Live recordings of Karel Ančerl from the Czech Radio archive
W. A. Mozart - Adagio in E major for Violin and Orchestra, K 261, Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K 219, Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra in C major, K 299, L. van Beethoven - Coriolan, Op. 62, Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra in C major, Op. 56, Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36, Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93. F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy - Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 'Italian'. M. P. Mussorgsky - Songs and Dances of Death. B. Smetana - Má vlast. A. Dvořák - Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66, Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70, Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, Biblical Songs, Op. 99. J. B. Foerster - Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 54 'Easter Eve'. V. Novák - Autumn Symphony, Op. 62, Pan, Op. 43. J. Suk - Asrael, Op. 27, Ripening, Op. 34. C. Debussy - La mer, Nocturnes. M. Ravel - Shéhérazade, Rapsodie espagnole. R. Strauss - Don Juan, Op. 20. E. Elgar - Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op. 47. R. Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. W. Piston - Toccata for Orchestra. I. Stravinsky - Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments. S. Prokofiev - Scythian Suite, Op. 20. P. Hindemith - Philharmonisches Konzert. W. Lutosławski - Musique fun?bre. B. Martinů - Concerto grosso, H 263, Symphony No. 1, H 289. E. Schulhoff - The Communist Manifesto - Oratorio. M. Kabeláč - Symphony No. 5 in B flat minor "Drammatica", Op. 41. I. Krejčí - Symphony No. 1 in D, Symphony No. 3 in D. J. Ježek - Phantasy for Piano and Orchestra. J. Novák - Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra. J. Pauer - Rhapsody for Orchestra. J. Feld - Concerto for Orchestra. J. Klusák - Variations on a Theme by Gustav Mahler
Josef Suk violin, Josef Chuchro cello, Jan Panenka piano, Alexandr Plocek violin, Géza Novák flute, Karel Patras harp, Ladislav Mráz bass, Suzanne Danco soprano, Smetana Quartet, Jan Novák & Eliška Nováková piano, Václav Holzknecht piano, Zdeněk Jílek piano, Libuše Domanínská soprano et al.
Prague Philharmonic Choir, choirmaster Josef Veselka
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (Ježek)
Conductor Karel Ančerl
Karel Ančerl. One of the most important conductors of post-war Europe. A man who survived the Nazi concentration camps and the avowed anti-Semitism of communist Czechoslovakia. An artist who, through enormous patience and dedication, built the Czech Philharmonic into a world-class orchestra and introduced it successfully at the most important concert halls. From 2002 to 2008, Supraphon issued the highly acclaimed Ančerl Gold Edition with the bulk of his artistic legacy, containing nearly his complete studio recordings with the Czech Philharmonic on 48 CDs. But that was far from everything. Hidden in the archive of Czech Radio, there is a wealth of concert recordings that gives us a more complete picture of this conductor. From that treasury, on 15 CDs, Supraphon has selected repertoire of which studio recordings were not made; that repertoire covers a broad range from Mozart to works by Ančerl's contemporaries. The recordings include masterpieces by Dvořák (Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8, Biblical Songs) and Suk (Asrael, Ripening), music by composers admired and promoted by Ančerl (Martinů Symphony No. 1 and Kabeláč Symphony No. 5), and major works of the worldwide 20th-century repertoire (Debussy, Ravel, Strauss, Prokofiev etc.). The only exception of a "duplication" of a studio recording is Smetana's Má vlast. This taping of a Prague Spring Festival concert in May 1968 was one of the last recordings Ančerl made before his definitive departure for Toronto. The concert recordings from the years 1949-1968 document the maturing of this remarkable artist perhaps even more clearly than his studio legacy.
Previously unpublished recordings by one of the great conductors of the 20th century
“Previous collections of performances under the baton of Karel Ančerl have emanated from numerous labels, both official and unofficial, and most significantly from Supraphon itself, whose Ančerl ‘Gold Edition’ returned virtually all of the conductor’s studio recordings for the label to circulation. That was a massive 43-CD undertaking, as handsome as it was musically enriching, but this new collection of Ančerl’s live recordings, which repertoirewise includes a number of disc premieres, is even more exciting… This is an extremely important set, very well transferred, superbly annotated (by Petr Kadlec) and sturdily presented. I can’t recommend it more highly than that.” Gramophone, May 2022
“Un grand orchestre, un chef mythique, un label légendaire. Avec cette trilogie, l’auditeur est assuré de passer quelques moments incroyables, uniques. En écoutant les enregistrements live de l’Orchestre Philharmonique Tchèque sous la direction de Karel Ancerl par la radio tchèque et gravés par le label tchèque Supraphon, les impressions laissées donnent le sentiment d’une expérience assez incroyable.” Hebdoscope, March 2022
“Cette véritable malle aux trésors profite d'un travail éditorial exemplaire (texte de présentation très développé) et d'une remastérisation soignée de bandes des années 1960 en majorité. Saluons aussi la diversité représentative des programmes du chef: dix titres de grand répertoire, onze du XXe siècle, vingt et un de musique tchèque. Tous ces témoignages sur le vif réaffirment haut et fort que la précision rythmique et le ciselage orchestral ont toujours constitué la base des interprétations d' Ančerl.” Classica, May 2022
“This Supraphon box of 15 CDs comes as the answer to a prayer to all those music lovers who value the sound of the Czech Philharmonic at its very peak, under one of the twentieth century's greatest conductors. From Mozart and Beethoven, to Smetana, Dvořák, Suk, Novák (two different ones), Martinu, and a host of little-known Czech composers, including Schulhoff's Communist Manifesto oratorio, this set is a treasure-trove for collectors.” ClassicsToday.com, May 2022
“Trois trésors rendent ce coffret indispensable: une Symphonie no 7 de Dvorak d’une décapante ardeur en 1962; un Don Juan de Strauss en 1965, alors que nous ne connaissions sous sa baguette que Till… Réserves minimes, balayées par une somme de documents majeurs et nombre d’inédits pertinents et inattendus (Toccata de Piston, Musique funèbre de Lutoslawski), élargissant le répertoire enregistré connu du chef.” Diapason, June 2022
“Go and buy this new 15 CD box, which contains a wealth of material sourced from the archives of Czech Radio. There’s loads here which Ančerl didn’t record commercially. The live recordings, mostly captured in detailed mono sound, are captivating; the orchestra’s signature sound immediately recognisable and the performances full of colour… This is an important release; Ančerl was indisputably one of the last century’s truly great conductors, and this well-packaged, superbly annotated box set does him proud.” The Arts Desk, June 2022
“Unearthed from the Czech radio archives, this collection includes some previously unpublished recordings making this set a must-have for collectors of one the 20th century’s greatest conductors. All will recognize the orchestra’s signature sound and be thrilled with this collection of music from well-known names and many little-known Czech composers. ” The Whole Note, February 2023