Jiří Bělohlávek (CDI 1-10, CDVII), Wolfgang Sawallisch (CD3, CD4/1-3), Václav Smetáček (CDII 1-15, CDV, CDVI), Zdeněk Košler (CDIV 5), Václav Neumann (CDIV 4)
Gabriela Beňačková (CD3, CD4/1-3), Eva Urbanová soprano (CDI 1-10, CDVII), Věra Soukupová alto (CDVIII 5-14; Beno Blachut tenor; Jindřich Jindrák (CDII 11-15), Ivan Kusnjer baritone; Peter Mikuláš, Richard Novák bass (CDVIII 1-4); Ivan Moravec piano (CDVIII 5-14), and others
“Dad’s God was not the God of Vengeance but the Creator, who sanctifies the journey through the ‘valley of death’ through his infinite love,” is how Antonín Dvořák’s sincere piety was recalled by his son Otakar. Faith in God was for Dvořák the cornerstone on which he built his own life and work, hence it comes as no surprise that a number of his seminal pieces are within the domain of sacred music, and frequently linked with a strong personal story. The first version of the oratorio Stabat Mater came into being after the death of his first-born daughter. In the wake of the triumph of its London premiere, Dvořák received more commissions from the UK, which gave rise to other paramount compositions: The Spectre’s Bride, Requiem and Saint Ludmila. The instigation for Te Deum came from New York, where following the premiere of the “New World Symphony” Dvořák wrote the Biblical Songs, the apex of his oeuvre of this genre. The set also contains pieces that have been seldom performed (the cantata The Heirs of the White Mountain, Psalm 149 in the previously unreleased recording made by the conductor Václav Neumann, etc.). At the same time, this new collection within the Dvořák series showcases superlative artists, and the listeners will undoubtedly also be pleased by the sensitively remastered sound of the recordings. These gems from the Supraphon archive definitely deserve exceptional care.
Spiritual Dvořák – paramount works masterfully performed, with a carefully remastered sound.
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