Czech Philharmonic, Rafael Kubelík
Smetana: My Country. A Cycle of Symphonic Poems
Catalogue Number: SU 4255-1
Published: 19th October 2018
Format: 2 LP
Smetana - My Country / Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Rafael Kubelík
The legendary recording, Prague Spring 1990
Bedřich Smetana - My Country. A cycle of symphonic poems
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Rafael Kubelík
The triumph of truth and hope is one way to describe that special moment experienced by the orchestra and the public (including President Václav Havel) in sold-out Smetana Hall at the Municipal House in Prague on the evening of 12 May 1990. It was the opening concert of the first Prague Spring Festival to be held in freedom after 42 years of Communist totalitarianism. Rafael Kubelík led the Czech Philharmonic in a performance of Smetana's My Country in order to celebrate the renewal of freedom in his Czechoslovakia. Maestro Kubelík had refused to return to his homeland after the Communist putsch in February 1948, and his answer to repeated invitations was always: "No, not as long as the country is not free". He became a world-famous conductor, but he ended his active career in 1985 because of illness. Five years later, however, he could no longer refuse the invitation, and - with the expenditure of great effort - got himself back into shape and returned to the conductor's podium. The moment of joy from his return home and from the country's liberation was clearly worth it. Thanks to the Supraphon recording team, the thousands of listeners who have succumbed to the magic of this legendary recording can still relive this unique moment - and now devoted fans of vinyl can do so as well. Kubelík's My Country has received all due care as regards both the audio quality (DMM, 180 g virgin vinyl) and the paraphernalia and packaging of the LP.
Kubelík's legendary recording of My Country - dynamic and colourful
The Gramophone Classical Music Guide
"What a triumphant occasion it was when Rafael Kubelík returned to his native Czechoslovakia and to his old orchestra after an absence of 42 years and conducted Má vlast at the 1990 Prague Spring Festival. ... Arguably the finest performance on record since Talich's early LP set.
You'd never imagine that Kubelík had emerged from five years of retirement and a recent serious illness, such is the power and eloquence of his conducting. ... Kubelík's intimate knowledge of the score shows time and time again in the most subtle touches. ... The orchestra rewards its former director with superb playing."