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ClassicsOnline Home » SMETANA, B.: Ma Vlast (Malaysian Philharmonic, Flor)
Flor and Malaysia Philharmonic's positive approach to Ma Vlast
Every classical music fan easily lists up the good performance of Smetana's famous piece.
Most of them were played by European artists. It comes to my attention that Klaus Peter Flor conducts emerging country Malaysia's new generation orchestra, which seems to imply that this combination gives me a surprise and new image and rather innovative interpretation towards the piece.
Ma Vlast consists of 6 pieces of symphonic poems. Among them, the first two pieces such as Vysehrad and Vltava (Moldau) are of good performance with concentration. I hope this concentration continues for the whole play.
I am satisfied with their performances.more....
By Brian Wilson Download Roundup
Smetana’s patriotic hymn to home is a glorious work, so it’s always a pleasure to hear it in toto rather than just the ubiquitous ‘Vltava’. I’ve had my eye on this BIS release for a while, as the label is well known for showcasing the talents of out-of-the-way orchestras; look how they’ve single-handedly raised the profiles of the São Paulo and Singapore bands, both of which have produced a slew of fine recordings. The Malaysians made a terrific impact with their BIS box of Rimsky-Korsakov under Kees Bakels (BIS-CD-1667/8), so I had high hopes for this Má Vlast, conducted by music director Claus Peter Flor. My review refers to the 24-bit download.
This work has been lucky on record, with fine, idiomatic versions from Rafael Kubelik at the Prague Spring Festival (Supraphon 11 1208-2), Antoni Wit’s account on Naxos 8.550931 and, a firm favourite of mine, Libor Pešek and the RLPO on Virgin Classics 61223*. All are engaging, but few start as beautifully as this newcomer, the harp figures in ‘Vyšehrad’ simply ravishing. The orchestra are as easeful and illuminating as their European counterparts, every facet of ‘Vltava’ essayed in minute, ear-pricking detail as it grows from gurgling stream to raging torrent. The recording needs to be cranked up a bit before it snaps into focus, those pounding perorations setting new standards for this old warhorse.
And believe me, this performance just gets better and better; granted, rhythms in the epic ‘Šárka’ could be a bit more pliant, but Flor and his band are undeniably thrilling in the huge tuttis. Dynamics are extremely wide without being splashy or self-consciously hi-fi; the sound is also remarkably transparent, with some delectable woodwind and string playing both here and in those idyllic woods and fields. Indeed, this is a uniquely revealing account of Má Vlast, Flor’s many felicities and insights making the piece seem utterly fresh. And what an breathtaking close to ‘Šárka’, the orchestra as incisive as one could wish for.
Tábor, with its quotation from the Hussite hymn ‘Ye Who are Warriors of God’, is especially atmospheric, the tuttis expanding without hint of stress or strain; as for the formidable battery of brass, cymbals and timps deployed here, they’re presented with a rare, frisson-inducing immediacy that’s simply awesome. Has this music ever sounded so implacable, so forbidding? And then there’s the truly monumental, hewn-granite quality to this rendition of Blanímore....
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SMETANA, B.: Ma Vlast (Malaysian Philharmonic, Flo...