Antonín Dvořák was a deeply religious person, and sacred music duly constitutes a significant part of his oeuvre. The present album features three different types of works. The Mass in D major was commissioned by the composer’s patron Josef Hlávka for the inauguration of a country chapel. The Biblical Songs are highly intimate pieces, set to the Czech translation of Dvořák’s favourite Psalms, while Te Deum is a magnificent cantata for festive events, which, however, just like the other two works, affords space for contemplation and meditation. All three opuses are adorned with inspired melodies, as well as intriguing involvement of the solo singers and the choir. The album contains recordings made by the Prague Philharmonic Choir and the Prague Symphony Orchestra in 1969 and 1970. The Biblical Songs are performed by the baritone Jindřich Jindrák, a long-time soloist of the National Theatre in Prague.
Dvořák’s heartfelt sacred music, singularly performed by superb artists
“An excellent quartet of soloists and the superb Prague Philharmonic Choir give the composition the power and spiritual intensity it demands… The five Biblical Songs for solo voice and orchestra have a quite outstanding performer in baritone Jindrich Jindrak, who puts his magnificent voice and art of interpretation at the service of the music… The Te Deum is captivating for its again very committed music-making and singing. Smetacek conducts with a keen sense of this work’s catchy melodicism and vibrant colors.” Pizzicato, August 2023
Mass for Soloists, Mixed Chorus, Organ and Orchestra in D major, Op. 86 (B 175)