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Czech Roots

feat. Dvořák, Smetana, Janáček, Martinů & Slavický

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The collective name and geographical borders of the historical Czech lands of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia were a constantly shifting entity before they settled in 1993 to become the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Yet whether their composers were living under Austro-Hungarian rule or Prussian rule, or as part of Czechoslovakia, their musical fingerprint has stood firm and sounded instantly recognisable abroad ever since the mid nineteenth century when Bedřich Smetana first developed a Classical national musical style that reflected his homeland's folk music, history and natural landscapes; and this when he was living under the Habsburg Empire and therefore with German as his first language.

So it's this Czech musical language that we're celebrating with our Czech Roots collection, and how that language sings out even when the composer is far from home; and clearly we had to begin with some Smetana, and our Smetana of choice is Má Vlast played by the Staatskapelle Dresden under Paavo Berglund.

Our other three works are then Dvořák's String Quartet No 12 “The American” from the Keller Quartet, Janáček's piano cycle In the Mists played by Leif Ove Andsnes, Martinů's Novy Spalicek song cycle sung by Olga Cerna, and – this collection's real rarity - Viola Wilsem and Kimiko Imani playing Klement Slavicky's Suite for Oboe and Piano.

Curation & Text: Natascha Klotschkoff, Charlotte Gardner

Speaker: Charlotte Gardner

Visual Art: Philipp Nicolai Hertel

  • Czech Roots

  • An introduction to Smetana — Má Vlast

  • Má Vlast Preview Only

    Bedřich Smetana

    Paavo Berglund, Staatskapelle Dresden1978
  • An introduction to Janáček — In the Mists

  • In the Mists Preview Only

    Leoš Janáček

    Leif Ove Andsnes1990
  • An introduction to Dvořák — String Quartet No. 12 in F major op. 96 B. 179 »Amerikanisches«

  • String Quartet No. 12 in F major op. 96 B. 179 »Amerikanisches« Preview Only

    Antonín Dvořák

    Keller Quartet1994
  • An introduction to Slavicky — Suite for Oboe and Piano

  • Suite for Oboe and Piano Preview Only

    Klement Slavicky

    Viola Wilmsen, Kimiko Imani2015
  • An introduction to Martinů — Nový Špalíček (New Chap-Book) H. 288

  • Nový Špalíček (New Chap-Book) H. 288 Preview Only

    Bohuslav Martinů

    Olga Cerná, Jitka Cechová2003

(Preview Only)