1. Bohuslav Martinů - The Legend of the Smoke From Potato Tops. Cantata for soli, mixed chorus and instrumental accompaniment, H. 360 18:09
2. Bohuslav Martinů - The Opening of the Springs. Cantata for soli, female chorus and instrumental accompanimet, H. 354 19:39
3. Bohuslav Martinů - The Romance of the Dandelions. Cantata for mixed chorus a cappella and soprano solo, H. 364 11:24
4. Bohuslav Martinů - Mikeš of the Mountains. Cantata for soli, mixed chorus and instrumental accompaniment, H. 375 18:56
Pavla Vykopalová soprano
Ludmila Hudečková contralto
Martin Slavík tenor
Jiří Brückler, Petr Svoboda baritone
Jaromír Meduna recitation
Ivo Kahánek piano
Members of the Bennewitz Quartet
Prague Philharmonic Choir
choir master Lukáš Vasilek
Recorded in the Rudolfinum, Prague, October 22, 23, 26,29 and December 21, 2015.
When Miloslav Bureš sent his first poem Song of the Ruby Spring to Bohuslav Martinů in 1955, he seemed to have touched the deepest spot of the composer’s heart. The poet set his verses into the landscape of the Czech Highlands, the region of Martinů’s childhood and a rich source of his memories. The composer must have identified strongly with the character of the pilgrim returning to his birthplace, because he wrote The Opening of the Springs within nine days. Later he set to music three more poems by Bureš, finishing the last one, Mikeš of the Mountains, half a year before his death. For Martinů, the cantatas represented an important link to his homeland at a time when the political situation and later also his poor health were diminishing his hopes of coming back home. One can only imagine what he felt when he was sitting in Schönenberg, Switzerland, listening to the vinyl record with the first recording of his Opening of the Springs published by Supraphon, or when his friends were sending him reports about the Czech premieres of his works...