture 02:51
2. Air 01:46
3. Hornpipe 00:40
4. Song tune 02:17
5. Air 00:47
6. Chaconne 06:42
Ottorino Respighi
The Birds. Suite of Pieces by Old Composers for Small Orchestra (Gli uccelli)
7. Preludio da Bernardo Pasquini 02:59
8. La Colomba da Jasques de Gallot 04:40
9. La Gallina da Jean-Philippe Rameau 03:02
10. L'Usignuolo da un anonimo inglese 05:08
11. Il Cuccu da Bernardo Pasquini 05:06
Igor Stravinsky
Apollon Mussagete. Ballet in two scenes
12. Act 1, Prologue: The Birth of Apollo 04:48
13. Act 2: Variation of Apollo 02:33
14. Act 2: Pas d'action 04:17
15. Act 2: Variation of Calliope 01:34
16. Act 2: Variation of Polymnia 01:17
17. Act 2: Variation of Terpsichore 01:36
18. Act 2: Variation of Apollo 02:34
19. Act 2: Pas de deux 03:58
20. Act 2: Coda 03:20
21. Act 2: Apotheosis 03:54