Album detail
Catalogue number: SU 4342-2

The story of the Prague Symphony Orchestra is closely linked to the history of the Czech capital, and that history has left an impression on the orchestra’s repertoire. Following the successful recording featuring Music for Prague 1968 by Karel Husa (2021), the orchestra and its chief conductor Tomáš Brauner are coming out with another album dedicated to Prague. This time, the musical selections of the album Smetana, Dvořák, Suk, Ostrčil: Music for Prague are focused on the end of the 19th century, when the Czech nation was fighting for its language, culture, and individual identity within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The album will be released by Supraphon on CD and in the digital formats on Friday, 12 April 2024.

At the heart of the new album are Suk’s monumental symphonic poem Praga based on the Hussite chorale melody “Ye, Who Are Warriors of God”, Vyšehrad from Smetana’s famous cycle Má vlast, and thirdly something unique: A Tale of Šemík, a virtually unknown symphonic poem written by Otakar Ostrčil at just 19 years of age that is a musical setting of a legend that again takes place at Vyšehrad. And Antonín Dvořák, of course. In few of Dvořák’s works is he as explicitly patriotic as in the overture Můj domov (My Home), which is also rather little known. The piece is based on the theme of the popular song "Kde domov můj", which later became the Czech national anthem. Dvořák’s Fanfare to the National Jubilee Exhibition in Prague is another unique work on the album.

After the warm reception of the recording of the Slavonic Dances that came out at the end of last year, the Prague Symphony Orchestra now reaffirms that the Czech late-romantic repertoire is the native language most natural to them.

When we asked the Prague Symphony Orchestra programming director Martin Rudovský what important things the orchestra is doing for the Year of Czech Music besides releasing a new album, he replied: “Lots and lots of Czech music, of course, but also our 90th birthday; the orchestra was established in the autumn of 1934, which was also a Year of Czech Music. For this reason, special concerts have been planned in June at Vyšehrad and in October at the Radio Palace.”

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