Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bohuslav Martinů: Symphony No. 4

Here is the Prague Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jiři Bělohlávek in 1979, performing Martinů's Symphony No. 4. This is one of my favorite symphonies, always a pleasure to hear. Overall it's lighthearted stuff, but the second movement is killer. And the finale, I listen to that a whole lot. Krzysztof Szatrawski's blog has some good detail to share - click here. I don't have a copy of this hard-to-find recording, but luckily, here are the four movements of the performance on YouTube - click click:
  1. Poco moderato
  2. Allegro vivo - moderato
  3. Largo
  4. Poco allegro
Bělohlávek has recorded Martinů's symphonies several times since, as well as just about everything else. He's a solid conductor, just like Vaclav Neumann.

Martinů is fantastic. Almost everything I've heard so far has been one excellent surprise after another. He's often a great concerto writer, especially for the cello and also the piano. He also wrote plenty of music for voice, chamber ensembles... a whole bunch of stuff in all different forms, loaded with melodic energy. 

Big fan here.


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