Czech Philharmonic, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra / conductor Jiří Bělohlávek
This collection from the legacy of Jiří Bělohlávek (1946-2017) was put together during the year after the demise of this outstanding conductor. It is intended mainly as a recollection of this extraordinary musician and person. His life can be briefly described by enumerating the greatest of his achievements (Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, guest conductor with the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, appearances at the MET, Glyndebourne, etc.; holder of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire /CBE/ title). The Maestro himself may have preferred asharing of memories to recordings; yet the set of twenty-three pieces taken from the almost three hundred pieces from Supraphon archives and recorded in the years 1971 - 2016 is a wonderful illustration of Bělohlávek's professional maturing. They capture him as a conductor of several leading Czech orchestras, beginning with the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra (the energetic performance of Janáček of 1977 appearing at a CD for the first time) and concluding by the Czech Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonia. In the very centre of Bělohlávek's repertoire we find compositions by Dvořák (From the New World), Smetana (My Country), Suk, Janáček and, notably, Martinů, whom he introduced to the world. The collection is enriched by several side-steps into other areas of repertoire including Mozart, Ravel, Mahler and Bartók, which documents the amazing scope of the conductor's focus. Please accept our invitation to an encounter with Jiří Bělohlávek who loved music above anything else and served it with the loyalty of a knight till the very end.
Crucial as well as unknown recordings of Jiří Bělohlávek; a recollection of the most prominent Czech conductor of the past fifty years.
“A most worthwhile tribute, then, to a consistently perceptive and considerate musician.” Gramophone, September 2018
“These eight CDs offer a fair and thoughtful summation of Bělohlávek’s studio legacy and demonstrate the high level of interpretative control and consistency he displayed throughout his career.” MusicWeb International, July 2018
“Superbement enregistré, ce coffret est un bel et incontestable hommage à ce grand chef dont la curiosité n’avait que peu d’équivalents.” Crescendo, June 2018
“The Bottom Line: Entitled Recollection, this very well curated boxed set contains a splendid selection of the late Czech conductor Jiří Bělohlávek’s best recordings, including music by Smetana, Dvořák, Suk, Martinu, Bartók (Insider-only sound clips, below), Ravel, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Fibich, Schoenberg, Haas, Mahler and Janáček. The booklet has been very nicely prepared to give a fair appraisal of the conductor’s work, and the entire production bespeak the care and class that went into its preparation. A real collector’s item, this.” ClassicsToday.com, February 2021