The best Smetana s Ma Vlast!!

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The best Smetana s Ma Vlast!!

Im a fanatic of this marvelluos work, and after hear practically all the recorded versions (Talich, Kubelik, Neumann, Mackerras, my admired Zdenek Kosler versions, Smetacek, etc) I can say to you now that the best recorded version of this work is ......believed it!! James Levine-Wiener Philharmonics version, in first place because it has the best sound of all, you can hear rings, timpani, strings, minimum details better than in the other recordings. Like you I heard it with my aprehensions, but they were injustificated, Levines "Ma Vlast" is the best version of all. What do you think about this??  Best regards oscar.olavarria

 

RE: The best Smetana s Ma Vlast!!

I like this version very much too. It was the recording through which I came to know Ma Vlast. The original 2-disc set had a superbly enjoyable suite of overtures and dances from The Bartered Bride, and these are worth seeking out if you haven't heard them.

We're spoilt for choice with good Ma Vlasts!

John

RE: The best Smetana s Ma Vlast!!

Dear Oscar, I see this time you embraced my view that a very good recording can sound better than a better one but poorly recorded, particularly for works with such a rich orchestration as Smetana's Ma Vlast.

Levine's recording on DG with VPO is very impressive. No question about it. I don't know whether you have heard the following very good recordings too:

- LSO with C. Davis (on LSO Live, on SACD format). Quite detailed recording and a solid performance.

- Polish National Radio Orch. with Antoni Wit (on Naxos). A serious and solid conductor who can bring to life and excitement anything he conducts.

- Concertgebouw Orch with Antal Dorati (now on Newton). A classic performance, still sounding impressive enough.

There are two more somehow "odd" performances but impressively recorded: Harnoncourt (on RCA) and Peter Flor (on BIS, on SACD too).

Parla

RE: The best Smetana s Ma Vlast!!

From the versions I've come to know I will pick two as my current favourites: 1. Ancerl & CPO (1963) and 2. Kubelik & CPO (1990) both on Supraphon. Both good but not outstanding soudwise but you can feel the thrill on them even if you're not a Czech. Kubelik recorded many times those tone poems but this one, recorded live just after the Velvet Revolution, is probably the best. Ancerl & Kubelik's idiomatic approach makes the difference imo.

I don't know the mentioned Levine's version mentioned but I do expect great things from this somewhat underrated conductor so I'll try to listen to that recording (in the meantime I've just started enjoying his fantastic Gurrelieder on Oehms).

Unfortunately I don't have the same enthusiasm Oscar has for that cycle: I admire, it's beautiful and emotive though somewhat peculiar music, so I don't listen to those pieces quite often.

RE: The best Smetana s Ma Vlast!!

Maybe not the best, but not far from it, is the recording by the Janacek Philharmonic conducted by the American Theodore Kuchar. It is part of a 3 CD Brilliant Classics set entitled "Complete Orchestral Works" (but really isn't). I won't list the contents (too numerous) but the length of the CDs is 73.15 (this is Ma Vlast), 77.14 and 75.40.

Bliss
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