Bedřich Smetana - My Country. A Cycle of Symphonic Poems
1. Vyšehrad (Lento. Largo maestoso - Grandioso - Allegro vivo ma non agitato - Lento ma non troppo - Largamente) 14:01
2. Vltava (Moldau) (Allegro comodo, non agitato) 11:00
3. Šárka (Allegro con fuoco, ma non agitato - Piu moderato assai - Moderato ma con calore - Adagio. Moderato - Molto vivo) 09:33
4. Z českých luhů a hájů / From Bohemian Fields and Groves (Molto moderato - Allegro poco vivo, ma non troppo - Presto) 11:57
5. Tábor (Lento - Molto vivace - Lento maestoso) 12:59
6. Blaník (Allegro moderato - Andante non troppo - Piu allegro, ma non molto - Tempo di marcia - Largamente maestoso - Piu vivo) 13:30
Igor Ardašev piano, Renata Ardaševová piano
The most widely popular symphonic work of Czech Romantic music literature - the cycle of tone poems, My Country, by Bedřich Smetana (1824 - 1884) - was shortly after the completion of its full orchestral version arranged also for piano duet. The piano reduction, from the pen of the composer himself, attests to his own idea of the functional hierarchy in an orchestral score. Tobe sure, My Country is the work of a composer who was no longer in sensory auditive control of his nascent music. As an active pianist, Smetana was closely acquainted with the various technical devices and potentialities of piano stylization; consequently, the outcome of his transcription of the orchestral version into piano texture represents a remarkable feat in terms of sheer musical imagination. Indeed, Smetana succeeded in turning his piano reductions of the individual tone poems here to ideal vehicles of his intention which was to popularize the larger work, at the same time creating a series of virtuoso pieces entitled to autonomous existence on the concert platform. For its part, Supraphon laid the interpretation of the six tone poems into the hands of two artists best suited for this task: the husband and wife piano duet of Igor and Renata Ardašev, whose performing experience, coupled with exquisite co-ordination, empathy in feeling for the music and, last but not least, dazzling technical dispositions, predetermine this recording for an enthusiastic reception.
My Country in a rarely heard version - for twenty fingers!
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