Since its publishing, the recording of Martinů’s complete Cantatas from
the Czech Highlands created by The Prague Philharmonic Choir under the
leadership of Lukáš Vasilek has been a roaring success on international basis.
The album was selected Editor’s Choice by two of the most important British
magazines focused on classical music, the Gramophone and the BBC Music
Now the recording has appeared among three albums nominated for the
BBC Music Magazine Award in the category of choral works
(Choral Award). Whether or not the nomination will change into an award will
depend on music lovers all over the world who can participate in open voting at
a special website created by the BBC solely for this purpose. The voting was
launched on 19 January and is going to last until 19th February.
The four cantatas (The Opening of the Wells, The Legend of the Smoke from
Potato Fires, The Romance of the Dandelions, Mikeš of the Mountains) first
appeared at Supraphon recordings sixty years ago. They were then interpreted by
the Czech Singing Choir and Kühn Children’s Choir led by choirmaster Jan
Kühn. The new recording of the cantatas came into being in the Dvořák Hall of
Prague’s Rudolfinum and, in addition to top-level performance efforts, its
protagonists strived to come as close as possible to the composer’s original
intentions. Besides the Prague Philharmonic Choir and choirmaster Lukáš
Vasilek, several soloists have participated in the project including soprano
Pavla Vykopalová, barytone Jiří Brückler, pianist Ivo Kahánek, members of
the Bennewitz Quartet, reciter Jaromír Meduna and others. Supported by the
Bohuslav Martinů Foundation, members of the choir have also played a major role
in the production of the album.