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FOERSTER: Symphony No. 4 / Festival Overture / My Youth

Composer(s):Foerster, Josef Bohuslav
Artist(s) Friedel, Lance, Conductor • Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.557776
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

By the time of his death, at the age of 91, Foerster had become the grand old man of Czech music. Written under the spell of Bruckner and Mahler, the Symphony No. 4 is widely regarded as his masterpiece. This deeply religious work begins with a Mahlerian march, followed by a bucolic scherzo that would be at home among Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances.The lovely slow movement provides yet more evidence of Foerster’s superb ear for orchestral colour while the finale, the longest and most complex of the four movements, builds inexorably to a majestic climax that has been likened to approaching the gates of heaven.

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Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Foerster’s Fourth Symphony is one of the best-kept secrets of Czech music. Composed, like its two companions on this CD, during the early part of Foerster’s stay in Vienna, it shows the influence of Bruckner and Mahler. It is a long work, some 47 minutes in length, and of striking quality. Its Scherzo is worthy of Dvorák himself and is among the most captivating movements of its kind composed anywhere at this period. The opening of the work has great nobility and depth, and it leaves the listener in no doubt that this is a symphony of real substance. It is surpassed in its quality of inspiration only by Suk’s Asrael. The Festive Overture of 1907 and the somewhat earlier Op. 44 symphonic poem, My Youth, are both first recordings


Review By Phil Vendy,Fine Music,August 2006

The fact that Foerster isn't as celebrated as his acquain­tances Dvorak and Mahler can't be anything to do with his remarkable capacity for devising good melodies. His music is almost euphoric, the kind of thing you look for but often can't find when you're in a celebratory mood but don't want anything mushy. Naxos brings us two world premiere recordings on the one CD, Foerster's Opus 44 and Opus 70, while the 4th symphony is a grand assertion of the Czech composer's Catholic principles, though you can enjoy it with or without religious affiliations. The timpani and melodic opening to the Festive Overture take us immediately into a world of gaiety, almost a fin-de-siecle glimpse of Vienna which Foerster summons again later on, but this is a million



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