The common thread joining all these pieces is Martinů's homesickness, his love for his homeland and its folk traditions. The first version of Špalíček ("a ballet of national games, customs and fairy tales") written in 1931-32 closed with the "ballet cantata" The Spectre's Bride, based on the poem by Karel Jaromír Erben, the renowned Czech folk song collector. The ballad was later omitted due to the total length of the performance, returning to its original context first on this CD again. In the autumn of his life (1957) Martinů wrote the cantataRomance of the Dandelions based on the beautiful folk-style text of Miloslav Bureš, the story of a young maiden who waits for seven long years for her beloved to return from the war. ThePrimrose, a set of vocal duets with piano and violin accompaniment, was written in 1954 on the texts of Moravian folk songs. Performance of these gems of the Martinů literature was undertaken by the experienced, accomplished conductors Jiří Bělohlávek and František Jílek.